No matter how hard you plan, there will be times (personally and professionally) when things don’t come together as expected. It happens. Life can get in the way. In some cases, small things may begin to signal a change is ahead, other times you may sense a monkey wrench is coming your way and still, at other times, you may have absolutely no indication your plan(s) is about to be disrupted. Subtle or extreme, sometimes the need to transition may be evident. No matter what changes occur, remember how you address and handle the disruptions, will either help or harm your reputation.


Toxic emotions and hurtful words are detrimental to the individual and to the organization. At work, you may work hard to keep emotions under control – to behave in a professional manner– so that your employer, peers, and customers experience the best you have to offer. Since, it is essentially impossible to separate yourself from your emotions, you may find that any strong beliefs and values associated with the change you are dealing with may “show up” or reveal emotions you hoped to keep out of discussions.

Being sarcastic, having an unpredictable personality or being quick to anger can only make matters worse and easily usher a professional career to an early, unpleasant end. It may not be possible for you to isolate your feelings from what you must do professionally, but you can learn not be sidetracked professionally by what you feel. As professionals, we are expected to deal with the unexpected change of plans with tact and professionalism. When you deliver less, some people may transfer a less than desirable view of who you are professionally.


No one knows what kind of change is coming down the road, which is why being able to adapt to the environmental, professional and organizational changes – to bend – and remain as nimble as possible when working through change at work. When plans don’t measure up to what was envisioned or expected not because the idea was bad, but because…

  • communication was poor
  • execution was weak
  • not firmly defined
  • loosely structured
  • severely overdue
  •  emotions involved

…undesirable outcomes can destroy what you planned to accomplished.

Peter Drucker, a revered management scholar once said

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

A plan is a tool for change; a hope to move forward. Plans help to transform ideas and projects into something real, tangible or meaningful. A plan, when executed, has the ability to turn nothing into something or something into nothing. A plan that does not have enough wiggle room to adapt to changing environments is a doomed plan and the problematic aftermath could lead to people questioning your character and altering your reputation.

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