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Former Disney CEO, Bob Iger, was preparing to give the most important speech of his career. In just a few days it would be the opening night of Shanghai Disneyland. Disney had invested $6 billion to build it over 18 years. According to Iger in his best-selling book The Ride of a Lifetime, "this was the most momentous thing the company had embarked on since Disney World opened in 1971." And then the call came.

It was early in the evening on June 12, 2016. A mass shooting had occurred at a club in Orlando just miles from Disney World. With over 70,000 employees in Orlando they watched and waited. A crisis of hate and horror had disrupted Disney's most aggressive expansion efforts to date. They would discover later the shooter's initial target was Disney World. Iger was half a world away. It was critical to change and adapt on a dime. There could be no pause in his pivot. 

The common chord in every crisis is the need to change.

Here's what one leading institution is saying to their constituency about the need to change as a result of the COVID-19 crisis:

National Institute for Trial Advocacy's Message to Trial Lawyers - "Adapt or Die."

One leading influencer is crystal clear about the need to change as a result of this crisis:

Simon Sinek - "There is no going back to normal. Life will not be the same." 

Resistance to change is no longer a viable choice.

Change has traditionally been viewed through the lens of conflict. Change is understood as the ultimate personal or professional challenge. In business it's called "Change Management." On the personal front, it's called "Behavioral Counseling." 

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, 70% of change efforts fail. It's no wonder why business leaders or people, in general, procrastinate from pivoting. With those odds, it's easy to understand why risk aversion, all too often, turns into risk avoidance.

But what if we changed the way we view change? What if we took this time to reinvent, re-engineer, and revolutionize the way we position our business propositions, sell our solutions, or pivot in our personal lives? 

What prepared Bob Iger for change amid a crisis was a mentor. 

Bob Iger, long before becoming CEO at Disney, had worked for legendary television executive Roone Arledge. Arledge was at the time the head of ABC Sports. Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports, the Olympic Games every 4 years, major golf tournaments, boxing championships, and The American Sportsman were just a few of his priceless sports properties. 

Roone Arledge looked at change through a different lens. Change was not just something to be called upon during a crisis or conflict. Change didn't compete against his calendar or his most pressing concerns. Change was a constant! 

Iger would say, "Reverse-angle cameras, slow-motion replays, airing events live via satellite--that's all Roone. He wanted to try every new gadget and break every stale format. He was looking, always, for new ways to connect to viewers and grab their attention. Roone taught me the dictum that has guided me in every job I've held since: Innovate or die." 

What prepared Bob Iger for devastating disruption in 2016 was the same standard he held as a daily habit. Change was not a choice. It was a constant. 

The reason why we resist change is that it has not become a part of our daily routine. Turn change from an option into your operating system. Making change a constant in your daily duties will change the way you think about change and unleash the power of its potential. 

To discuss further the power and potential of change during this crisis for your business or you as a business leader, let's...

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Topics: sales habits, Strategic Planning, sales leadership

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" small business owners and leaders of growth-oriented sales organizations. His goal is to help you get where you want to go. Faster.