Dane Holmes: When Things Change, Find Your "C.H.I."

07 AUG 2019

Dane Holmes, head of Human Capital Management, shares how he manages change and “finds his C.H.I.” — curiosity, humility and intensity.

By Dane Holmes

Change happens. It is the one thing that is guaranteed over the course of your career.  You might be the one to seek change – whether it’s moving to a different job or exploring a new path altogether.  Other times, change happens to you – maybe you experience an internal organizational pivot and/or external market shifts.  You don’t always have control over the nature of the change to your professional life, but you do have control over how you choose to manage it. Regardless of the circumstances, change triggers both excitement and fear. 

In my professional journey, I’ve experienced a fair amount of change. From being an architecture major to going into banking and later investor relations to leading Human Capital Management, I know first-hand the ups and downs of transitioning jobs. From this experience, I gathered some valuable intel—through successes and struggles—on surviving and thriving through change in the workplace.

I like to call it centering your “C.H.I.,” which consists of three key areas: curiosity, humility and intensity.  When you hear “centering your C.H.I.”, you might think it’s about being calm and balanced (which is also important), but I’m talking about taking specific actions.  Here’s how it goes:

Start strong. When you start your new role, prove to your colleagues that you’re an invested learner and want to be engaged with the team. The more time you spend absorbing information like a sponge when you first start, the more effective you will be later on. Also, it’s a whole lot easier to ask questions in the beginning that may be awkward to ask later on. So, comprehend why things are the way they are. Ask the questions no one else is asking. I find curiosity is a sign of ambition, and it can motivate those around you.

Sincerity matters. Self-awareness is essential. You want to prove you can be an effective leader in your new role. Even if you are not leading a team or managing a project, be an owner of your work. You will make mistakes, so own them and show that you are willing to self-reflect for the betterment of yourself and the team. You can’t fake it. Your new peers will immediately notice any hubris when you first start, so stay grounded and demonstrate your willingness to work towards a common goal as a team. Being transparent about your shortcomings is not a sign of weakness. By confiding in your colleagues and opening up at the onset, you are facilitating a stronger relationship that will carry forward. They will work with you in the areas you need help with and will be happy to do so when you admit what you know, and what you don’t.

Do your part—and more. You are part of a new team for a specific role, a definitive purpose—but it’s always best to go above and beyond. If you prove to your colleagues that you’re not afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take on more, you will earn their respect rather quickly. This doesn’t mean you should shirk your immediate responsibilities. Learn how to master the primary responsibilities, and then explore more outside of your immediate role after you get the hang of it. 

Bonus Points
Whether you’re going through change now or just rocking and rolling in steady state, these two formulas have always helped me think about success:

Effort + Talent = Excellence
Effort + Talent + Luck = Success

How do you manage and master change?


Read more articles by Dane Holmes on LinkedIn