Things Aren't Like They Used To Be! Why Is That?



A few posts ago  I told you I would try to answer Tough Questions that we all get asked from time to time in our leadership positions.

 The last questioned I answered was “Why Don’t You Pay More For My Position?”  This week’s question is:


Things Aren’t Like They Used To Be.

Why Is That?


This is a question or statement that people make all of the time and have been making since man and woman arrived on this earth. 


First of all, things never are the way they used to be.  The one thing you can count on in life is change. There are many reasons why things aren’t the way they used to be.  One reason is just plain old progress in the way things are done.  I bet the hunters and gatherers in the Stone Age were not too happy when farming came along, and they lost their jobs.  I bet that farmers were not too happy when large corporate farming came along and took over the farming business and put small farmers out of business.  I bet a lot of people were unhappy when manufacturing moved to the Far East, and they lost their jobs.  I bet each one of them said, “Why aren’t things the way they used to be?”


Technology, innovation, gaining new knowledge, and other inventions drive much of change in life. The other thing that causes change is humans, who are willing to try a new way to do things.  People who take risks are often the ones that change the world and leave a legacy.  The economy and whether we are going through good or tough times causes families and businesses to have to change the way they do things to survive.  We have all had to do that in our own lives from time to time and a lot recently.

Unexpected changes like the rising cost of health care starting a few years ago . . . or the arrival of the Internet . . . or  a baby in your family or 9/11 . . . or hurricanes and a hundred other things can cause us all to have to run our personal lives and our businesses differently.


Whoever thought just a few years ago what a powerhouse China and India would be for manufacturing . . . but look at the people of India and their command of the English language and how outsourcing is being implemented for call centers and other businesses around the world that are hiring an educated, well-spoken labor force at a much reduced cost. I know that many of you say the people in India are hard to understand sometimes. That may be but they won’t be for long.


We all make this statement from time to time; but in fact, we don’t want most things to be the way they used to be.  How would you like to have to go out and hunt your dinner instead of going to the grocery store to pick it up?  We usually just want selective things in our lives to be the way they used to be, and that is usually not possible.


The good old days usually were not as good as we like to remember them.  The mind is a tricky thing and usually just remembers the good part of the good old days and is kind to us by leaving out the tough part.  For instance, if the Walt Disney World® Resort were today like it was when it opened in 1971, they would be out of business.  The Walt Disney World® Resort today is many times more interesting, exciting, and entertaining than it was 39 years ago.  Can you imagine just having the Magic Kingdom® Park and three resorts?  If that were the case, most Cast Members would not have a role today.  There would have been no jobs to hire  for.  They would not be the No. 1 Vacation Destination in the world.  They would have long ago been taken over or gone under if we had not kept changing.


If you have been at Walt Disney World since the beginning, it is easy to think back and pick out one or two or more things that you thought were better back in the good old days; and perhaps they were in fact, but as an organization grows and becomes bigger and more complex, some things do have to change—or they change as society requires them to.  The fact of the matter is that the world is different than it used to be.


Each generation wants different things, and you must change to meet those expectations—or you become irelevant.

We used to sit and play board games when I was little, and we even did that when my son was little; but today children are much more exposed to electronics, game boys, computers, and television—and they don’t go too much for sitting and playing board games any more.  You could ask, “Why aren’t things the way they used to be?”  My answer would be because they just aren’t! On the other hand kids still like to play board games as a family. Try it!


Sometimes when an individual is unhappy with his or her personal situation, the person blames it on the fact that things are not the way they used to be.

  • It is true that things like health care used to be free; but who would have ever thought back in 1971 that the cost of health care would sky rocket the way it has?
  • Who would have ever thought that the Internet would come along and cause us to have to change the way we do business? 
  • Who would have thought back in 1971 that Disney World would ever get so big that they would not be able to have one holiday party in the Magic Kingdom® Park for all of the Cast and their families on one night?


The world today and the people living in the world today are quite different than they were back in 1971.  You too as an individual are different and always changing.  While change is sometimes painful, frustrating, and annoying, it is still necessary to stay competitive and to stay alive.

If things never changed, you and I would be bored to death.


Our Guests  didn’t always like some of the changes that we made either.  We laugh sometimes when we think about how our Guests want everything to stay the same . . . and at the same time they want brand-new and exciting attractions, shows, restaurants, parks, and resorts to stay in and play in.


The fact of the matter is that things cannot stay the same and change too . . . and that is why things in this world are never the way the used to be . . . and they never will be in any part of our lives.  That is just the way it is, so we all need to remember and cherish the past and welcome the future.


Those who have a positive attitude about change are happier and healthier than others, so there are two really great reasons to embrace change, especially since there is nothing we can do about it anyway!    . . . Lee

Great Leaders Look forthe Better Way Every Day!!!!!

PS: On the subject of Time Life Managment I just got my annual dental check-up and cleaning and scheduled the next one for January 4, 2011. I only go once a year because I am a disciplined flosser. To save time, “only floss the teeth your want to keep!”

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