But in fact, most of us are rubbish at it.

I, for one, thought I was a great change agent.

Until I decided to change my life direction and found that I instinctively clung on to stuff for no reason.

Last year, I left a solid Executive Director role at a leading UK institution with a board position, good salary and pension.  Plus, holidays and bonuses of course.

It was a great job which I had done well, but I felt after 4 years I wanted a change of direction.

For much of my career I have been outside the UK; I have worked and lived in over 6 countries in Europe and the US. So, the plan was to move back to Europe; Barcelona more specifically.

I had planned well – I told my CEO well in advance so as not to disrupt the business and she fully supported me. I started scoping out what I would do in my new world, how I would do it, and which contacts I would reach out to.

I would start my own business consultancy. My wife is employed a global consultancy and works remotely anyway. It shouldn’t be too difficult, I thought.

In one month, I quit my job, rented out the house, sold the car and moved from London to Barcelona.

I jumped off the corporate ladder.

Things didn’t go to plan – I realised that whatever you plan, the end result is always different.  I initially regretted my decision but discovered that we all go through the same ‘change curve’ of emotions, so nothing new here for me. I persevered and stuck to my guns, pivoted my new business model into a gap in the market and learnt new skill sets.

The change was tough, but it was totally worth it.

I feel I have come out a lot stronger, wiser and smarter and in a new direction.

And I also realise that I am useless at change, like most of us.

  • Make a detailed plan
  • Plans don’t normally go to plan. Be prepared to adapt
  • It’s tough at the beginning. We all go through this phase
  • Keep focused on your end goal
  • Build new networks – don’t rely on existing ones completely
  • Be pragmatic and take the punches. Covid for example.
  • Keep innovating with smart ideas
  • Don’t look back