Welcome back to the blog where I’m highlighting GOLD’s core values one by one. We’ve officially reached the halfway point of this series. Last month, I talked about core value 4 and how effective communication plays a key role in the overall success of an organization. Today, we’re moving right along into our fifth core value. GOLD’s fifth core value is: I will strive to be a part of the solution through self-improvement, growth, and adaptability.

Ready to jump right in? I sure am!

Just Keep Striving

We’ve all heard the saying, “You have to be part of the solution, or else you’re part of the problem.” This quote may sound and seem a bit harsh, but its intent should motivate us to want to do better; to strive to be better. So, which end of the spectrum do you want to be on—the one that’s coming up with solutions or the one that creates problems?

Core value 5 is a big one to unpack, and it may be the most challenging one yet. But the challenge lying within it can be viewed in an exciting, opportunistic light. When you think of the word, “strive,” for example, what does that word mean to you? And take a moment to really think about that. To me, the word strive means continuously devoting yourself to work toward something in order to achieve great things. Whether you’re striving for something in your personal or work life, it can be ongoing (but trust me, that’s not a bad thing), because you’ve got the mindset to keep pushing yourself to reach your goals and the determination to give it your all.

You can almost look at it like a game, which is where the aspect of excitement comes into play. When playing a game, your goal is to reach the next level, right? Each time you level up, you encounter adrenaline pumping joy and feel a major sense of accomplishment. Well, the exact same can be said when you “level up” in the real world, too. When you’ve aced a team project or launched a successful campaign, you can’t help but smile and feel that same sense of accomplishment, and you get to look back on your journey to see just how far you’ve come, how much you’ve grown, and what you’ve achieved. These are all factors that assist in striving toward greatness and are also where self-improvement and growth come into play.

Self-Improvement Leads to Growth

Self-improvement can be defined as, “the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts; it’s finding ways to make ourselves better in every facet of life.” Self-improvement is never-ending, and that’s great for us as humans considering we’re hard-wired to do better and to be our best selves. But why is it that when we fail at something, whether it be at work or at home, it’s the be-all end-all? Well, again, because we’re hard-wired. We dwell and focus on the negative. In our minds, we tend to relive moments of failure and past conversations over and over. We have to actively force ourselves to turn something into a positive, and sometimes that’s a really difficult feat.

There is not a single person on this Earth who hasn’t failed at something before, and if someone tells you otherwise, I promise you—they’re lying. Failing and making mistakes are a part of work; it’s a part of life. In fact, it’s how we grow. Self-improvement and growth are constant. They allow us to continuously find ways to make ourselves better in every aspect of life. And isn’t that what self-improvement is all about? Self-improvement is up to us; only we have the ability to decide whether we’d rather grow or remain stagnant.

When it comes to your work, I’m certain that you’re talented, productive, and successful. But does that mean there’s no more room left for improvement? Of course not. No matter how good or successful you are at your job, there are always ways in which you can improve. That’s part of the fun of it, too. After all, if you’re not actively focusing on ways to self-improve, then how will you ever grow? Learn something new, expand your skills, and step out of your comfort zone, and you’ll be well on your way of becoming an even better version of yourself. And with that, I can confidently tell you that you’ll feel a renewed sense of purpose, happiness, and accomplishment, which is amazing in and of itself. 

Adaptability at Work

Adaptability is about having the ability to change or adjust to something new. Change is inevitable and unpredictable, especially in the workplace. Things are constantly changing or evolving—new product launches, technological advances, changes in procedures, team member/management shifts—and adaptability stops for no one. 

Adaptability is a skill, and it’s one that all employers hope their employees have. While it is a skill that can be learned, it’s not one that will happen instantly. It’s something that requires practice and more of a willingness to learn about becoming more accepting of change. Once you’ve got adaptability down pat, you’ll find that you have the skills needed to appropriately respond to the ever-changing circumstances you’ll encounter in your organization. You’ll also notice a positive shift in your mentality that increases your productivity and allows you to be more motivated as you complete work more efficiently and accurate decisions. 

There’s no doubt that change can be scary, but I challenge you to look at it in a different perspective. Rather than fear change, welcome it with open arms and look at it as yet another opportunity for self-improvement and growth. When you embrace change, you’re allowing yourself to be more open-minded. Change encourages team members to better communicate, connect, grow, create, listen, and learn—together.

Remember to Think and Act Positively

In order to really make core value 5 work, you’ve got to remember core value 2, which is to think and act in a positive, optimistic, proactive, and calm manner in ordinary as well as challenging situations. These two core values are so intertwined with one another, and you simply need to remember to have a positive mindset, especially when you’re faced with challenges. Sometimes, you may find that it’s extremely difficult to strive for self-improvement, growth, and adaptability, but when you remember to take a step back and be positive, optimistic, proactive, and calm no matter what type of situation you find yourself in, your bound to flourish.

I'll be back again next month to unpack core value number 6! 


Cheryl Bartholomew

Cheryl Bartholomew

Cheryl is the President & CEO at GOLD since 2009 and has over 36 years of banking experience. She ensures the happiness of all Members through positive experiences that exceed their expectations, regardless of whether it's a simple phone call, electronic transaction, or face-to-face interaction. She strives to provide a positive work environment for her employees so they continue to go above and beyond for Members. She works closely with Member Volunteers (Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee) and makes sure they feel appreciated for their contributions in setting up our Members for success. Cheryl believes that all Members can be empowered to take control of their financial well-being, and she's proud to say that we at GOLD are confident in helping them do that.

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