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by: David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom-FORBES

Google is currently testing driverless cars in Arizona. The two of us had lunch one afternoon in Scottsdale and watched the noticeable cars (with their rooftop honing devices) pass by our restaurant. As the car passed we heard a gentleman at a nearby table say, “Not a chance I’d get in that car.”

As unnerving as driverless cars may seem, change can be hard for many people to accept. We often fear the worst — that music videos would be the end of radio, and tablets would eliminate traditional books. Just consider how many people find it concerning every time Apple changes its charging cord on the iPhone. Yes, it’s concerning. But, we adapt…because we have to.

Change, in all areas of life, can be daunting, and especially at work where our natural tendency is to find a groove that works for us. Still, the resistance to change can be dangerous — as the way we work, the when we work, and the things we work on are consistently in a state of flux.

David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom , CONTRIBUTOR

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

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There are some things that actually never change — like the five mindsets that could inspire your boss to ask you to ‘take a hike.’ Credit: Shutterstock

Google is currently testing driverless cars in Arizona. The two of us had lunch one afternoon in Scottsdale and watched the noticeable cars (with their rooftop honing devices) pass by our restaurant. As the car passed we heard a gentleman at a nearby table say, “Not a chance I’d get in that car.”

As unnerving as driverless cars may seem, change can be hard for many people to accept. We often fear the worst — that music videos would be the end of radio, and tablets would eliminate traditional books. Just consider how many people find it concerning every time Apple changes its charging cord on the iPhone. Yes, it’s concerning. But, we adapt…because we have to.

Change, in all areas of life, can be daunting, and especially at work where our natural tendency is to find a groove that works for us. Still, the resistance to change can be dangerous — as the way we work, the when we work, and the things we work on are consistently in a state of flux.

“I had to let a great employee go once because she refused to change to our new system,” a friend recently told us. She was honestly saddened to lose what she called, “a star of an employee in every other aspect.” But, this got us thinking as we watched the driverless cars pass by. Aside from “I hate change,” what are the worst, possibly fire-able, mindsets to have at work? If any of the following five sound familiar, you may want to reflect, rethink and adjust your mindset.

1. I hate change.

Social science has long shown that it’s natural for people to be averse to change. After all, habits and established routines aren’t just comfortable — they’re also efficient and reliable. But business growth often necessitates gradual — and sometimes drastic — change. And that’s the challenge: the gap between those two realities explains why a whopping 70% of change management programs fail. Employees who can overcome the “I hate change” mentality and view evolution as a necessary and even exciting part of their careers are much happier overall. Plus, being willing to work with the change (instead of swimming against the current) shows you value teamwork, which is always crucial.

2. It’s not my job.

The truth is, it’s hard not to react this way when new responsibilities get piled on your plate. Unfortunately, it’s just not a sustainable attitude. This mindset has even been called “the four worst words you can say in business.” So fix your attitude. When a coworker asks for help or your leader wants to add to your role, don’t view it as just another box to check. Instead, find the silver lining. Think about it: they could have mined anyone to help with the task, and they chose to enlist your expertise above everyone else’s. Take the opportunity and run with it. Challenge yourself to do great work, and deliver a stellar product. Your boss or team will notice — especially if you used to be the one who said, “That’s not my job.”

3. No news is good news.

We live in a reactive world, so no news is usually not good news. However, if you’re living by this adage, you’re either flying under the radar or you’re not contributing the unique difference you could make to your team. And it’s not all about receiving positive feedback, either — though it’s always good to hear your work is appreciated. As Deb Bright, author and head of executive coaching firm Bright Enterprises shares, “if you haven’t heard any constructive criticism lately, it means you probably aren’t learning anything.” So if you’re hearing nothing but crickets, speak up. Ask for feedback, and be open to really listening to it.

4. Just don’t rock the boat.

Conflicting opinions can be hard to navigate, so many people think that the best way to be a team player is to keep criticism to a minimum. But that mentality isn’t just wrong — it also actively undermines your ability to innovate and produce groundbreaking work. So get out of the rut. Don’t be afraid to contribute to team conversations, even if what you have to say may not be immediately well-received. Phrase things carefully, of course, and be constructive, but remember: you bring a unique viewpoint no one else can replicate. When you spot a product or process that could be improved or streamlined, speak up. Engage in conversations. Ask for feedback. Tensions may arise occasionally — but so may utter brilliance. And that’s when sharing your viewpoints can really take your work from good to great.

5. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

The boss is away at a conference. What do you do: put your feet up and relax, or keep working as though nothing is different? Sure, there’s something to be said for switching up your schedule when your leader is gone. Maybe you can reschedule a meeting or two and create some free work time, for example. But one thing you shouldn’t relax when the boss is out of office is your standard for a job well done. When your leader or team is counting on you to pull through and create something great, don’t slack on your performance just because no one is watching over your shoulder. Instead, focus on the end-game, your results. Surprise your leader by going above and beyond while they were gone and you’ll surely stand out — especially if she expects you to be thinking, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

Living in a world where tomorrow guarantees new challenges can make some people anxious, and others excited. But, in all the years we’ve been lucky enough to be at the forefront of change — leading it, witnessing it inside other organizations throughout the world, or sitting at lunch and watching it drive by — one thing is for sure. Not everything changes — the five mindsets listed above have forever been bad news. And, they will be forever.

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