KMP Safety Blog for July 2020

By David Applegate


I am thinking of a word … Adaptability!

Have you ever thought of that word?  Have you ever wondered if you were an adaptable person or worker?  I am wondering, if improving the crew you work with would require you to change the way you do certain things, would you be willing to make certain changes?  Do you see yourself as a supportive crew member, or are you the type that would rather do things the way they have “always been done before”?  In my world, the first key to being a good crew member is to adapt yourself to the crew – and not have the poor (and may be selfish) expectation that the crew will adapt to you!!

Let’s talk for a minute.  What would it take, or what would be required of you to become more adaptable?  For me the number one requirement for being more adaptable would be, get in the habit of learning.  The Bible tell us that there is one element that is supreme, that is above everything else.  That there is one item that each of us should get even if it cast us everything we have and that is, “Wisdom” (Proverbs 4:7).  If you want to be adaptable.  If you want to be more of a team-player.  If you want to be someone on your crew that others can count on when the situation becomes an up-hill struggle; then you must be a life-time learner.  One thought that I often use to help me in this area is; don’t let your learning lead to just acquiring knowledge.  But instead, let your learning lead to actions.

Second on my list of requirements that leads to being an adaptable person is, always be reevaluating your role.  That is, spend time looking at the role you presently fill on your work crew or in your office.  While doing this it is important to look around and see if there might be another role you could fill besides the one you are currently working at.  This process of evaluating and reevaluating may prompt you to make a transition within your work crew; which is what being adaptable is all about.

For me, a third and final requirement to being an adaptable member of a crew is, be someone that thinks outside the lines.  Has this ever crossed your mind, to be a winner is going to require that you be someone who is able to think outside the box?  Have you ever thought, “At the present time, I am stuck; I am in a rut”?  It is just the same-old-thing for me every day.  In fact, it seems like my life can be summed-up this way; “My life is just a bunch of days all in a row with nothing tying them together”.  This insanity has to stop!  There has to be a way to step off this treadmill.  I am here to tell you there is a way to get out of the rut.  Being creative and thinking outside the lines is one way each of us can become a better team player and become adaptable in our daily lives.

Being a crew-member and then insisting that everything being done your way is a poor mix for any crew and such a combination often leads to disaster.  If your desire is to work well with the fellows on your crew, you must be willing to adapt yourself to the crew.  From my point of view it is very clear; crew members who exhibit the quality of adaptability have certain character traits and once again these traits are: Be a person who is always learning; spend time reevaluating your role on the crew; and finally, be a person that thinks outside the lines.  If you are someone willing to change and adapt for the sake of your work crew, you will always have a great chance at being successful in all you do.