Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Career Survival Is Not Mandatory

"This doesn't make any sense. I thought we were heading in a different direction. Now that I see what is really going on here, I'm going to have to double my efforts to get things moving forward in the way I know they should be. I know what we need to do...I just need to get everyone else on board with me. I'm sure I can do it."

I felt this way once...and I convinced myself that I was the one who knew exactly what the organization's priorities should be. Except I forgot one thing...I was a piece of the organization, I wasn't the whole thing.

Respect Where You Are
What I failed miserably to do back then was take a long hard look at myself before pointing the finger at the organization for not doing things the "right" way. I was so full of confidence, or hubris perhaps, that I failed to put in the time necessary to affect change.

I thought things were so messed up that the whole company was in a state of impossible dysfunction. I assumed nothing could be fixed, ever; and that since it was so dire there was no reason for me to stay.

Maybe I was wrong.

Respect Yes, But Also Keep It Real
The counterpoint to my self-reflection is that the organization I described above was lacking considerably from a failure of leadership. Some of that was my own failing, and some was the responsibility of the other members of management team. Communication was poor, a commitment to service and accountability was nonexistent, and just about every satisfaction metric was embarrassingly low.

That's not healthy folks...in fact that patient was dying.

Start Bailing...or Bail Out?
At the time I felt I had only one clear option => get the heck out! So I did. I moved on to a different organization and felt that I was lucky to get out of there with my career still in tact.

What I may have missed however, was the opportunity to make very slow but steady improvements to an organization that had unlimited potential for improvement.

In my haste to bail out, I may have missed the chance to start bailing and save a sinking cultural ship.

How About You
When you realize that the company you've joined isn't what you expected, do you quickly call that recruiter back? Or, do you take a breath, acknowledge that sometimes we have to be really creative to make even a little bit of progress, and try hanging around a while longer? The answer is obviously a personal one. For me, it might have been a battle worth joining.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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