A woman described herself to me as being “immune to failure.” This woman is extremely successful. She has achieved multiple distinctions as the first woman to hold particular positions in her company. But she has also stumbled in her life and career.
So how does this immunity work?
What it isn’t:
What it is:
- Seeing herself as a success
- Never defining herself by a failure
- Understanding that setbacks are normal
- Looking for the opportunity in every situation
- Assuming that success will come
- Having fun
With the market causing heartburn the world over, I’d like to take a moment to revisit three blog posts from the past year to remind all of us how to view the setbacks of today. (See post 1 and post 2.)
The Opportunity Is Now
When the employment numbers finally do pick up and gather steam, many employers and employees will have regrets.
Employers will regret how they treated their employees during the downturn. They will wish they had celebrated more wherever they could and expressed appreciation more often. They will wish they had spent more time rallying the troops and helping them develop new skills. They will wish these things as they see frustrated employees leave in droves because they finally can.
Employees will regret how they acted during the downturn as well. They will see the people who rose to the occasion during the downturn get the promotions when budgets return. They will wish they had been the ones who had been most positive, most eager to take on the tough assignments after colleagues were laid off. They will wish they had spent more time building their skills during the downturn so they could be more upwardly mobile in the upswing.
Don’t wait for the numbers to change. The time of opportunity is now.
With the market causing heartburn the world over, I’d like to take a moment to revisit three blog posts from the past year to remind all of us how to view the setbacks of today. (See post 1.)
When the crisis hits, remember this. People are watching.
Your peers, manager, and direct reports. Your customers and vendors. Your family. Your kids.
More than any other moment in any of these relationships, your actions in a crisis will be remembered. They will teach the people around you how to face challenges. And they will teach them how to view you.
So next time a crisis hits, remember it is the greatest teaching moment you will ever have.
With the market causing heartburn the world over, I’d like to take a moment to revisit three blog posts from the past year to remind all of us how to view the setbacks of today.
Are times tough in your organization? Budget cuts? Low or no bonuses? Responsibilities increasing for pay that stays the same?
Do you know what happens when bosses deliver bad news?
Promotions are determined.
They aren’t given. But promotion decisions are made when times are toughest. It may take many months for those decisions to be implemented. But it’s during those bad times that bosses recognize the biggest differences among their employees – the ones who need to be carried and the ones who can step up and carry others through tough times.
It’s hard to stand out during good times. Everyone performs well then.
But when the boss delivers terrible news? That’s when the promotion decisions are made.
Time to step up.
My family met friends at the movie theater on Friday. Our friends got in. The people in front of us on line got the last tickets. Disappointing as that was, it turned out we were lucky. The projector broke. No movie. The theater refunded everyone’s money.
This is a great example of a terrible business decision. The refunds took a long time. Everyone had to stand in line and wait to get their money back or swipe their credit cards to credit them. And everyone left the theater feeling angry and with no incentive to return.
When people are angry with your business, don’t give them money and send them away. Give them invitations and promises to do better. My recommendation would have been to give each person two rainchecks. Come back twice – once for what you already paid and once on the house for the inconvenience of today. Of course, when you return if you happen to buy $10 worth of popcorn and soda that costs the theater around 12 cents, all the better.
What’s more, when you come back two more times and have two good experiences, you are that much more likely to come a third time and pay full fare – a loyal customer once more.
As for my friends, they vowed never to return to that theater. What an opportunity lost.
This happens to me all the time. One person brings a challenge to me. Then someone else comes to me with the exact same challenge. This week it was the challenge of new vision. I wrote a bit about vision last week, and here’s one more view.
Imagine that an opportunity has arisen for you but it doesn’t look too sweet because it conflicts with the vision you had for your life at this time.
One of the great challenges of life is taking it one day at a time. That phrase is cliche, but there is a very real problem within it. Taking one day at a time means living in the present moment. That means accepting where you are right now. It means imagining possible futures based on where things stand today, not what you imagined the world would look like when you fantasized about the future 5 years or even 3 months ago.
The challenge of new vision is completely forgetting that which you imagined would come to pass. Until you let go of your old vision you cannot make good decisions about your current options. You will always be comparing an opportunity to a fantasy. The opportunity can never win. However, when comparing a new opportunity with existing reality, you may just discover your new vision has greater clarity than you ever imagined.
That one time in your life that you had an amazing chance to do something spectacular, did you grab it or did it slip by? It might have been a job or an assignment you took or passed up, the person you should have or did marry, the move you wanted to make. Maybe, like George Castanza, it was the moment you had the perfect comeback and missed the moment to deliver it.
Here’s the thing. The opportunity isn’t the thing.
We often obsess about whether or not to jump at opportunities. We lament opportunities lost.
But far more important than that one big moment is how you operate on a daily basis.
My sister is a Psychologist. She was taught that in therapy she shouldn’t worry about missing something important. If it was truly important it will come back around again. The important thing for the therapist is to keep listening.
I think the same is true in our lives. Keep listening for the next job or the next assignment. Stay open to the next move. The exact same opportunity may not reappear, but something else will. Stay open and listening rather than lamenting the opportunities lost. Your next chance will come.
Even Castanza had his second chance to say, “The jerk store called and they’re running out of you.”