Walking into my boss’ office to tell him I was quitting was one of the hardest moments in my career. I was in tears. I loved my job. My boss was wonderful. My team was fun. The company was a great company to work for. But it was time to leave. At university I took the Myers Briggs test. I remember sitting in class, reading about the best careers for an ENTJ. There was one that stood out to me: CEO. That’s what I wanted. Over time I forgot though, distracted by different career options. In my MBA I took a project management course and discovered an entire career field just for me. I poured everything into project management. I began volunteering at the Project Management Institute, worked on finding a project management job, and in general lived and breathed project management. Life as a project manager was great, but there was still something missing.
I walked into my boss’s office and said “I Quit”. I reached my “search is over” moment. I was ready to say “I Do” to a lifelong career in Project Leadership.
The key when we don’t see eye to eye is understanding where the other person is coming from. That’s not always easy. I found myself in a situation where someone else was assuming the worst about me and I couldn’t understand why. I’m a transparent person; so you don’t have to guess my motivations. Nevertheless, I was shaking my head in disbelief as someone accused me of things I would never do. It wasn’t until weeks later that I finally saw where they were coming from. The person had a scarcity mindset; something I have a hard time relating to since I have an abundance mindset.
Crises happen in the workplace frequently. Whether these crises are real or artificial, it seems there are four types of poor leadership that emerges during crisis (or perceived crisis) situations. Each having a negative impact on the team:
Laid-off? It’s your fault. Didn’t get the promotion you wanted? Guess what? That’s your fault as well. In a dead-end job? You get the idea. Where you are today is your fault. The reality is, our lives are the aggregate of the decisions we have made to this point. The good news? If it’s your fault, that means you have the power to change it. You are not some victim at the mercy of a corporate conspiracy. Here’s what you can do about it:
You’ve been lied to. How can we sleep at night lying to little kids? You can’t do anything you set your mind to, and more importantly, you shouldn’t try. I understand why we encourage this type of thinking: a large portion of the population is under-performing; they aren’t living up to their full potential. If people are told they can do anything they set their minds to, then they are more likely to try to do something. But for those of us who are trying to live to our full potential, this phrase can be detrimental to our success. Continue reading
I’ve always been curious about people who go on journeys to find themselves. I imagine someone going to a far-off land, being isolated from everything that was once familiar, and connecting with a spiritual side, just like a page out of Eat, Pray, Love. I realized two things: “finding” yourself is important; and you don’t have to travel to do it (although your self-discoveries may be more intense if you do; since I haven’t done it, I wouldn’t know). Here is what “finding” yourself (or self-discovery) does: Continue reading
I felt like I was on the top of my game: I had a great boss, loved my team, was getting high profile projects and visibility with senior leadership. So I did what any sensible person would do: I quit. That’s what you would do, right? After I put in my notice, I started doubting myself and asking myself if I was crazy. Who leaves a job they love, especially in a society of people who don’t like their jobs? I do. And perhaps you should to. So when do you leave a job you love? Here are a few thoughts: Continue reading