They say that “life is full of surprises” and many of them are not fun. Sometimes, we get blind-sided by tragedy or other circumstances beyond our control. When that happens, we find out what you are really made of. You can rise up to the challenge, or you can pout, whine, and throw temper tantrums.
Last week, my sister-in-law lost her job when the company downsized and eliminated her position. She had been with the company for years as it grew and was absorbed by larger corporations. She had a track record of success…and had risen to a level of responsibility that few people achieve in their entire career.
When she saw the writing on the wall in the days leading up to the reduction…when her life started to go sideways, what did she do?
- She immediately began preparing her key inside leaders so they would be successful at carrying on after her departure. She made sure they had everything they needed to win without her.
- She then doubled-down to finish the performance reviews for the rest of her team. She wanted to make sure they received fair treatment and good coaching from someone who knew their work. She didn’t want to burden the “new guy” with that responsibility.
- She spent her time and energy affirming her team and telling them that everything was okay. She reassured them that she (and each of them) were going to be just fine.
- She spoke to the person taking over her team to encourage him and affirm the team. She spoke highly of his skills and her team’s desire to do a good job.
At no time did she whine, complain, or move into self-defense mode. She remained focused on serving and caring for others.
Everyone has been uplifted by her actions. In fact, the transition went so smoothly that she attended her team’s superbowl luncheon (after she was released) and with her company’s blessing. That is so rare…in fact, I’ve never heard of that happening before.
What happens when your life goes sideways? Do you stay positive and serve others…or do you whine and complain and go pout in the corner?
Thanks for listening.