Not long ago, I was chatting with a colleague about what it is like to lose a job. With a big smile and chuckle she said “everyone should get fired at least once in their life.” I laughed back, realizing she is absolutely right!
Sure, getting fired is lousy and can be devastating. Having control to make the decision to leave or stay in your job taken from you can be a hard pill to swallow. This is true whether it was due to restructuring or if it wasn’t the right fit. But (yes there is a big But), it can also provide an enormous opportunity if you let it. Here are 5 ways to get the best out of losing your job:
1. Learn from your experience – What will you take with you and what can you discard? This takes deep reflection on understanding what worked well in your job and what didn’t. This could be your perception on your performance, your relationship with your superior, colleagues or your staff. Or it could be your work habits or skill set and whether it was used to potential. And what are your values and did they line up with the organization you were in.
I was recently chatting with a girlfriend of mine, a manager in a company. She asked me “Why is it that kindness isn’t part of leadership?” She went on to explain that the feedback she often receives notes her kindness (including being too kind). She receives very little, if any feedback on her leadership strengths and competencies.
I pondered this very good question. I looked back into all my leadership books for the word kindness. It was cited very few times and usually alongside the words “integrity” and “respect”. It made me wonder if we tend to think of it as an element of integrity? I think it is something distinct that can and should be considered a characteristic of leadership.
In last week’s blog I talked about being a maverick. The response was huge with many comments. One that stands out for me was from Richard Conde who asked, “how do companies and/or senior leaders facilitate a culture where calculated risk taking and rule breaking are encouraged?”
That is a really good question. Just type into google, “corporate innovation”, and you will find loads of information telling us why organizations and businesses need to cultivate a culture of innovation. The world has changed and with it so is the need to move quicker, change constantly and be highly responsive to customer needs.
Then why is it that organizations have such a difficult time responding to those needs? And what aren’t they recognizing that could be right under their noses? The mavericks.
I once had a boss who described me as a “maverick”. I wasn’t sure I understood her meaning so I googled the definition: an independent thinker who refuses to conform to the accepted views on a subject. Wow, was that a punch in the stomach or a high five? I took the compliment.
I never really thought of myself as refusing to conform to accepted views. But I do toss the status quo in the trash bin if it means following someone else’s beliefs and opinions. And here is why – it puts me in a box. It takes away my vista.
I am not saying I am an outlier in the full Malcolm Gladwell sense. I haven’t wracked up those 10,000 hours yet. What I do share with fellow mavericks and outliers is an open vista of my world. I choose to see a full array of colors, shapes and ideas with curiosity and awe. I am open to picking up an idea, playing with it and perhaps discarding or reshaping it.