Posts Tagged ‘career

21
May
13

exposure to experience

ImageA bird left the safety of its home to fly and perch on the branch of a different tree. It doesn’t fear leaving the old and taking up residence in the new because it doesn’t put its faith in the strength of the branch upon which it roosts. If the branch should break, the strength of its own wings will keep it aloft.

I’ve had some major limbs break out from under me, both personally and professionally. In each case I had left the old to live in the new with great optimism and hope. Sometimes I felt the branch beginning to give way soon after I arrived. Other times I had no idea I was truly out on a limb until the bottom fell out. In either case, I not only survived but flew off to the next branch as a result of the wings of my experiences.

One of leadership’s most powerful laws is Exposure to Experience: the more356 you know, the more you grow. The more you go down, the more you grow up. The more beaten down you are, the stronger you become. My father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, wrote about this in his motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous. He used to tell me when I was younger that I need to “earn my stripes” and that good judgment came from experience which was the direct result of poor judgment.

He also said that we are all born with an empty psychological key ring attached to our side and every experience, good, bad, or indifferent, gave us another key with which to unlock the doors of life’s journey. The more keys the better. So believe in yourself enough to truly know that any experience in which you give your all will enable you to reach heights you never thought you could.

23
Jan
12

is your career lost in the bermuda triangle?

Do you find yourself lost, adrift or even facing a mutiny at work? Do you fear your bosses are about ready to make you walk the plank and feed you to the sharks?  Did you begin your voyage sure of your destination only to find out something strange, perhaps even alien, has completely thrown you towards a cursed course? Never fear mate, it’s happened to me several times and you can navigate out of it.

Every employee, unless they are self-employed, finds themselves in a triangle comprised of employee needs, customer demands, and corporate or shareholder expectations. Successfully navigating this triangle is a juggling act even for the most seasoned sailor. And although these three things should be in perfect harmony to optimize smooth sailing towards performance and profits, many times they are not.

 You can see this disaster looming on the horizon and steer clear before you embark on your professional voyage. Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning. Before you accept the helm in a new organization, consider this: Why wasn’t there someone already onboard ready to be promoted? This should serve as a huge warning shot across the bow.

 I was flattered to be the one brought in from the outside who could trim the sails and get everyone rowing together, but the fact was I was about to be fed to the sharks.  Unless the entire organization from the very top down is being revamped, don’t let your ego sail towards this mirage. You will be saddled with swabbing up the current regime’s mess while they are still onboard. And eventually you’ll swab the toes of the sailors who enabled it and, in some cases, condoned it.

 It’s intoxicating to take on the challenge of running a ship, but sooner or later there will be a time when you’ll be viewed as a threat. After all, if the powers that be couldn’t or wouldn’t do it and you do, that doesn’t bode well for them, at least in their stormy minds. If the existing leadership was really doing their job, they wouldn’t need someone from the outside to come in and do their housecleaning. Keeping the personnel pipeline brimming with new and productive talent while grooming the existing crew to take over the helm is what they are paid to do.

 But, my fellow seafarers, I’ve sailed in and out of these waters many times and lived to tell the tale. In fact, they are some of the salty sea scars I’m most proud of. Just be advised that the end result will always be the same. You come in, you enforce the standards, you take care of the people by flushing out the negative and counterproductive, you make the customer a raving fan, and all of a sudden you’re lost in the fog and unable to get clear communication from the admiral.

After my fourth trip to the triangle, I remember calling my father and asking him why this kept happening. He said, “You can work for yourself or you can work for someone. As long as you are working for someone, this will always happen.” Argh, truer words were never spoken. So if you find yourself without a corporate lifeline, a loss of compass directions from the client, or the rats taking over the ship, don’t walk the plank. You’ve taken this rickety vessel as far as she will go so bring yourself back to safe harbor and get ready to sail a strong, sturdy ship with your own name on the bow. Aye aye, captain!!

27
Sep
11

coming home

This past week I’ve had the rare opportunity to travel back to each of the towns that has meant something special to me. I’m on a book tour with my dog and we cleverly chose places that we previously lived in to launch the book. Pulling into each town is always exciting. You get to see what’s changed and what stayed the same. What highways and tollways have been incorporated to sustain the growth. What happened to your old neighborhood. It’s always “iffy” returning to the past because things are never the same. Past flames never feel the same, some of the neighbors are gone, and your house may be painted a different color or torn down altogether.

The other thing you get to see is your true friends. These are the ones who would drive clear across town in rush hour traffic to help you celebrate your first book release. Absent are the ones who feigned concern when you were the boss, or could only relate to you when you were a member of the work pack. Things do change, but true friends don’t. It’s always good to separate the wheat from the chaff repeatedly in your life so you know whom to focus your attention, time and prayers on.

I am not running the largest organization I ever have at this time in my career. It’s a small independent publishing company. It’s a lean, tight workforce. Gone are the parking spaces, trips to corporate and sexy job titles. But that’s okay. Sometimes when we make changes we tend to evaluate them based on the very superficial things such as personnel supervised, revenue, title, and perks.

As I reconnect with friends who had known me from my previous “very important jobs” I wondered what they thought about my new leg on the road of life. It was immediately obvious. They couldn’t have been happier. We were all once awash in the sea of corporate bureaucracy, but now they see that I am on solid footing. I get to make my own decisions, donate money to worthy causes, and speak out without fear of reprisal. In short, they say, I’ve finally found exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. They told me they can see it in me.  And that has been the most astonishingly tremendous aspect of coming home.

 




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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