Leader Volume 8, Number 1
I’m 52 years
old and have been working in the same company for my entire
career. I’m also a
pretty competitive person, and always dwelled on getting to the
next position as fast as I could.
Until five years ago, I usually beat out my colleagues in
being offered the next plum promotion.
In retrospect, I
feel that it was getting ahead--in title--over my colleagues that
was more important to me than the increased salary that came with
Five years ago, I
realized there were no new positions appropriate for me.
Because I’ve specialized in an area where my strengths
lie, I wasn’t even considered for some of the high-level
openings that become available once in a while.
There’s nothing new that was appropriate for me.
I had no carousel ring to aim for.
When I realized
my stuck-in-place quandary, doing very well at work no longer
became a priority. I
spent half my days grousing about and was a pain in the neck to my
boss and my staff. But, yet, I had to spend eight hours a day,
five days a week at the company.
I became quite depressed.
Joining another company was out of the question since my
family has established strong roots in the area, and there’s no
other firm around here that could use my expertise.
Then I had a
dream. I dreamed that
my team was working like a speeded-up movie film.
Everything was in fast motion.
I woke up all sweaty and somehow got into my mind that I
was to make my team as effective and efficient as possible.
That became my challenge:
to get my team to perform, not just very well, but extraordinarily
well. I spent the
rest of the night planning how to do this.
The next day, I
got my team together and said, “Let’s have some fun!
Let’s see what we can do better.
Then, each day, let’s ask the same question. ‘What can
we do even better?’ We’re
not doing this primarily for the company, but for ourselves.”
That was a year
ago. Everyone on the
team eventually caught the “fire” bug.
We are all astonished at what we’ve accomplished.
There’s no hint of burn-out.
We’re really having fun!
no new position for me. But
I could care less. I’m
now a “driven” man, and I like it very much.
My staff and my boss like it as well.