Grow or Go
After being hired into my first management position, I moved from the East Coast to Chicago. On my first day of the brand new job, my new boss mentioned in the course of our orientation, “Oh, by the way, I want you to fire Susanna.” As I probed for more clarification, I found out Susanna was one of the staff members in the department I had just been hired to manage. Previously, she had worked directly for my new boss. About two years ago, he decided she wasn’t doing a good job, so one Friday afternoon, he fired her. Susanna’s response was to simply ignore this distressing experience. On Monday morning she was back at her desk doing her job. She came in every day and worked and every two weeks she received a paycheck. This had been going on for two years with no resolution when I arrived on the scene.
Before I did anything drastic, I investigated the situation and discovered Susanna was actually a very good worker. But she was a square peg in a round hole — she was in a job that simply did not fit her strengths and talents. After a few interviews, and several diagnostic tests to obtain a focus of her abilities and interests, she was transferred to a new position in a different department. At last report she had continued to do excellent work for this company for twenty-five more years and then accepted full retirement.
This experience, and many others like it, gave me my first insights into the value of an assortment of diagnostic tools which we will explore in Section Two. Over the course of my career, I learned a great deal about what sort of vocational opportunities to seek out and which to avoid. Over the years, I have been saved thanks to these diagnostic tools, and they have offered me a better understanding of what actually makes me tick too. At the same time I’ve been able to help others learn to use these tools to guide and direct their own careers. One of my management mottos has always been “Grow or Go.” If you are not in a place where you can grow personally and professionally, you should probably consider going somewhere else. This is not just a mantra I have preached, it is something I’ve committed myself to helping others discover in their own lives. If someone works for me and is in a place where they can’t grow, why should I not be responsible for helping them define a place that’s a better fit for their special talents? Helping others discover their sweet spot over the years has been a particularly rewarding experience and one stimulus which led to the writing of this book.
Original book can be found online at Amazon.
(Original post on LinkedIn).