Imagine leaving your job!

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A respected and very talented client was recently recruited for a new leadership role with another company. Having made plans to accept the new senior R&D; position, he found himself speaking up and taking risks in new ways, reflecting his untapped vision and continuing passion for his current work. Given he was leaving his present position, any lack of support or endorsement of his work at this point by senior management would have nominal impact, if any, on his career.

As he made plans for his transition to the new employer, the economy tanked and the offer was rescinded. He found himself continuing with his current position.

I recently spoke with him. He commented without hesitation that he had significant concern about the affect of some of the “edgy” initiative he exercised in recent months, in anticipation of leaving. However, to his surprise, there was far more receptivity, even momentum, to work which he was previously cautious about leading. He became acutely aware of his limiting beliefs about what was possible, until he thought he was leaving.

Imagine what we might do if we knew there was always some place else to go, something else to do, a calling that is bigger and greater, than the current role we fulfill. This is difficult for most people, if not impossible, when economic instability and job security is very much on our minds. But such courage is essential if we are to realize our full creative potential, not merely for our own sake, but for the innovative, productive prosperity of the organizations we serve.

  • Mark Solien

    Aloha Steve,

    This is a great insight into what it takes to make an extraordinary difference in an organization. It takes curiosity, insight, courage and leadership to take an organization to the place where creativity and innovation flourish. That place is at the boundary of stability (conventional wisdom and the way we do things here) and instability (new thinking about possibilities yet to be fully understood). The great challenge for organizations is to create an environment where this is not only safe but it is rewarded. The greater challenge for individuals is to rise above the ordinary, see the opportunities for the extraordinary and have the courage to speak up and lead.

    Mark Solien