© 2016-2020 | Elizabeth Carter
© 2016-2020 | Elizabeth Carter
From Section 2- Free Read
Section 2: CONFIDENCE
OVERCOMING INEVITABLE OBSTACLES
Don’t Dwell Disappointments
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
I applied for a role that spoke to my passion. I knew I was not 100% qualified, but we know the statistics; men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them,[i] which limits opportunities. I stepped out on faith, passion, sponsorship, relationships, and a well-documented resume. Making it to the second round and interviewing with several prominent leaders in the organization, I felt fairly good about the interactions. Chemistry was on the fence for some, but I was willing to work with it. It was going to be a lateral role within my company in a brand-new department and a different functional discipline for me. I knew I would be competing against candidates who were born and raised in that area. With the hopefulness that my background would lend itself as an asset to generate a different mindset and help the team not do the same thing that has been done in the past, I was not victorious. When I was told I did not get the job, I tried to be a big tough girl, but it did not work. I fought back the tears, but they came flowing. This was going to be my leap to align my passion, purpose, and position (also known as zone of genius; see the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks) and propel me into the lane of my aspirations. Not getting the position put me back in a state of feeling been there done that and that I was trying to make my mark but couldn’t tell how I was doing. That was why I cried. It was not because I did not get the job. I realistically knew it was a big stretch and although companies say they embrace risk, they only do for certain circumstances and certain people. I had to accept the decision and go back to the drawing board.
Activity 8: Get over it quickly
In the newer generations, some parents believe that their child should get a ribbon whether he or she came in first or last in a race. This shields children from disappointment when they are young, but it is unrealistic when you become an adult. There is only one winner and lots of losers.
I have a 24-hour rule. Take 24 hours to get over something, because something else wrong (or right) is coming right behind it and you will have already forgotten this fiasco. People carry dead weight for years. Employees have a situation that happened 10 years ago with a person who is long gone from the company, but they still drag that memory around like a ball and chain and let it hold them back. From that point on, they are afraid to step out of their box. As leaders, we try to give such employees some leeway to grow slowly, offer support to ease their pain, and assure them that we are not the prior person (in most cases, we don’t even know that person or we were the person’s replacement). As leaders, we are a cheerleader during team disappointments. This is difficult because we all put a lot of time and effort into a project only to learn the direction changed, leadership changed, or the program was canceled. I recently took on a project and it feels like every suggestion I have gets shot down. Now I make it a game. It is like spaghetti: Keep cooking it and throwing it against the wall until it sticks. It may not be in the same form from when you started, but it is done nonetheless.
[i] Tara Sophia Mohr (2014) Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified, Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2014/08/why-women-dont-apply-for-jobs-unless-theyre-100-qualified
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