I’ve been witness to people who lamented their professional position in life. The root cause could be anything from wages, people, hours or the work itself. The bottom line from all of those unhappy situations was the people were unsatisfied. Something about their path was not fulfilling their personal desires. Let’s be honest. Sometimes we have to get over our personal desires in order to fulfill our obligations (i.e. pay bills). What if you could change your situation? Would you? The optimist in our hearts yells YES, but the realist (or pessimist) in our heads keeps us from jumping off the proverbial cliff.
This post is going to focus on the leader. Turn the above scenario around to someone in a position of leadership within an organization. It is hard to consider leaving such a position. However, there are times when for the good of the person or the good of the business, it is time to part ways. Working hard and earning a position of leadership is a commendable accomplishment. To transition those leadership skills to a new organization is a tough challenge. Instead of being comfortable with the people and processes, starting a new opportunity is sort of like learning a foreign language. There is also a sense of proving oneself all over again–not always a positive aspect of change, but it can be. That fresh start and new ground may make all the difference in the world to the leader. In that regard, it is exciting and thrilling to see the potential and the promise that a new opportunity holds.
Where does that opportunity lay? It is not an easy task to figure out, because our heads and hearts are sometimes conflicted between what we should do and what we want to do. I believe that part of the overall success of great leaders comes from self-awareness: people who spend time understanding their own motivations and desires and figure out where those particular personal elements fit into the world. Those people are envied, because they are able to turn their passion into a career, which alters the entire landscape of the work environment. When we feel satisfied or fulfilled by our contributions, our overall attitude toward work shifts. Not to say every day is roses and sunshine, but the overall purpose of our efforts is valuable, which in turn adds value to us as people.
To bring this point to a close, leaders should not fear changing their surroundings or breaking out of their comfort zone. However, my recommendation is to find that one opportunity that makes your heart flutter, because that is where you will truly succeed.
CEO, The Professional Development Team