Today I decided to tell you a story.
It’s a story about a young man who once worked in my team.
I wasn’t his immediate line-manager, but I was the Director in charge and I knew the individuals in my team pretty well.
I observed for a while and did not intervene. Perhaps he had something going on at home that he was carrying into work each day. And to be fair, he wasn’t doing anything ‘wrong’ but he just seemed to be ‘going through the motions’ when it was clear that he was capable of so much more.
One day, I cracked! I called him into my office and all of my frustration came pouring out. I described to him, the man I could see. He was smart, talented, capable, innovative and very popular in the team. A young man who had the capability and talent even to LEAD the team and yet he appeared to be going through the motions each day. So, what was going on?
In response, he shared with me details of an experience that had occurred a few years before (same Company). He had been asked to take the lead on a specific project and he did. He did in the kind of way I would have expected of him. He threw himself into the project, he canvassed opinion, he investigated a whole range of scenarios, considered all risk factors and presented a robust and thorough document with a set of very specific recommendations. When the time came to present his findings, he was granted a short hearing with the director in charge, who thanked him for his contribution, then put the review in his drawer … for it never to see the light of day again.
The young man was angry (rightly so) but in that moment – as the drawer closed on his efforts, he made a decision. He decided right there and then this would NEVER happen again. He would never give of himself in that way again.
And now it made sense.
Well, it made some sense…. but what was happening now (2 years later) was that he was allowing events of the past to dictate the present and clearly impacting his future. He had allowed the unfortunate actions of a ‘dinosaur’ director to impact his whole career and with that, his life.
As the conversation came to an end, the young man stood up. He shook my hand and he thanked me. He said “no-one has ever spoken to me like that before, no-one has made me see things how you just did. Thank you”.
That was a turning point for him. I still follow his career and I am thrilled to see the progress he has made since.
He shifted his perception and he re-claimed his future.
My message from the story and my reason for sharing it is this. Please do NOT to let events of the past define your future. Whether it’s something that happened in your personal life or your career, it’s time for you to let go of pain and the anger and claim back your power.
Be your BEST self today, tomorrow and always.
xx Until next time xx