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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Get It Where You Can

Golden Hair Boy / Top Dog
Finding comfort and confidence wherever and whenever you can get it is key.  On an episode of the Bill Cosby show their youngest daughter is in the first grade and she tells her mother that she is going to quit school.  Her mother asks her what she plans to do for a job without an education, and her answer is; I successfully finished Kindergarten, so I can always be a Kindergarten Teacher.

That moment to me is one I never have forgotten, because that is the perfect example of thinking outside the box.  If you stop to consider that until relatively recently there haven't been an overly abundance of people who think outside the box.  Perhaps a very common problem in the learning process is that many of our teacher in life (not talking school System teachers) and trainers have experience the word "NO."  Consequently when they share their knowledge with us they are teaching us perhaps subconsciously, their understanding of the limitation that comes from negative experience.

Many times in my life I felt like I knew a better way to accomplish a task, but because I had responsibility to my family, I chose the safe and acceptable way of the establishment.   Doing things your way comes with a risk, which if it fails you could end up out of a job, or minimally out of favor.  You never want to gamble with your family’s future, most of life needs to be played as a calculated risk.  I always weighed possible outcomes and anticipated the worst that could happen “if.”  Beyond that, I also considered what it would take and how long would it be to recover from a wrong outcome.  Some portions of your family’s life are not to be gambled with: some examples are their shelter, food and medical.  Their parents’ presence in their lives, as an example I wouldn’t risk being taken away from their daily lives (prison).

Once you get married and the children start arriving you start to play it safe on the job. Unfortunately as the saying goes, "no pain, no gain!"  The big rewards are usually attached to big risks.  In my early work experience, for about 6 years in my corporate experience, I was what was often referred to back then as, "the golden haired boy!"  I could do no wrong, whatever the task, I was the man the job was assigned to.

Eventually, and ever so slowly, your armor begins to lose its luster.  It's almost like you go from being amazing, and can't do no wrong, to you are old enough and experienced enough that no one is surprised, and the positive outcome is expected.  The next step if you are lucky, you are assigned someone to mentor.  Otherwise, the establishment will select your replacement for the “golden haired position,”

The best you can hope for is that you graduate to a position of respect, and seniority (even while still young).  If not, you can always test the opportunities with the corporation’s competitors.  I repeat without apologies, that my whole life has been blessed and I am grateful for the life that my family and I have enjoyed.

One important thing to always remember is never justify doing something just because it's always been done that way. If you participate in a planning discussion, play the role of the devil's advocate, and demonstrate that you are able to think outside the box.  Sometimes when offering an alternate plan you could be stepping on someone's toes.  Just make sure those toes don't belong to your supervisor, or president of the company.  The best is yet to come.......

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