I recently terminated my services at the company where I worked for almost 2 years now. It was a decision that took me a long time to make because I kept believing, or at least convincing myself, that the potential I saw in the team would be unleashed soon…all that was needed was that the head of the division needed to adjust his mindset and stop assuming that the world, or at least the company, revolved around him.
During my tenure in my role as a senior leader in the company, many people polarised towards me despite me not having any operational or organisational accountability over them. They were always supportive and seemingly sincere. However, like the good old Afrikaans saying goes, ‘In voorspoed ken ons vriende ons, maar in teenspoed ken ons ons vriende’. The English equivalent would be ‘When days are dark, friends are few’. I was reminded of this when things came to a crunch this last month.
I looked around me and saw people that I had defended, mentored, coached and supported through many challenges in their careers. Many of whom were promoted to more senior roles with impressive salary increases as a direct result of my intervention, motivation and persistence. Some even received TWO promotions in the time that they reported to me in just over a year with their salary nearly doubling! So it was disappointing to see them reduce themselves to female lap dogs when the occasion arrived for them to stand up and be counted. But people are self-preserving by nature. It takes effort and a conscience to stand up for what you believe in when your belief goes against the grain and threatens to place you in an unfavourable light with those that are in authority.
Disappointed I may be, but surprised I’m not. Such is the nature of man, and I’m not about to change it anytime soon. So despite the bitter after taste, it’s time to accept that I was unable to change that situation in any way, acknowledge that I applied myself as best as I could under the circumstances, and leave the rest to the law of cause and effect that has much more wisdom in these matters than I’ll ever hope to have.
Time to create a new space for myself to flourish in, or die trying!