We are not our jobs.
This is one of those adages that I remind myself of often.
I find it especially important to be mindful of this when managing people.
We give great performers opportunities to extend their scope by rewarding them with new roles. We do our best to help them become successful, unfortunately sometimes they simply took the wrong roles. Amidst the frustrations and the disappointments, it’s important to remember that this person was a great performer who stepped up to a challenge. The qualities that made them worthy of the opportunity should be as true today as it were when they took on the failed role.
It’s important that they know we don’t think of them less as individuals, that they are not their jobs. It’s also important that they learn from the experience so that the failure is not for nought. It’s then our job to coach them into roles that will utilize their strengths better.
Failing at important positions should not be taken lightly, nor should they be career ending either. If we encourage people to take enough chances, reality is they will fail on occasion. Insisting captains to always go down with their ships might result in no one stepping up to be the captain at all.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Photo Credits : Flickr – Victor1558
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