What Shakespeare said: “Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast”

stonesWhen you are transitioning from a job, it takes time to start seeing, especially if you were at an organization or role for many years. This is what happened to me. And I can only appreciate it now in retrospect.

As Albert  Camus shared: “A [wo/man’s] work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” Continue reading

Welcome to corporate America and its rhetoric

Almost 2 million women without kids in the US aged 40 to 44, 27% of women with advanced degrees without kids. A Pew study this year shows that nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s. And it is similar in other parts of the world like the UK where one in five women “stays childless because of modern lifestyle.” Some 42 per cent of childless women in the study were in professional or managerial occupations compared to only 30 per cent of mothers.

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Unlearning and Deprogramming

I had a fascinating conversation with a bright young woman last night. It actually almost made me  leave the festivities and run back to my room so I could write down all my thoughts but I couldn’t. I was having too much fun celebrating a dear friend’s birthday in Rijoa (not only a great wine region but truly a magical place).

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Exit, Stage Left

Today my decision to divorce my job went public. I love my team so that was sad. But it was also liberating. It was time. There was nothing left for me there apart feeling frustrated and banging my head against a concrete wall.

The emails I’ve received have been heart felt and moving. This has been my longest “marriage” – 12.5 years of putting my work first, The key lessons from today are:

  1. Stay true to yourself. Put yourself first. People will respect you for it.
  2. 98% of what we worry about never happens. Stop worrying and start living.
  3. People will focus on their own loss or gain before they can hear what you have to say. Let people deal with their emotions.
  4. We make too many assumptions and there are many people who only show their emotions when it’s too late. But again, stay true to what you want and need.
  5. Politics are alive and well in corporate America. Let go. The machine will continue to chug.

“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.”
― Ellen Goodman

Dealing with Burnout

I recently told my mom that I wish that my parents prepared me for life with different values. All I heard growing up was “get an education, marry, have a family and have a great career.” What I wish I heard was: “get the credentials you need to live your life fully. It’s all about today.”

<Sigh>

At least I figured it out now. I am finding huge similarities between my divorces and leaving my job and company. And I think for women, when we make up our minds, it is too late to go back. My second ex thought that I would come back to my senses and realize how great he is and I am not serious about the divorce. It’s now happening at work. I made up my mind. I am totally burned out. I find corporate America to be soulless. The kool-aid tastes like sour milk. I am giving away the t-shirts, mugs and awards. They don’t have the same flavor and appeal anymore.

And an increasing number of studies show that top talent is leaving because of burnout and poor leadership. No shit! It’s amazing how hard we work — long days, nights, weekends, vacations. Sound familiar?

And we don’t stop ourselves to ask why.

But when we do stop and decide to deal with our demons, we realize that we are so exhausted from working all the time and putting up with an inane amount of bullshit from people we don’t respect and we need to do something about it.

We also jump right into the solution, which is what paralyzes most of us. The truth is we don’t have to have the answer. We need to work at finding it and it is hard since there is a lot of soul-searching that takes place.

I am ready for this scary and exciting journey …

PS: A great read: “Top talent leave an organization when they’re badly managed and the organization is confusing and uninspiring.”

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