Dealing with disappointment and delay

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Today I’m talking with Kevin Eikenberry, co-author of Bud to Boss: Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership and Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group.

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Leadership Freak (LF): Kevin, would you talk to me about a disappointing time in your career.

Kevin Eikenberry (KE): Well Dan, I have a farming background so when I went to work for Chevron Chemical Company, it made sense to work in their Fertilizer business.  There came a point when business wasn’t rosy. Chevron looked to trim costs and several of us were offered chances at other jobs.

LF: How did that impact you?

KE: I wanted to do more training. I had already figured out where in the Corporation that happened.   Not only that, I had made the right connections, built the right network and had everything in place to have that change happen. Until the VP called me into his office.

LF: And?

KE: Others had taken jobs and I thought the same was going to be true for me.   The VP said, “You can’t go.” We have lost too much talent and knowledge.

LF: How did you feel?

KE: I was crushed.  I understood but it still hurt.

LF: So what happened?

KE: In the reorganization I received a new, challenging position. My new boss told me that when certain metrics were reached, he would do anything he could to help me get anywhere in the organization. It would take at least a year to get there.

LF: Did it work out?

KE: Ten months from that day I had a job in the corporate training group – the job I had been denied.

LF: Looking back, how do you feel?

KE: It was challenging but those 10 months were invaluable to me – I learned about persistence, patience, and I learned great leadership lessons. I learned about communicating across distance and leading change.

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Kevin worked through delay and disappointment with persistence and patience.

Have you experienced delay and disappointment in your career?

How do you know when to pack-up and leave or to persist?

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