As I reflect over the course of my life from literally chopping and picking cotton as a 9 year old to help my mother feed the family, I have learned to find misplaced serendipitous moments. My memories were filled with hard work while other children my age visited wealthy grandparents during the long hot summers.
That work ethic has caused me to appreciate people who took such personal responsibility to turn their lives inside out to become so much more when they started out with so little. Which is why I become bereft when I see people from many organizations placate their insecurities by demeaning colleagues and employees whose abilities and ambitions exceed their own.
I can recall interviewing for an HR position only to hear the VP relate how praiseworthy my honed skill-sets were. He said I would be a tremendous contribution to the team. He ended our meeting by saying, “I fear you would be someone who would take over my job.”
I had heard he often bullied his way to success. Hiring those who would be “satisfied” to remain where they were. His success was captured in keeping his employees in their places rather than challenging him.
When the publisher hired me later to become a consultant for the firm I went immediately to this HR person. Firmly but politely I told him to be honest about what he didn’t know. He was to acknowledge the experience of his teams and his lack of it despite years at the helm. He was a good manager only because he had better people “below” and above him.
Most people are.
About Jim Woods
Jim Woods is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. His extensive cross-cultural expertise spans hundreds of companies. As President and senior consultant of Woods Kovalova Group, his proprietary leadership programs are engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world. Jim has a master’s degree in organizational development and human resources. He has been a university professor and is widely sought out for his extensive knowledge on changing human behavior. Hire Jim here.