Now that we found love …
During the winter holidays I met up with one of my best friends, who has been living abroad since 2012. After 20 years of service in the same company, he decided to resign in November. Last week, he made a fresh start with a new professional life at an iconic brand in his industry. During his long career at his former company, he had worked in different positions in several countries and it was only during the last two years that he was experiencing a very sweet professional period. He was based in one of the cities of his dreams and feeling valued and recognized by the board he reported to. “How come you decided to leave at that very moment?”, I asked. “Precisely for the same reason”, he answered. “The fact of feeling recognition and support from my managers helped me to trust in myself again. I could recover the self-esteem I needed to succeed in a recruitment process for a very interesting position in a company whose values are much closer to mine”. Good for him.
If we are lucky, in our career we can have the chance to report to specific managers who inspire us and who leave a very positive footprint. These managers are able to awake the best part of ourselves and they can also make us experience a delicious professional flow (which can also be very addictive). However, we must keep a very clear perspective on the boundaries of the magic bubble a good manager can create (full of good will, of course), which can be a mere oasis in the middle of a hostile corporate environment. Because, beyond the examples of people who run away from a bad boss, there are also plenty of good managers who work for companies whose purpose is not that good.
Companies are just stations, not homes. People come and go; and executive boards are no exception. Bad bosses do not last forever, neither do the good ones. The day good managers leave, you are left to your own devices, totally exposed to the real company. And, if the real company culture is not a shared one, then there is a dramatic gap which is impossible to bridge.
Probably the biggest recognition we can do to inspiring managers is to thank them for the courage they give us to develop ourselves towards finding our best version. Even if we will live our best version in a new company.