Taking Joy in Someone Else’s Success

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If you knew José, you would have been WOWed. José was one of my best employees! Brilliant. Creative. His skills were impeccable. He was consultative and polished. Clients loved to work with José.

Not only that, but José showed leadership ability. He was able to inspire others. He was able to paint a vision and get others excited and motivated around it. He was a little bit unpolished in his leadership techniques but he was rapidly learning them.

José also had vision. Lots of ideas! Tons of Ideas! The passion and commitment to make sure he pursued them.

Unfortunately, some of these ideas simply weren’t in alignment with our company. And while several of them were, it was obvious that José’s passion was pursuing these other ideas. He wouldn’t stop at anything before they were accomplished. It began to create a disturbance within the organization. In a couple of instances, instructions would be ignored as he passionately and almost blindly pursued these ideas.

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I went to José, and after several months of trying to reign him back in, had a blunt conversation. “José, I think you need to be an entrepreneur. It’s time to leave. You can have the time you need. Let’s figure out a plan. Let’s transition. Let me help you start a business.”

And that’s exactly what he did. José is an incredibly successful entrepreneur. He’s built a fabulous company, one that I am super proud of.

I don’t talk with him much, almost never, but I stand back and admire what he’s done. And frankly, it’s one of my most proud moments.

In business, it’s easy to want to keep everything for yourself, to want to protect your talent. In the grand scheme of things, I helped the organization by getting rid of a distraction, while helping an employee at the same time become a successful entrepreneur who is totally fulfilled by pursuing his passion.

There are often times when employees or others I know will ask what I think about José’s success. Its almost tongue-in-cheek where people are expecting me to be sad or disappointed, upset that José is no longer with us. Quite frankly, many people don’t have a clue that I was the one who encouraged him to leave. They just see it as a failure on my part to retain talent. I smile and I share how proud I am of him.

It’s not disappointing to me that somebody else is successful. I take great pride in the fact that this individual was able to hopefully learn a few things while with us and that I was able to give him that little nudge and that little runway to to start a successful business of his own.

One Comment Add yours

  1. David says:

    I love this, the idea of open communication between manager and employee, even to the point of transition to a different career/opportunity. I read about this in “The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly, and now I know it really happens. 🙂 Your employees are fortunate, thanks for setting this example.

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