A client I highly regard and have known for many years recently decided to leave her executive role at her organization. I was surprised. She was very committed to her company and really loved her boss. But she assessed the situation and decided that what she wanted and needed was no longer aligned with her organization. She took a new role for a really cool company. She will do well. Though this client’s situation is very different from mine, it brought back memories for me of when the CEO to whom I reported resigned. After meeting with the new CEO, I realized I had a difficult decision to make. Soon after, I left my job. I received two job offers at the time, but after talking with my co-pilot (my supportive and wise husband), I realized it was time to start my own practice. To say I haven’t looked back would be inaccurate. I have, many times. But overall it has been a great decision and a good fit for me. I always felt that everything was my responsibility, and with my small business, it truly is.
When we accept a role at a corporation, no matter who we are, we will need to adapt. The more aligned the organization’s mission, culture and values are with who we are and our way of working, the less adaptation that we will need to make. When we need to adapt in ways that are not aligned with how we want to lead or the values we hold, that requires a different level of adaptation. Both scenarios represent sacrifices because we are giving up something we at least like or hold dear in order to remain in our organization. When these sacrifices start to diminish our energy or the joy we feel when we head to work, it’s time to assess if the sacrifices are worth it.
Here are some examples of “sacrifices” that can be good for us:
Here are examples of sacrifices about which you should be skeptical:
Of course, there are many more examples I could give. When I am working with an executive who is unhappy in their role and I ask if the sacrifices are worth it, they often point to their very large compensation package, their kid’s tuition, etc., as if it's a prison sentence. But in reality, it is a choice. And if it goes on for too long, it can impact the things you hold most dear (and may take for granted): your family, your health and your happiness. Is a job really worth sacrificing any of those?
Welcome to Moira's blog. I write a bi-monthly post about the work of building better people strategies, systems, teams and leaders.