Saturday, March 7, 2015

On Professional Disappoints and Setbacks: Explanations and Solutions

They came in thin envelopes -- the rejection letters. For all of my accomplishments, the thin envelopes came for me as they would for anyone else. Even when I was certain of the contents, I opened them. I had to know that I had been rejected. And in most cases I had.

It is a bad grade. It is making a mistake on a major project. It is being passed over for a promotion. This corporate world is presented hopeful students as a meritocracy, where winning is a sign of their virtue. Even some young associates cling to the idea of always winning.  

Virtue is most evident in the manner in which one handles disappoint. That idea is not novel nor is it my own.

This post is about the way we deal with losing.

A. Seek constructive feedback. B. Be gracious when speaking (and even thinking) of the subject of your disappointment – You once thought it worthy of your attention and effort. C. Reflect on your own contribution to the problem. D. Set about making improvements.

Do not be deterred by a professional 'NO' – CEO’s get replaced, industries turn upside down, and companies change direction. You may not have fit into the old model, but that does not mean that you are forever barred from entry. More importantly, we live in a world that encourages our White peers to build their own models and we should too.

Succeeding in Corporate America and moving beyond setbacks comes down to explanations and solutions – seeking explanations and using them to create solutions. 

More to come on this topic...

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