i like Seth Godin's entry on the 4th of January:
No, everything is not okay. Not in a growing organization. Not if your company is making change happen, or dealing with customers. How could it be?
And yet, that's what so many managers focus on. How to make everything okay.
We spend so much time smoothing things out, we lose the opportunity for change, or for texture or creativity.
Lately, I have accepted the fact that things are never going to be OK - or fine - or good - or smooth in the business that I am in. Because that's the nature of the business. It's part of the dynamics. It's part of its growth trajectory.
Resignations? Sure. I am sure that they have thought about their decisions deeply - and I trust that those resigning are off to a better pasture. And I sincerely wish them well.
Accounts walking away? Great. Bad for our business - but sincerely, I wish them well. It takes two to tango. And clients walking away from their partners for so long are not blameless. We've given our best - and if deemed to be insufficient, too bad. We wish them well.
Projects rejected? Good. That's OK too. We had fun - and learned a lot of things - whilst preparing the request for information and proposals for conceptualizing from ground-up a standard metric for social cohesion, social capital, and the impact of personal views using sophisticated stats and robust sampling, cost-efficient methods. We wish them well - but we will trudge on and do the project, because we believe in the project so much.
Teams not communicating really well? An opportunity to improve. And a reason (really, an excuse) to go drinking on Fridays or Mondays - and drink our blues away whilst making fun of ourselves inside a karaoke room.
Competitors trashing us in the press? Great. That means, that at least, they are threatened by our presence. We're small - but we're of big-hearts and are big-thinkers.
True, we gotta smooth things out - and we need the business. But we know that the ride ain't going to be easy in 2009 and we're prepared for the worst too in 2010. We saw that - hmm, let me see - mid-2008 or even earlier.
Many times, I have said that we're not just in the business of making profits - we're in the business of being the best that we can be. We're in the business of churning out ideas in the day (and night), with the confidence that when we close our eyes at night, we know that we've done our best on a certain project, on a certain solution, on a certain problem.
And that - in itself - is sometimes enough to keep us - to keep me - smiling.
(Yes. In spite of my 15 years of working experience in the corporate world - half of which spent leading and inspiring teams to excel and give their all - I am still an idealist. I have been questioned, skinned alive, and boiled-reboiled in meetings where I present red-lettered numbers and low-profit margins. I honestly believe that there is a balance - a very important, critical golden mean - between "people" and "profits". And if asked to choose, "people". Why? Because people - clients, staff, teams, leaders, stars, budding stars - create value. And yes, people are people.)