10 years ago mom started calling me Job (the Biblical Character) not because I had monumentus faith, but because my personal life was a series of unfortunate events.…..it seemed for a period of time that if an unfortunate event could occur that I was magnetically attracted to it. I started waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Professionally, it was different...I was beyond good – driven, killer instinct, aggressive, admittedly immature but always driving forward. Then one day my professional life hit a road bump…..
We picked up a product that – on the surface was amazing – it zipped, it zinged, it could walk on water….I sold 4 enterprise level platforms with that promise…..then during the first install….it sank like the titanic without a life boat. I thought – WAIT a sec – my professional life is amazing…I am a 25 year old power house and this is not supposed to happen….but it did. I began to see my Job life seeping into my wonderful career.
I experienced true grace by a senior leadership team at that hospital. Even though we offered to replace the software with another for free – they determined it was best to identify how to make it work in an alternate workflow. (My first impromptu design job) That grace is a post for a different day about partnership with Vendors...
Following that experience, as a very humbled professional, I went to each of the remaining CIO’s to let them know what had happened, and that we no longer going to be working with the product. It was hard for a 25 year old to say good bye to over 50% of the years revenue based on a poor choice – it was harder to sit in front of those people who had put their trust in me and admit my failure. Each meeting went different – one was angry and gave me a solid chewing….like any professional I took it then went to my car and cried all the way home. The next told me he was disappointed in me but determined that the product was solid and wanted to proceed directly with the manufacture – he shook my hand, told me he appreciated my honesty, and said my Dad had done a good job raising me. (He had worked with my dad for years) That made me cry in his office.
The final CIO shocked me. As I sat in her office reviewing the challenges and reasoning for my need to step away from the recommended product – she stopped me and said “Kourtney, can you just tell us how this whole things should be set up and what to do in this alarm area?” I shrugged, started to lower my gaze to the floor and said “Well, I….” She interrupted sternly and said “I will pay you for your time.” What? She will pay me for my time, but I am the idiot who brought her a product that didn’t work. Confused I blurted out “You mean like workflow documentation?” “Yes, can you do that or not?” To which I responded “Absolutely” and my journey began.
One of my greatest professional failures became the launching point for one of my greatest successes – Sphere3 and a consulting career I loved - which eventually lead to Aperum.
That was my "Joseph Moment" - the moment I realized I was not destined for a disaster at every turn that lead to nothing. If you don’t know the story of Joseph (from the Old Testament), it’s worth the read. But here is the Cliff Notes – Joseph was going to be killed by his brothers but then they decided to sell him into slavery….he had a series of unfortunate events…and then another series of unfortunate events....that eventually lead him to a position of power that allowed him to save his family…..if he would not have been sold into slavery by his brothers then the entire family would have died.
Are you so busy waiting for your next failure or lamenting over your current disaster that you are missing the moment of your next great success? Do you see each “bad thing” that happens as pointless or is it possibly a progression to the Joseph moment you were meant to have.
Time to change your perspective - time to change your focus.