In Part One of this story, I talked about a time when I had to make a difficult career decision. The position I had been in for several years, which I loved by the way, was taking so much of my time, energy, and mindshare that I was unable to give proper attention to the other priorities in my life. Priorities that were, in fact, more important than my career. You may want to familiarize yourself with the story by going back and referring to Part One, posted on March 1st.
As I’ve shared this story through the years, the reaction nearly everyone has is to think that I was burned out and therefore had to make this decision. The rigors of the position had obviously been too much for me and I had to escape. Even when interviewing the person who replaced me, he said to me “I’m really having to think hard about this because if the job burned you out, I don’t want that to happen to me.”
But this is not just another burnout story. For this to be that kind of story, I would have seen no option but to continue the same path until my health, my family, and/or my relationship with God was completely broken. To be sure, I was being tested during this time. There were struggles. My emotional connection to my family was strained. My patience with my children, when I was home, was lacking. My self-control over my anger was weakened because I was not well-rested. Tested, but not broken.
Because I had a Life Roadmap. I was mindful of my priorities due to a healthy rhythm of reviewing this document and my life’s path. That rhythm led me to a decision that I was willing to make a significant change in one area of my life in order to bring proper attention to even more important areas.
Surrender avoids burnout. Surrendering your individual definition of success is often the path to the success you’ve been looking for all along. This is most certainly the case as I tell you the rest of the story.
In Part One of this story, I mentioned that in approaching my leaders about the need for a change in my position, I recognized it could entail a step back or perhaps even a step away from the company. My functional leader came back to me with a proposal for a new position. The need for this position, ironically, had been created because of the growth the company was seeing, which was in part fueled by the acquisitions I had a been a part of in recent years. He reorganized his staff level, took over some work that the Corporate office was requesting, and asked me to lead this new group. No relocation and travel of no more than 10% required.
In my Life Roadmap, one of the outcomes I had written down years before was to attain at least the level of Group Controller with Eaton Corporation before I retired. That specific title had long since disappeared because of reorganizations over the years. When my leader presented the new opportunity to me, he told me the only thing he wasn’t sure about was what to make my title but then added, “do you remember back when we used to have the position called Group Controller? That’s really what we’ve recreated here, so why don’t we just call it that?” Indeed, surrender is often the path to the success you’ve been looking for all along.
Where are you struggling? Do you have any type of roadmap to guide decision making? A first step of surrender may be to seek out assistance in developing one. I’m here; but engage with someone.
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