Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action. – Peter Drucker*
That’s where I was on September 11 when the World Trade Center twin towers were brought down. As the news came in we were covering the story and glued to monitors; like the rest of America, in a state of shock.
Last week there was a lot of 9/11 coverage … to remember and re-visit is an important part of our nation’s future success is to remember.
Consistent reflection is vital whether for a nation, a company, or an individual life. A reflective lifestyle supports your ability and willingness to learn and change as you listen, reflect on the truth found in the Story.
What is the reward of such a commitment? Accelerated growth.
As I noted before, it is possible to break personal growth barriers. Personal development has a price: paying attention to the Story. I appreciate how Penelope Trunk illustrates this principle in her recent blog post How 9/11 Made Me a Better Entrepreneur.
Last week, I shared the four steps that helped me through the days following the shocking reality: “I’m not coming back Monday”. Here’s what I wrote if you missed it.
What about the next day?
Saturday, September 1, 2007, began my unexpected “September Sabbatical”.
How did I move forward?
To help me remember, I pulled out my 2007 Journal last week. As I reviewed the Story, here’s what I notice…
1. The Pain:
What happens when a) you think you are deeply appreciated b) you made sacrifices for the company, and c) you are handled just like someone fired for performance issues? For me, that was the most painful part.
While my departure was for budget reasons there is still the pain.
Carol Bartz dealt with pain is different than mine. The former CEO of Yahoo experienced the pain when Roy Bostock delivered the news over the phone; the Board had fired her.
“I got it. I got it,” she told the Yahoo chairman. “I thought you were classier,” she added.
More bad news?
According to a Fortune.com, her interview with Patricia Sellers will likely cost her $10 million as she had a “non-disparagement clause”. The Pain.
2. The Voices:
How normal, in such times of unexpected news and personal shock to waver between fear and faith, faith and fear, despair and hope.
My journal entry on 9/1 indicates this reality …
Two voices: 1) that’s corporate, a machine that takes and spits you out when done; no surprises here. 2) You’re going to have an amazing second half as I promised; I Am your Shepherd. (This thought comes out of my faith-based relationship with God.)
I don’t want to get stuck in anger or not properly grieve.
It’s an adventure with a painful birth moment.
3. The Truth:
Beyond the pain and voices there is the new reality. Reality is one aspect of truth – the facts – involving what must be dealt with in real life.
Once again, I quote from my journal as I reflected on the Story, the morning after …
Radio is not my passion, (it’s) a store-front to let me work with and help people along The Journey. It has become increasingly difficult to be myself and use my gifts, life experience, and wisdom to coach, mentor, and guide others.
Some of life is a mystery, at least in real time. A mystery is something not fully understood or understandable. We gain perspective – over time – which allows us to comprehend the bigger picture and appreciate the new opportunity.
Two weeks into the “new reality” it hit us; we were worn out. Halfway into the “sabbatical” I expressed concern that maybe I was “too relaxed…not doing my part”. That moment required faith if I was going to remain free and experience peace while embracing the Story.
After three weeks, the time came for me to “release” the decision maker who delivered the message late Friday afternoon: “No, you are not coming back on Monday.”
Forgiveness is about freedom; mine.
4. The Search:
The appointed day came – Monday, October 1, 2007; it was time … a new day, new week, new month, new quarter; it time for a fresh start. Indeed, my Significant September was over; it was “time to throw myself into the pursuit of what is next”.
How interesting to read in my Journal dated September 11, 2007 …
My DESIRE to help people, to develop people is high; I’m clueless as to what’s next…”
Four years later, I am a successful, certified executive coach; The People Developer.
How did make the transition?
It is what I call The Best Predictor of Future Success … the “secret” to future success …
The ability and willingness to learn and change, achieved through consistent reflection on truth found in the Story.
How do you identify with my story? Where are you in the story?
What was your “sudden jolt” story? How do you relate?
What did you do to get through your “shock and awe” moment?
Please comment below.
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*Peter F. Drucker – writer, consultant, and teacher, 1909 – 2005