The Career Man – Part 3

As Carrie drove off from the airport, she was crushed. She thought John would change his mind and say he would be back in a couple of weeks, but it didn’t happen. On her way back home, she thought about what the future held for her. Could she really face the future without John?

She didn’t know if she could wait six months to talk to John but knew this is what he wanted. But in six months she’d talk to him again and then maybe she could tell him them. Or, if he saw her in six months, he’d know what she needed to tell him. He’d know just how much she needed him over the past few months and just maybe, he would then stay. Many changes were coming in her life and she had nobody to help her, she thought.

The change Carrie knew was coming started about two months prior on a trip with John. They had gone on a tirp to a remote island in the Pacific and they had a weekend of what seemed to be never ending love. They had not done this to this point in their relationship but with the beach in the background, they couldn’t help it. They had finally realized their love for each other and this beautiful moment was now more than that. It was a moment of change and Carrie didn’t feel she was ready now that John had left.

That weekend Carrie had gotten pregnant and now she was all alone being the care taker for her parents and for a baby that was due in just a few months. She really wanted to tell John but didn’t want to push him into a corner and make him feel as if he had to give up his dreams to tend to a family. She knew he would stay if he knew a baby was coming but she did not want that to be the reason he stayed. He needed to go and spread his wings and in a few months, maybe things would be so they could be together again.

Carrie loved John but just didn’t know what to think. She was beginnning to see a side of John she didn’t know was there. This man who she had fallen in love with was more in love with his career than her in her mind and just didn’t understand why he felt the need to try to advance rather than find something else. Even if it were with another company and starting over. She felt they were going to have to start all over in six months but she was trying to force herself to understand his reasoning. She hurt badly but told herself she understood. She was also happy with her career but knew she would have to change companies now because it would get back to John about her being pregnant.

Carrie had never started over but now she would. A new job, a baby on the way and her parents health badly diminishing. Carrie was lost in it all but knew things would get better. Or just hoped it would get better. Time heals all pain she thought and she wondered on her way back home what John was thinking on his flight home. Was he sad? Did he cry at all? Does he have a clue about her being pregnant? Could he go six months without her? Will he be back? And finally, does he really love her?

These thoughts went through her head and she couldn’t help but think her phone might ring and it be John asking her to come back and pick him up. But it didn’t happen. John boarded his Continental flight back to New York and was ready to face the next six months.

All he knew was he had left her heart broken and he would be back and things would be alright. But John had no idea what would happen once he arrived back in New York. His life was about to take a huge change and it would impact him forever.

To be continued…

The Career Man – Part 2

As Carrie drove John to the airport, there was complete silence. No talking about their decision and a bit of nervousness in both of them. They had fallen in love with each other but for now they have decided to put things on hold until something changed.

This decision was extremely tough but it was the one John thought was best. He really wanted to move to Houston, get married and start a family but didn’t see a way to make it work with his career. He was determined to make his career his main priority until he felt it time to make a change and until he felt he could find a job he thought fit him in Houston. He knew this was risky but John had always been a risk taker. And had never thought he would ever miss on a risk, especially this one.

Carrie on the other hand was hurt. Almost to the point of destroyed. She really thought John would rather start a family than a career and she was beginning to think if she really knew him at all. She had to stay in Houston to take care of her parents and there was no way she would move to New York with them still in Houston.

This decision was made and now both of them were rethinking what they, mainly John, thought was best. But in the end, John was ready to board a flight and not see Carrie for a while. It might be hard but he thought if he worked enough, it would ease his mind.

As they pulled up to the airport, John looked at Carrie and broke the silence. “I still love you Carrie, I just think this is the best way right now.” As Carrie looked into his eyes, she began crying and couldn’t say anything. She was crushed and just wanted him to get out of the car. She couldn’t look at him any longer.

There was more she wanted to say but couldn’t at this time. She had to let John go because she felt if she asked him to stay there would always be regret and it would hinder their relationship. John opened the car door and as he began to get out, he leaned over, gave her a kiss and said “I love you Carrie.” Carrie sat in cold silence, crying and wiping her eyes. As John shut the door to her car, a crying Carrie whispered, “I love you too John but you have no idea what the future holds for us.”

To be continued….

The Career Man

As John rolled out of bed and headed to get ready for the day, he couldn’t help but wonder if  this was it. It was not a typical Saturday for John but one that he had to get ready for anyway. As he stared at himself in the mirror waiting on the shower to heat up, he just couldn’t help but think about the past and future. But today was the day most on his mind and John wondered if he had done enough.

John was your typical high school student who played sports, studied and couldn’t help but get ready for the future. He was raised by his parents to be respectful and to prepare himself to take care of his family, no matter what the cost.

John saw his dad work 2 jobs at times and saw his mom clean houses and work other jobs to help pay the bills. This is what he did not want for his family so after high school, John attended college to prepare for his future career. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life but he was very smart and knew he could do anything. His life was on track and he was on track to graduate with his M.B.A. in only 5 years.

Upon graduation, John found a job that he knew would suit him best. He took a job with a consulting firm that promised to have plenty of room for advancement. Nothing had ever gotten in John’s way to his future once he set his mind on a career. He made it through high school in the top 10% of his class and finished college with an honors degree. John was sought after by many top American companies and he soon took a job with U.S. Consulting. They were young, energetic and ready to make a top executive out of John. John loved his job and worked hard as a 23 year old up and coming junior executive. He made it to where he wanted to be and was now set on his career, no matter what the cost.

John’s career was booming and on a business trip, his life would change forever. While in Atlanta for a conference, John met a “rookie” with U.S. Consulting named Carrie. She reminded him of someone from his past and was excited to see someone as excited about their career as him.

But what John didn’t see was a fire burning inside him and Carrie. At first it seemed to just be about business but soon, their relationship would turn to much more. But a couple of problems existed. He lived in New York and she was in Houston. And according to their company, they couldn’t get married and work together.

They talked about what to do and it just didn’t seem they could get something worked out. Carrie was alright with giving up her job but couldn’t move to New York because she was the caretaker for her parents. John didn’t want to give up his career but the company didn’t have a place for him in Houston. What to do was killing both of them because so badly they wanted to start a life together. But they just didn’t see a way, unless John was to quit and find a job in Houston. But after looking around at many companies in the Houston area, John just couldn’t find a job.

As they discussed it over a long weekend together, they finally knew what they had to do. They knew at this point there was no turning back from this decision. No matter how hard or how frustrating this would be, they knew this was the best decision for both of them at this time. But was it the right decision for their future? Only time would tell and they promised to have no regrets. It was easy to say but hard to do.

To be continued…..

Don’t be stopped by vision, be great beacuse of it!

Vision. It’s such a small word but has so many meanings. Vision is what we see and it helps us get to where we are going. In the true sense, vision is needed, good and desired. As people, our vision tells us about the things around us and if it works properly, it opens our mind and challenges everything we know. But when vision isn’t working properly, we see it as a handicap, disability or something to complain about. Vision isn’t all we need; it’s just something we get used to having. There are thousands of people who have never had eyesight but they had a greater vision than us.

Vision can’t be brought down to such a small thing as eyesight but for some reason that’s all we do. We put vision in this box and we don’t let it out. Whether it’s at work, home, school or church. If given by God, the “vision” of our future should guide us and lead us to where we are called to be. Every leader should have a vision and should share it often with those they are leading.

Vision should be talked about but not set in stone. I once heard Emmitt Smith talk about being a running back. They asked him about his running style and how he can see the holes that don’t appear to be there. His response was amazing. He said that as a running back, you can’t lock in on one vision, the goal, and nothing else. You have to be able to see all around you and continue to see who’s helping you by expanding your vision. His linemen were in the trenches and if he continued looking behind them long enough, he could see a new way to his goal. His vision was expanded and he didn’t get tunnel vision. 

 

In our lives, I think it’s easy to get tunnel vision. We have our minds and hearts set on one goal, which is awesome, but we have to realize that the vision could be enhanced or helped by those in the trenches. We have to be willing to look around and expand our vision. You see, having vision is not only about what’s in front of you; it’s having the ability to have peripheral vision. We have to be able to see what coming from all areas of our life. We have to see what’s coming from in front, from the right, let and what’s behind us. Those things that sometimes “broadside” us are the ones that hurt the most. If we are not looking out for all sides, our vision may be broke. It’s not what you see in front, it’s what you see all around. 

 

In order to help clear up our vision and expand our vision, we must trust those around us and allow them to help. We must be willing to drop our pride and give things over to the people in the trenches. We must know we can’t do everything by ourselves and just because someone is seeing a different vision, don’t discount theirs. You might just get a hole opened enough from someone else to spring you for a long run toward your goal.

Just like when you are sick, you go to the doctor and sometimes a hospital visit may be required. Vision sickness is the same. There are times we must leave a situation in order to get healed. We must give ourselves the medicine needed to get our vision corrected.

We can’t allow our vision to be clouded too long. If it stays clouded too long, it could destroy the vision that we have. And when this happens, we might miss our true calling.  

Allow your vision to grow beyond what’s in front of you. Look around and see who’s there. See if they are willing and able to help you pursue your goal. And if they are willing but not able, begin pouring into them so together you can grow and work toward each other’s goal.

 

Don’t let vision stop you. Remember, our eyesight changes over the years and so will your vision. Allow it to change and don’t be so stubborn that you miss seeing the hole that will spring you for a long run! Don’t be stopped by vision, be great because of it! 

 

Love you all!

Out, Up & ……In????

In the world today, we see organizations of all sizes and varieties looking up to others so they can reach out to others while forgetting about looking in. What I mean by this is quite simple. Organizations of all types, churches, nonprofits, business and groups all seem to have looking up for ideas and direction down pat. This allows the organization to reach out to the community in so many ways that is good for everyone involved.

While this is good; what happens to those inside who are doing the work if they are not getting what they need? Every person in the world needs things. They need love, food, direction and the ability to ask someone for help. In the past few years, we have seen many organizations go through changes that were meant to help the “IN” people when it actually ended up tearing them apart. When we only look up then out, the people in eventually will give up and not continue to see the vision the head of the organization has. Andrew Carnegie once said, “Give me the best factory in the world but take my people away, grass will grow on the factory floor, but leave my people and they will build a bigger better factory.” I think Carnegie had it right and now we have gone from that in America.

We have become more about the programs and less about the people. We concern ourselves with the names of the programs, not the names of our people. We think if our programs aren’t growing, neither are our people. Maybe it’s time we as leaders look at the true root of the problem. I see organizations all over America forgetting about training, teaching and caring for their people. Just sending them on a retreat, to a conference or putting them in small groups won’t always give them what they need. They need the head of the organization and their leaders to reach in to them and find out what they need. We can’t just sit back and wait for people to tell us what they need. We need to know our people good enough to know when they are hurting or where they are lacking.

It’s become a cut here and there so we can have more to spend out rather than in. We have to reverse this thinking. It’s extremely good to see everyone benefitting from others but if we continue to cut out teaching and training then how will we ever be able to keep our people going in the same direction we are going?

So, take a step back from your organization and see if you have a balance between Up, Out and In. If you don’t, I urge you to see how to correct the problem so the people can grow into the people they are called to be. Don’t let the need for being busy on a program or project kill your organization. Just a little more on the IN will produce so much more UP and OUT.

Love you all!!