Positive Quote: “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” —Herbert Swope
I have lost track of the many people over the years who have come to me asking for a checklist, a document, a task list where that if they complete each item they will get promoted. Such an artifact does not exist. Life is not black and white. There are so many, many various shades of gray.
There are so many ways to succeed in life and so many different paths people can take. No two people are alike and no two paths are the same.
This was a lesson I had to learn early in life. I guess you could say I am a proponent on the nature side versus the nurture. I believe each person can decide what path to go on.
Also, knowing that you can’t please everyone can help on those days when you have to have those difficult conversations with your team or someone on your team.
Some of our hardest conversations are ones where we know someone is not going to be happy afterwards. Where you know they will not be pleased.
This quote reminds me of a situation I went through in my early 20’s. I was young and did not know that I did not know things. I was also a first time manager.
I had been a manager for about a year in a retail location. A month earlier it was brought to my attention that one of the cashiers may be stealing as there were some unexplained cash shortages. So, I had to work with loss prevention and realign cameras, perform random till audits, and have secret shoppers come through all in the attempt to either clear the person or get more specifics. It took about a month and it was confirmed that this person was stealing cash from the drawer; there were videos and other incriminating evidence.
Once everything was documented, I brought this person to my office with loss prevention and explain what we had found. She broke down in tears and begged for a second chance. Did I mention she was 8 months pregnant? Or that she was going to be a single mother.
This was a trial for me; there was a zero tolerance policy I had to uphold. So, I fired her. The word fired is so harsh, yet letting her go is too light a word. I told myself that there was nothing I could have done differently, that she made the choice to steal. Yet, to this day I still remember her name, her face, and the whole experience. Do I regret my actions of that day? No. I know I did what needed to be done. I also know that it was that first experience into the not so happy side of management that helps me remember to be compassionate, to recognize the person behind the actions, and to realize that I can’t be everyone’s friend and I can’t make everyone happy.
What do you think?
Have a wonderful Wednesday.
On a side note, the Cardinals game was great last night. I do believe my family will have to go to some more home games; maybe when it is not so hot.