Positive Quote: “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley
When I read this quote I substitute bricks to mean negative ‘stuff’. Making something good out of something that was not so good is the beginning of laying that solid foundation.
This quote reminds me of a person I know from my prior work life. I’ll call him Adam. I’ve known Adam for; it must be over 16 years by now. When I met Adam he was a programmer, back in the days of cobol (I am aging myself here). He progressed up the ranks to senior programmer and then as a manager over other developers. At the time I was also progressing my career from help desk analyst, to senior, to lead, and then to manager. Well, as will happen with releases from time to time, they have ‘bugs’ and more often than not, Adam’s releases had ‘bugs’. Often the bugs weren’t from his code; some bugs had the effect of bringing to the surface issues in coding in other areas. In quite a few peoples minds the issue was Adam and not other’s coding. It went on for awhile and the bricks would fly from time to time when a release went out and had some issues. You can fill in the words of the brick throwing I am sure.
Now, Adam could have taken the negative bricks and either been defensive or he could have started to point out the flaws in others. Yet, he did not do that; in fact he became more open and engaging, seeking advice and opinions from others. Did it make the brick throws stop throwing? Partially, some people will continue to throw bricks for whatever reason.
The great news (in my mind) is that Adam continued his career progression and moved from leading developers to creating a new team for standardized quality control and testing. He has become such a subject matter expert in his field that he is also presenting at conferences and has been published.
I am proud of Adam and am very thankful that I know him. He is a great example of how I hope to handle similar types of diversity.
What are you doing with the bricks being thrown at you?
Have a terrific Tuesday y’all.