When I was in my early 30s, a senior manager at my workplace (one level up from my boss) called me into his office. This was the first time we'd had a private meeting. I'd been recommended to head up a rather challenging project at location in another city and he wanted to discuss it with me.
He introduced himself, looked at at me speculatively across his desk, shook his head with a smile and said,
"What is it about you? Everyone seems to think that the sun shines out of your ass! What do you do that makes them think that?
I laughed out loud at his "shines out of your ass" comment. It was so unexpected! I said, "I don't know! In my real life, I never brag about myself, but at that moment, I had to answer his question seriously:
- I work well with everyone even if I don't particularly like them. I can separate the personality clashes and the tittle-tattle which occur in a workplace with the task which needs to be done.
- I said that I was pretty smart but more importantly had a lot of common sense and practical experience about how things work in our technological field.
- I seek advice from others with expertise in the topic at every level. In particular, I always get input from the front line workers most affected by the decisions being made. Most people in my position had egos which were too big to do this.
- I never present my boss with just "a problem." Rather, I always present the problem along with, "but here is what I think we can do to solve it."
- The most important thing: I am the most positive person that I know. I think can make a valuable contribution in everything I do.
(As an aside, my marathon training which I previously posted about wasn't going particularly well due to some knee pain.)
I suddenly thought, "Hey!! If I'm in a wheelchair, then I can starting competing in wheelchair marathons! How cool is that! My knees won't bother me then! And wow!!! Just think of the great shoulder and arm muscles I will get!! (My skinny bird-arms are my least favourite part of my body.)
I had second thought, "Am I insane?" .... here I am in excruciating pain and could end up being a cripple.
Here I am thinking how cool it would be to compete in a wheelchair; to have yet another life challenge to overcome. What "normal" person would think that being in a wheelchair would be a positive outcome?
I did. Somehow, I managed to turn this terrible prospect, even temporarily, into something positive.
ps. By the way, my recovery is going exceptionally well. However, I've been referred to a neurosurgeon to discuss the underlying causes which still remain and possible courses of action.