Owning It

I have watched many of my friends lose their jobs in the past four years, including cohorts who thought themselves an intricate part of the team: decision makers, “near term-final say” people.

In one afternoon, they have lost their jobs and had to humbly reset their personal assessment of themselves with the over-riding notion being, “Hey maybe I wasn’t as important as I thought.”

One friend got off a plane carrying the elements of a presentation in a large, awkward case and, when he saw his company contact waiting for him at the end of the gate, he handed him the case expecting welcome relief.

With his free hand, the contact reached in his pocket and handed him a plane ticket for his immediate return back to where my friend had flown from. In a rushed, awkward exchange, he was fired and told his flight home was boarding.

Completely stunned, he said nothing and turned to find his gate.

“Don’t you want this?” the contact asked, holding up the case. My friend just shrugged and walked away. When he turned to look back, the guy was stuffing his presentation into a garbage receptacle.

No Excuses

He returned to Cleveland dejected and hurt. And it took him days to get his head wrapped around it, but when he finally did, he said to me that he really had no right to be surprised. He had felt it was coming for a long time.

And, most of all, he submitted that he hadn’t been working as hard as he once had; that he had to admit his performance had fallen off. He’d gotten comfortable and stopped trying as hard.

I am glad to say that his maturity about this realization became the basis of a “no excuses” attitude that helped him gain another position within weeks of the firing. He had the help of a head-hunter to set up the interviews, but truly, within less than a month he had landed with another company, making only a few thousand dollars less than at the company he had left.

He tells me he’ll make the rest up in commissions–part of his determined, no-excuse mindset now.

“For me,” he says, “I have to maintain a ‘serving attitude’ and if I keep in mind that I owe the company I work for instead of them owing me, things stay in focus.”

Own It

In all, the overriding philosophy seems to have more to do with attitude than aptitude.

The current and winning philosophy seems to be “what have I done and what can I do for my company?” This replaces the “what have they done for me lately?” philosophy that was made famous in the 1980s. It is clearly outdated.

You must own your reputation.

You must own the responsibility of your job, your family, your life direction, because it is never really “over.” It is never really done.

There is no career spiking of the football anymore. The playing field has changed drastically.

Election 2012 looms in the not too distant future. Before you close the curtain of the voting booth to decide who shall move forward to lead this country, be sure you check yourself first and get in touch with the individual you have become.

Which leaders, both local and national, reflect the values that have established your foundation?

Boil away all the outside noise, the ads, the slogans, the signs, the lies, and decide what it is that YOU want, need, and deserve.

If we could maintain a nation of people who would stop and consider such things, there would be no need for advertising at all. We’d be humble, no-excuse owners of our lives and inevitably harmonious brothers and sisters.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at rdc@clevelandmetroparks.com.

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3 comments on “Owning It

  1. Barb Burkholder on said:

    Great article and good reflection examples. Go Brownies!!! We never give up hope for our Browns. Saw so many Browns fan sightings in California. It was quite refreshing. Kinda like loving the Cubs!
    Keep up the great inspirational writing. You made my Friday again….
    Barb B.

  2. Ron Barnhart on said:

    Ron Ciancutti,
    I found this writing based on the simple fact of working hard reaps reward. This is the basic clay of which success is molded from. You hit the nail on the head!

  3. Nice article Ron! The new owner plans on a methodical replacement of some existing parts, including the legendary Mike Holmgren. The quote is pretty accurate “the popular decision is not always right, and the right decision is not always popular”. I wish this message was better understood in the halls of our current Congress, where ego and excuses run rampant…

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