I started this blog a couple months back when my life was humming along quite nicely. My wife and I had moved to Houston, TX, taken on some exciting new career roles, and we were working hard and enjoying life. I thought it was a great time to start to unload some of the thoughts in my head and share with the world, but then the bus came to a screeching halt. My position with the YMCA of Greater Houston was cut after only 3 months, along with those positions of about 18 other staff members. Suddenly my thought of maintaining a blog took a back burner and financial survival became my priority.
I admit that I did panic a bit at first. I’ve not been in this position before, so I didn’t know what to do, or what to expect. I was worried about how I was going to support my wife and myself and provide the second income that at this point in our lives we unfortunately cannot do without. It didn’t take long to see that things are going to be just fine. God does not put us in positions that we cannot handle.
As the panic subsided and reason started to come to the surface, I began to think through my options and started to make connections with my network of wonderful friends and colleagues that I’ve had the opportunity to work with during my career. These are people I’ve worked with and respect. They’ve been a wonderful support structure and I hope that I’ve been able to return the favor. It’s been wonderful seeing a side of them now that I didn’t see from them as colleagues. I’ve learned how they’ve been affected by the sudden layoffs, how they handle the adversity, and how they react to the way those who they respected and followed as leaders in their organization have treated them, and how some of them feel betrayed.
The thought that keeps coming back to me, is what’s the tipping point that a group of people, all with the best of intentions and good nature, becomes an organization or company that looses touch with those they serve. Like a mild mannered person who gets behind the wheel of their vehicle and takes on an aggressive, road-rage laden persona, organizational leadership can set aside personal feelings and human instinct to ‘do the right thing’ to instead make desicions in the name of cost saving, personnel policy, and streamlining for short-term gain. Like the car that acts as a barrier to the outside world and cuts off the human connection that allows the mild mannered person to become the enraged driver, far too often we see CEOs and organizational leaders hide behind policy and “business decisions” to allow them to make the easy choice instead of boldly leading, making the decisions that are best for their employees, and in turn best for their company in the long term.