Leaders Take a Chance

After Lyle hired me, I saw the position profile the recruiter had used for the placement: 10+ years management experience in a B2C service industry, bachelor's in accounting required, law degree preferred, and a working knowledge of telecommunications. I met none, absolutely none, of those requirements. My education and experience were in entirely different areas.

I asked Lyle why he hired me. His answer?  "You've done some really good work in areas where I think our organization needs to grow and besides, I liked you." I learned later that his boss, the regional EVP, advised against hiring me.

22 years ago Lyle took a risk and hired me. We're both glad he did.  It turned out well for him and for me. Because he took a chance on me, my career went to great places I never envisioned possible.

Lyle's risk was informed, not fool-hardy. He saw similarities and possibilities in differences, where his boss saw only the differences. He had faith that I could both learn the telecommunications industry and use what I already knew to make our organization better.

He believed in me and put his credibility on the line with his boss. He saw opportunity.  He believed jumping off the cliff and growing wings on the way down was the right thing to do.*

When you think about it, isn't that kinda what leading change is about? Taking that first, sometimes risky, step that ultimately ends up making the right kind of difference?

Is there someone on your team, in your department, in your community, in your neighborhood who needs you to take a chance on them? Let's make it so!

*with a nod to Ray Bradbury