This morning I was reading a piece (here) on Linked from GE’s former CEO Jack Welch wherein he shared three ways to make a career comeback. Of particular note to me in the piece was the following insight:
3. Finally, if you are draining away political capital within the organization in any form, stem the flow immediately. That means you may need to stop disparaging fellow employees, even in jest, or acting in any form like a wet blanket. Right now, your attitude needs to shout one word: “Yes.”
Can we guarantee that these three “fixes” will revive your career? Of course not. The facts are, sometimes a person has been underperforming for so long that they get an embedded reputation. No matter how hard you try, you will always be seen as the same old you.
…Again, you can read the full piece (and the other two insights) here, but I loved this article because it spoke to a belief that has been integral to my life outlook for many years… that being that over the long run projecting out negative energy almost always does more harm to your reputation (and consequently life/career outlook) than good.
When someone is complaining all the time most people’s reaction is to feel uncomfortable and/or annoyed. And if you’re the cause of making enough people feel these emotions for long enough, eventually you become associated with those negative feelings on a permanent basis.
Being the person everyone cringes when they see isn’t good for your career.
With that said, to close today I have a question: If one is always in a place where they’re saying and/or doing toxic things, is it always best to try and repair what’s making one feel that way or move on? Welch explains how to repair – recommending that you move on if this doesn’t work – but I’m not entirely sure that trying to repair first is always the best first approach (and to be fair to Welch he doesn’t explicitly say that it is, either).
…Put another way; if your environment isn’t bringing out the best in you, perhaps instead of trying to change your environment (or yourself), the better approach is to move on.
Just a Tuesday morning thought stream…