There were so many times in my career when I should have been fired. No question. Times when it was perfectly logical, reasonable, and justifiable to let me go. Somehow, someway…countless people gave me opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. People believed in me, when I oftentimes gave them no reason to believe in me. Despite my shortcomings, I was rehabilitated, reformed and re-positioned to help others who may not look like they deserve it either.
Something in you
Years ago, when I was a hotel banquet server, I always asked for opportunities to do more and learn more. I was like a sponge. Eager to soak up anything I could learn about service, food, wine, set-up, etc. One day, the banquet director came to me and said that he saw something in me that impressed him. As a result, he wanted me to be his “right hand” for an important upcoming event. My job would be to assist in organizing the set-up of the event. Table placement…Silverware settings…Staff assignments, etc.
The big day came, and I was scheduled to report to work at 9AM. Somehow, my alarm didn’t go off and I overslept…by a lot. I didn’t get to work until after 10AM. When he saw me, he had a look of sheer hurt and disappointment on his face. He quickly interrupted my barrage of excuses and quietly said, “I was counting on you.” Then he walked away. I should have been written up, suspended or even fired. In fact, I expected it. But nothing happened. He ended up giving me another opportunity, and I seized it with both hands.
The point is that I did nothing to “deserve” another opportunity, but I got it anyway. If not for his willingness to forgive, coach, and give me another chance, I would not be where I am today. Honestly, I can give similar examples where undeserved grace was the only valid explanation for my success.
While past accomplishments may be a good starting point for giving staff additional opportunities, I strongly encourage you to look deeper into the person’s potential. Do you see something there? Is there a glimmer of hope? Can that person shine with the right mix of encouragement, coaching and opportunity? You may be the catalyst that unlocks someone’s ascent into their true potential. You may be the one who reveals that she is worth gambling on. Your belief in that person can help him believe in himself.
You deserve to know how much of a positive and sustainable impact you can have on the life of others…even if they don’t deserve it. Give opportunities…even if they don’t deserve it. Coach them with an expectancy of excellence…even if they don’t deserve it. Then, you can rest well knowing that you didn’t miss an opportunity to help change someone’s life…even if they don’t deserve it
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