It didn’t take long before it became one of her most popular articles and at the time of this writing, the article has received more than 500,000 views. Suddenly, I was thrust into the center of unexpected media attention. Radio stations, bloggers and various media outlets requested interviews and statements from me. Most seemed incredulous that I had the courage to make such a public statement about a former employer. It was clear to both Cheryl and me that we struck a chord and this letter resonated with the masses. Four months after Cheryl's original article, she published another, The Perfect Resignation Letter, Redux.
I recall a recent incident during a meeting with my VP of HR, my boss at the time, and several colleagues. We were discussing some of the challenges facing the human resources team, employee turnover, absenteeism, high rate of corrective action and more. I suggested developing an employee retention strategy as a tactical approach to addressing these issues. Mr. VP of HR disagreed and dismissed my suggestion without consideration with a look of annoyance, that I perceived to utter, “Shut the #@&% up.” My goal was to respectfully assert my position, however, I was careful to avoid appearing combative. As I began to share information to support my assertion, he appeared flustered. It was obvious that he did not appreciate that I had the audacity to express an opposing view in front of colleagues. At this point, I perceived his look of disdain to say, “Who the hell do you think you are?” Telepathically, I replied, “I'm Fancy Frenchwood, b*tch!” (in my best Dave Chappelle-Rick James-parody inner voice).
I'm not impressed by power plays and compensatory acts of authority in an effort to deflect from one’s ignorance and incompetence. In fact, it really just strikes me as desperate. I am impressed by solution-oriented leaders who recognize the benefit of soliciting knowledge and recommendations from individuals who may offer an informed and diverse perspective. Title, position and/or rank within an organization should never be a substitute for practical knowledge, expertise and the demonstrated ability to lead others.
It seems appropriate to add arrogance to the list of unacceptable substitutions. Just an afterthought, but seems fitting. Don’t you agree?
My goal is to help readers discover their inner voice and the confidence to listen to it. If you are willing to participate in some serious self-evaluation resulting in knowledge of self and self-worth, the reward is a stronger sense of personal empowerment. One who feels empowered will most likely make positive choices to achieve goals and is less likely to remain complicit in maltreatment imposed by others, including an ineffective, incompetent boss.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about my situation and maybe what you have experienced along these lines if you are comfortable sharing in this forum.