The Man in the Arena

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We just re-hired the first of the people we recently laid off (Reining in My Dreams One Person at a Time). It wasn't for the same position or even the same pay, but it was an honor to ask him to be a member of our team again. As it turned out, he ended up getting a month's severance and taking a job back with us five weeks later. I think more than a few people would say that's not a bad deal and even a lucky break. In actuality though, luck had little to do with it.

When the unfortunate decision was reached to reduce head count in the department where this person previously worked, he easily could have left angry and asking, "Why me?" Not this guy. He thanked us for the opportunity we had given him, let us know it was going to be all right, and then, when he was leaving the building, his final words were, "I'll be back." Do those sound like the words of someone who has just been confronted with the unexpected reality that he would be losing his job? Is it any wonder that, when a position opened up in another area, everyone thought first of this guy?

I don't know what it is that makes one person take lemons and make lemonade while another takes 'em and becomes a disgruntled blogger. But here's what I do know. People like this are the ones who not only make it in this world but make the world a better place in the process. And they're also the kind of people I want to build an organization around. The cream always rises to the top while the rest remains -- yes, you guessed it -- on the bottom. It's funny how a little adversity can bring out both the best and worst in people. I'd like to close this post with one of my favorite quotes and one I feel is befitting of this gentleman who manifested his own reality in returning to the Aquascape team:

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out where the strong stumbled, or how the doer could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, his face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and falls short again and again. There is no effort without error.

But he who tries, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, at best knows the triumph of high achievement, and at the worst, fails while daring. His place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

Last updated: Jan 14, 2008




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