Samantha had an interesting career. The companies (2) transferred her to 8 locations, all in all 12 jobs, and 10 promotions. She accepted two laterals as the changes broadened her skill and knowledge base. All this summarizes her 34 years of work with two international corporations. Perfect!
When she was offered the 6th promotion, her new position was the first position which included multiple manufacturing plants in multiple countries – 13 plants, 6 countries. But it was the manner in which she was offered the job and ensuing challenges that are the story.
She was on vacation with her family, a notification came from Human Resources saying a call would come the next day (still on vacation) offering her a new opportunity. The call came on time; her new boss, assuming she accepted the position, described the job in a sentence and added, “You either take it or quit the company”. She accepted, despite the so inappropriate offer. Samantha at the time had 13 years with company and a stellar performance history. It was a great job, her first at a multi-country, multi-plant assignment!
She relocated to her new office, the office was beside the boss’, he was there, however didn’t say anything to her for two days. On the third day he called her into his office and said, “I was told I had to offer you this job, I did not want you for this position; go back to your office”.
Executives above her new boss told him he had to take her for the job. The new boss had another candidate within the company he wanted for the job.
Samantha worked for the guy for 7 years; the first two years could only be described as a war. He was “into” public dress down of people who reported to him, threw temper tantrums, just disgraceful for a person occupying a huge leadership position. Samantha brought him around by the third year to a point where they made a good team, although he hadn’t changed all his stripes. She was held in the highest esteem by her peers and other functional professionals. Around the 5th year of reporting to him he presented Samantha with a top corporation award for excellence in her functional role. And he sponsored her next promotion to a global role.
Why did corporation put up with his behavior? His behavior was well-known to upper level executives. He was one of the best business managers in the corporation — technical, financial, product and customer knowledge, highly skilled internationally. And, he had a great nose for talent, and made a lot of money for the company. Years later, the corporation finally sidelined him into a non-people management role, and eventually let him go.
But what do you do in Samantha’s case, quit the corporation? Abandon that great reputation she had earned in the company? Nope. She “stuck it out”, knowing full well she could rise above it!
Samantha’s story is one of perseverance and adaptability; she had the fortitude, analytical ability and business acumen, and a tool box full of other competencies, and corporate-wide respect, to overcome all of it and move upward in her career.
***** S&E ****