How past success lead to failure

Ira after her college ,landed at a meaty role of a recruiter in a large accounting firm ,the supervisor was very friendly and supportive , this led to Ira work with one of the most important business clients and on key positions ,everything just added up value to her profile ,making her an expert at her job.

She was also a smart learner, who made most of all training imparted in relation to her role, including additional resources available at work ,trying to grasp as much as possible and being solely focussed on her work.

The mantra Ira followed was “Work is Worship”

Many years later ,Ira had established herself as an expert in her field, with many awards and accolades .As she gained higher levels her responsibility grew ,she was given more roles to manage people both above and below her,which in a way tested her leadership skills and abilities.

Initially what Ira found engaging, with time , the same role became one of the major reasons of stress for her.

She struggled to manage different personalities . While she successfully built and designed several processes ,and brought method to machines, she failed miserably in people management ,her approach of doing everything systematically fell flat . The execution failed miserably ,the insubordination rose ,and she could not be assertive enough in getting things done.

One fine day ,out of the sheer frustrations that was piling up for many months now,she ended up in a major brawl with one of her team members,it was very unlikely of Ira ,something no one perceived including herself.

This one event changed the trajectory of her career life ,the issue did got resolved with the senior leadership intervening ,but a lot was lost out of the ordeal .

Some people are basically very good with machines, process and systems , Ira was one of it ,as long as her roles stayed that of an individual contributor ,and minimal interaction with a team , she did phenomenally well ,but as soon as she was chosen for leadership,she failed miserably .

This case leaves us with key lessons ,that calls for attention & learning

  1. Lacking awareness of self (especially of our innate strengths) can make people take wrong decisions ,which eventually may cost job and for some even careers
  2. Every system need change be it a process or an individual,therefore it is necessary we never forget that change is inevitable and one has to built in a factor of flexibility and change with time ,staying stuck with old practices however successful they might me does not help
  3. After good years spent in a given role or a career, it is always a good practice to pause ,reflect and re-plan careers ,especially every 5 or 7 years , it serves two purpose ; (a) It assist in evaluating what went well and what did not ,over a period of time ,providing enough lessons to learn from (b) It also create a foundation to take on new and bigger roles and help one prepare in an efficient way.
  4. Only technical work as a specialist ,alone does not help one grow in one’s career . It is actually a complex culmination of soft and technical skills that what makes a leader.
  5. Work always demand lot of responsibility and effective authority management as we experience and age , it also demands one’s ability to manage one’s emotions in a more mature way ,especially while dealing with difficult people,situations and circumstance ,those who fail in it , often times ,find themselves in trouble state.

With these leanings , this cases still leaves us with some unanswered questions,one of it is

What do you think ,was the key contributing factor of Ira’s failure ?

Hit reply ,and I look forward to hear back from you .

(c) 2020 Mehnaz Amjad

About the Author : Mehnaz Amjad MBA (HR),PMP,SHRM-SCP , is a certified Life Coach,Founder of Guide & Advice which offers Life Coaching & Training services to both individuals and organizations. Online : LinkedIn

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