Chapter 7: Secure Your Identity Part 12
In the last post, we met Janet Wolf, the power mom who set clear expectations with her managers that she would have time contraints and would always get her work done. And she remained connected to her kids activities while consistently getting to do “bigger and better things” in her career.
Janet is a Wolf, someone who is concerned with both the success of the organization and the welfare of the people she works with. (see this post from Chapter 4 for more on Wolves.) And like Harry Lobo, she found herself in a difficult political environment. Janet described it as “ten smart guys at the top” who seemed to think that everyone else was “dispensable.”
Janet’s last manager at that company had “no desire to spend any time on talent management. [His attitude was] ‘Get it done or else you suck and get out of here.’” This was difficult for Janet, because her values put her priorities in a different place. Janet thought that developing people was the key to successful long term success of the company. And her network, both professional and personal, was huge, which was critically important after an unexpected layoff after five years. Janet’s comments, which she shared with me a month after the layoff, illustrate how her identity quickly shifted.
“These people don’t value me, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not valued. Your identity is so tied up with a company and a role but then you realize that you are above all that. It doesn’t matter that you may or may not be affiliated with a company right now. It’s been an interesting awakening for me, to realize that. I’ll be ok. Yes, I do want to do something exciting next but its ok if it takes a while. It took a week for me to come to [figure this out]. I got so many calls and emails from friends.”
And given the size of her network, it didn’t surprise me that Janet soon had another position that she described to me as her “dream job.”