Crises are everywhere; sometimes big, sometimes small, sometimes in a small circle, sometimes nationwide. This is my story about a very personal crisis. MY takeaway: Don't duck when a crisis hits you. Stand up and be prepared to learn.
I want to begin my story with a clear message. Whatever happens, whatever mistakes you make, or whatever challenges you have to face, always take it as a gift of life to strive for a better version of you.
Many years ago, my family got into a serious challenge: a financial crisis. As families always should, my sisters in the US, my parents, and I stood up together to fight our way out of it. All of a sudden, I found myself in a leading position to manage these heavy and demanding times, even though I am the youngest of our family.
During those years, I often had to run out of meetings at work to manage the situation, to answer calls, to ask favours of someone I didn’t even know, and to negotiate in between stakeholders, creditors, banks and lawyers. For a few years, most of my salary and bonuses were eaten up in order to avoid total disaster. It was long and it was tough.
That was at a time when my team and responsibilities were growing, and I was offered a great professional opportunity to move forward within my organization. But because of my private situation, I chose to say no to the next career step offered to me.
However, incomparable to the amount of money and material possessions we lost, I “earned” much more:
A deeper empathy for people, gratitude for what I have and an ability to lead myself.
Since then, I have a habit to think twice before judging anyone and any situation. There might be a reason when some of my friends choose not to come to a dinner gathering or if one of my team members when he/she disappears during working hours or seems distracted. There is a possibility someone can be hurt by my vacation story regardless of my intention especially if they are not in a situation to take their family on a nice holiday.
Since then, I appreciate the things that I would have taken for granted more than if my crisis had not happened. I am grateful that I had a leader at that time who respected my decision of turning down a great career opportunity without judgment and continuously supported me, I am grateful that I had such a trustful and capable team, I am grateful for the crisis that has given me the ability to see other perspectives and I am grateful that I am fulfilled more from a healthy body and mind rather than material well-being.
Since then, I trust that I have enough resilience, optimism and belief to get through any challenges. I didn't lose track of my goal even though I had to deprioritize my career progression for a few years. In fact, my vision and life purpose of doing something meaningful for the other people got even more clearer during that time.
A few years later when everything was settled, I took a decision to come to Germany adidas HQ to accelerate my career. Working with colleagues and leaders from all over the world for the last 5 years has taught me lessons I could never put a price on. In parallel with my work, persistent effort and time have been invested in my personal dream to get closer to the vision of my life. Now I am kicking off a new chapter as a coach and consultant! I cannot describe how happy I am and proud of myself to lead myself upto now.
To end my story, I want to deliver my sincere appreciation to my friends, family, colleagues and leaders who went through that hard times with me. Special credits to my former leader, @Neelendra Singh.
Though I am thankful that my crisis is now history, I will welcome and appreciate whatever storm is waiting for me in the future.
I hope you find some part of this story that resonates with you, and if so, please leave me comments or/and PM. I would love to connect with you.
In one of my next blogs, I want to share with you more about my "driver's seat" story throughout my career.
PowerZone by Hee Jeong Min