My Back’s Against the Wall


One of my friends recently told me that his board decided NOT to replace his boss…so he’s got several more months without a leader. Another pal told me that her husband recently lost his job. It was a shock. And they’re not sure how to proceed.

Sometimes life pins us between the proverbial “rock” and “hard place.” But you’re not really stuck. We always have at least three options.

  1. You can try to influence the situation. My leaderless friend could go to a favorite board members and ask if it’s possible to appoint someone (maybe him) as an “interim director” because not having a leader is hard on the staff and hard on the organization. (Notice the pro move here, putting the organization first…?)
  2. You can change your response to the situation. Sometimes shit happens and we just react. You lose your job… and you panic. Someone pulls out in front of you on a busy road… and you scream at them. But if you pay closer attention, you’ll notice that there’s a moment between stimulus and response. A gap. And in that gap, you can choose how you’re going to respond. You get your pink slip and instead of instantly freaking out you think, “How could this be a blessing?” and you start putting together a new plan. Or someone cuts you off in traffic and you wonder, “What’s going on for them that they’re in such a hurry?” Maybe they just found out someone they love is in the hospital. Bottom line: you get to choose your response. Make it a wise one. It will fundamentally shift the energy you have for everything else.
  3. You can leave the situation. Yup, that’s right, if you can’t handle how things are going, you can exit. I’d try the first two approaches first, but the truth is: leaving can be the best option. You can look for a new job. You can leave a family function instead of staying silent. You can end a relationship.

See? Your back’s not really against the wall. You have options!

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