From Corporate Misfit to Proud Corporate Dropout
I tried y'all I really really did. I tried to go to work every day and avoid talking about and wanting to solve problems around the madness that is corporate America politics and bureaucracy. I could care less about new positions becoming available. Hell I was trying to avoid many of them. I tried to look the other way when C-Suiters, Directors and Middle Managers gave one directive as to their core values, beliefs and talent development/retention claims and yet there was little action, accountability or follow through.
At least that’s often been my experience. I tried to be a status quo person, just show up do my job and not want anything more than my paycheck. I tried to make the supposed security of an every 2 week paycheck the end all and be all as it relates to fulfillment.
For me it was JUST NOT possible. Instead it was painful. It wasn't possible for me because I've always been the above average individual contributor who thought and acted like a leader and problem solver. I was not middle or senior management, director or above level and many outside of my team were surprised by that. The truth of the matter is I was NEVER going to reach those platforms within corporate America because I ask too many damn questions. I expect for people to mean what they say.
I expected leaders to lead courageously even in challenging times.
I’ve always been the person who wants to solve problems others believed to be above my pay grade or outside of my job responsibilities. I wasn't just interested in looking at things from a bottom up or top down perspective. I looked at things from a 360° perspective. I didn't believe in leadership based on titles. I don't believe in entitlement. I WAS DIFFERENT. I wanted the organization AND the employees to thrive. I was the only one on my team, management included, who was a student and advocate of leadership and positive organizational culture. Hell I went back to school to get a masters degree in this discipline.
You see no matter my experience, training, education and observations I was supposed to be a good little worker bee and fall in line. Mind you this is even after senior management & the C-Suiters made an impassioned employee facing public plea for anyone, w/o regard for rank and title, with input and ideas to share so they could consider every perspective. Again, there was never any accountability for those statements but they sure did sound good at the all employee meetings and in the marketing materials for recruitment.
Frankly there was nothing any of my managers could do to get me to look the other way when it came to dealing with development, leading at all levels, employee engagement, organizational culture, team building and honest dealings of workgroups. I am forever attracted to dynamic leadership and believe that leadership has the ability to make all of the difference in every workplace. I believe there is no reason employee disengagement has to be so high but then again, some say only 10% of the individuals who are holding management positions actually have the talent to be people managers. Let that sink in...10%. I agree with these findings because I don't believe you manage people. I believe you manage tasks through the people you develop and nurture which doesn't translate to babysitting or coddling. I believe one motivates, inspires and leads people, not manage them. I never understood why employees with task driven strengths are promoted to be people managers. These individuals should be groomed as keen product, process or project managers instead. You see I'm a student of this type of work so I just couldn't look past any of that.
In hindsight there was a reason for my frustrated experiences. There was a reason why I never could do status quo. There was a reason why I knew I couldn't show up to a job I didn't love every day and yet still complain about it. I had to make a decision that either I was going to show up and not complain about it or I was going to get the h*** out of there. It had to be one or the other. It could no longer be both. Hovering in that space emotionally was not sustainable. Trying to walk that tightrope and playing both sides was a lot more emotionally draining than you would think simply because I didn't take a personal stand. I didn't choose a side. It was either the real me or their job. It was either take the journey to create my fulfilled life or settle. I had to make THE RIGHT decision no matter how hard the new journey was going to be.
My decision was to become a corporate dropout and stop being the corporate misfit. My decision was to find what I loved about developing people and do that whole heartedly. My decision was to find where I was able to thrive and love every bit of the process even the hard parts. For me that was never going to happen within the walls of the corporate experience or any experience where I could not identify and solve problems that mattered to me. I’m the creator, the visionary and the strategist. I found my voice and my calling. I have to do work that aligns directly with who I know myself to be because I never wanted to climb the corporate ladder...ok maybe I drank the kool-aid for a hot second but then I snapped out of it. I would have always been a problem for whoever I worked with that was not invested in talent development and truly wanting to see their team operate at its best based on the collective strengths of the team.
I became a proud corporate dropout to be the entrepreneur leader I’m meant to be and just do that. It’s why I find it so important to connect with individual with similar realities and give them a voice, an option to choose themselves. Designing the transformative personal growth experiences necessary to make that smart decision and create a bridge for themselves to walk into a better version of themselves and a more fulfilled life is all I want to do.
What do YOU want to do? How do YOU aim to take the lead?
Live Your Best Life
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This is what Eventual Entrepreneur AKAdemy is all about. Yes the EEA platform will absolutely benefit the person who simply wants to develop another stream of income. Yes EEA will be great for the pro side hustler who wants to continue their corporate America experience. They want their cake and eat it too and they shall have it. But the Eventual Entrepreneur AKAdemy is designed for the corporate misfit who wants to become a proud corporate dropout and forge their own path to fulfillment as an entrepreneur leader. EEA, the cooperative, is designed for the emerging entrepreneur leader who wants to take all of their experience, frustrations and expertise to create something brilliant that is bigger than themselves, heartfelt, mission driven and purposeful to them. I built this for us.