Listen with webreader

Last week there was a story in our local news about one of the hospitals in town. Seems they’re in a horrible financial position, where they showed a loss of almost $18 million in the first half of the year due to depreciation, supplies, interest and other costs.

If something is wrong...
Creative Commons License Sasha Kimel via Compfight

That’s always scary to see, although this particular hospital is about to become part of a larger network of hospitals that will help guide it through some of its financial issues. They’ll survive, although they certainly could have used my services. :-)

Anyway, like many news stories that show up online, this one garnered a lot of comments from the populace. And almost all the comments were wrong about the problems of the hospital. How do I know? Because I’m in health care, I’ve kept up with the news along with another local consultant, and we both have some inside information on a few things.

Although it didn’t take any of that knowledge to know the comments these people were making were wrong. For one, half of them blamed President Obama and the Affordable Care Act; sorry to say this but if anyone believes a hospital can lose that kind of money because of the ACA, and the news reports mentions other things (let alone the fact that the ACA has nothing to do with revenue or costs), then it’s a stupid statement.

A few other people jumped on the normal bandwagon I see whenever there’s bad hospital news, talking about how much they charge for things like aspirin (which no hospital in the country should be charging for because it’s unbillable per Medicare regulation) or other things. People, if the hospital lost money because of a lack of revenue and you’re saying they’re charging too much for things like aspirin, once again it’s a stupid statement.

Most of the time I don’t like reading comments on news stories for two reasons. One is because people can be pretty mean, especially when they get to hide behind fake names. Two, because it becomes obvious pretty quickly that people have no idea what they’re talking about.

Ah yes, we finally come to the meat of things. It seems that a lot of people have opinions of things but a lack of knowledge behind those opinions. Actually, that’s not the problem; goodness, I have opinions on things without knowing everything about them all the time.

Do Not Enter! Wrong Way!
Creative Commons License Rafael Castillo via Compfight

What I don’t do is open my mouth or write something down when expressing an opinion without some background or knowledge on it. I’ve been known to tell people that I have an opinion based on the little bit that I know but then I’ll ask what else there might be. That way I can gain more insight to see if my opinion was valid or if I need to change it.

Being wrong on something where you only have an opinion on it but there’s no action is bad enough. Being wrong on something where an action has to take place and you tell someone to do something wrong because you don’t want to take the time to look into it can be tragic.

Years ago, I was consulting at a hospital where the project leader had put someone else over a department that handled Medicaid claims. The assumption was that I had a lot on my plate already so this other person could handle it.

The problem was that Medicaid in each state can be problematic if you’re unsure of the rules and don’t take any time to make sure what you’re doing is legitimate. In this case, the billing department turned out to be doing something that wasn’t ethical… only they didn’t know it at the time.

I figured it out and went to the people to tell them they had to stop. They told me it was the only way the hospital would get paid. I told them that proved it was fraudulent, because one never takes something into their own hands in health care billing without checking it out first.

The next thing I knew, the guy overseeing the department came to me and asked me to change the codes so that the department wasn’t changing them, thus would be in compliance. I told him that’s not how it worked anywhere, but especially in New York, which is my state. I told him that I refused, and if his department didn’t stop doing it I was going to force the issue.

For almost a week it was a daily debate. Finally I’d had enough. I called the Medicaid representative in my own area, told her the problem but told her it wasn’t in her district so she didn’t have to address it. I didn’t tell her where I was so she wouldn’t be put in a bad position.

BBC Knowledge 2010 04
sdobie via Compfight

Afterwards, I went to this guy’s office, called her and put her on speakerphone as if it was the first time I was calling her. I presented the issue so he could hear what she had to say. She said if a hospital was doing what I described it would be illegal on two fronts, one because billing departments can’t just change things to get paid and two, because what they were changing it to the hospital didn’t even have that department; that’s the definition of fraud.

She gave instructions on how they could fix their issue because, it turns out, the problem was known by the state and they’d put a correction out on its website, which the hospital had missed. When we hung up the phone, I told this guy it was his responsibility to tell his people how to fix the issue and that it not only needed to be recorded but written up and reported to the project manager so he could include it in his notes.

I don’t know if that part ever took place unfortunately; I hope the hospital never suffered from an audit later on, although the trouble had started before he took over so he’d have been absolved of all blame.

There are times when offering your thoughts on something you know nothing about won’t hurt anything except possibly your reputation. There are other times when offering your opinion when you don’t know what you’re talking about could be catastrophic. In business and life, if you’re unsure about something that could affect lives, finances, or anything else that might be important, at least so some research before you mess things up.

I know we’re at a time in society where people say or do things all the time without thinking, apologize, and think it’s all good and they should be forgiven. Sometimes, being forgiven isn’t an option because a crisis has been created that could be averted.

For your sake, if that happens I hope someone has insurance like that museum in Taipei that had the 12-year old kid fall through a $1.54 million painting; probably not!
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell
Tags:
Listen with webreader

Sometimes you’re going to get a surprise you’re just not expecting and it’s going to be wondrous. In my case I don’t remember the full beginning, but I somehow got connected to a young woman named Amy Morin on Twitter, and I saw that she’d written a book titled 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. I don’t know why but my mind said I had to buy it and read it… possibly because when I took a look at it on Amazon the electronic version was on sale at the time; any time you can get a deal right? :-)

icon
icon

First, I’m using an affiliate link for the book via Barnes & Noble here, which you can check out by clicking on the book. Second, the link above will take you to a brief write-up of the book on Amy’s site. Okay, that’s it for the preamble.

Anyway, the title is pretty self explanatory, and I can tell you that this isn’t a fluff book. She’s a licensed clinical social worker, thus has worked with a lot of people on psychological issues of all sorts, many of them involving people who just aren’t at peace with themselves for some reason.

There are a lot of stories in the book highlighting some of the problems people saw her about and how she helped guide them into more positive ways of thinking, something y’all know I’m big on. I’m assuming that the names have been changed to protect the innocent for the most part.

What’s really intriguing is that early on in the book we learn that Amy had to get through some of her own personal struggles as it involved losing family members. Her mother passed away suddenly when she was 23 years old, and three years later her husband passed away suddenly also, strangely enough, after visiting the same auditorium to watch a basketball game as her mother; I think that would have freaked me out. Then a few years later, after marrying again, her new husband’s father was diagnosed with cancer. It was during this time that she sat down and came up with the 13 skills, which started as a list that she fleshed out over time.

Basically, the 13 skills lead towards what she identifies as “mental strength” and how it can be developed if one can learn how to control thoughts, behaviors and emotions. She acknowledges that every person handles things differently and that finding the proper mental strength comes easily to some and is harder to attain for others.

The 13 skills lend towards ways of identifying how one might be able to change their lives for the better. In her own words, they’re “meant to help you find better ways to cope with life’s challenges so you can avoid these pitfalls“.

The list is presented in a different way than what we’re used to. Instead of telling us what mentally strong people do, she tells us what they don’t do; it’s a pretty powerful way to get us to start to think about things. Of course, once you’ve gotten into the meat of each point, she gives you both sides of the ledger; that’s pretty fair I think.

AmyM01
Amy Morin, LCSW

I’m not going to list the 13 things here because you can see them by following the link above. However, I am going to mention that only thing that I kind of didn’t totally agree with. I understand her main statement, but some of the examples she uses go against some of the things I say that people who are having difficulties with their own identities need to do and think about.

It’s #12 on her list:
 

“They Don’t Feel The World Owes Them Anything”

I fully agree with that statement; the world gives all of us what we earn… well, most of us anyway. :-) However, I would disagree with the idea that if you believe in these particular concepts that it means you believe the world owes you something:

* You believe you were born to be successful
* You believe you deserve to be happy
* You think you’ve dealt with your share of problems in life and it’s your turn to have good things happen to you
* You consider yourself an expert in many things
* I deserve better than this
* I’m more valuable than this
* I was meant to be highly successful
* Good things will come my way

Now, I do understand context, so I know what she was doing and saying when using these particular examples. However, I tend to deal with a lot of people who often seem like they don’t have enough self esteem to believe in themselves at all.

Thus, when I come from a motivational point of view, I try to get people to believe in themselves, to believe that they’re as good as anyone else, probably better in some ways. She even mentions in that same chapter that a helpful thing for people to do is develop healthy amounts of self esteem.

Her point here is to not believe the world owes you something just because of who you think you are because that might not be who you really are. I’m just one of those folks who will sometimes look at certain phrases and, without a bit more context and balance, see them as something else, positives instead of negatives and vice versa.

Small point, but I figured that since it’s the only thing in the entire book that I questioned, which means I had to get through 80% of the book before I encountered anything I didn’t totally agree with, that it was worth mentioning. :-)

Other than that small bit of counterpoint, I think this is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and the suggestions it offers, along with the stories, makes this a definite must-buy book. It also seems I’m not alone as it’s become a best seller and has been translated into 20 languages; if only my book would do a 20th of this kind of business. lol

I don’t usually like surprises; this is definitely the exception. Thanks Amy; may I call you Amy? 😉
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell
Listen with webreader

Last night I went to an event at the Everson Museum here in the Syracuse area. It was called Unique, and it’s a presentation of the words of talented disabled artists as well as a fundraiser for Arise Inc, on whose board I presently sit.

Tom02
Tom McKeown

I’m not an artist in this sense. I know what I like but if someone asked me to paint something it would be a mess. Thus, seeing what these folks can do that I can’t shows me and everyone else that being labeled “disabled” doesn’t mean one isn’t talented or smart or lacking in skills. Something for those of you who are in charge of hiring to think about.

The executive director of Arise is named Tom McKeown. We both started at Arise around the same time, and as my association will end at the end of October he’ll be retiring next spring.

Tom is a great leader of people; I can easily say that. He’s great at it because of a few specific things. One, he lets his directors and supervisors do their job without interference. Two, he knows what’s going on every step of the way and can make legitimate suggestions when needed. Three, his employees trust him and will confide in him, even if things aren’t going well. And four, he’s always thinking 3 or 4 steps ahead, looking out for traps as well as opportunities for growth of the organization.

The third story I tell in my latest book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy concerns what I call a “hands off” manager. That’s someone who gives you a job to do but doesn’t explain how they want it done, yet expects you to present it to them the way they want to see it. In essence, they figure that since they hired you it’s now your responsibility to know, by osmosis, everything associated with it.

The problems with that are multiple, but two things usually stand out pretty quickly. One, it immediately puts employees in a trap they can’t escape from, even after time, because without direction one can only guess at what the leader wants, even if they’re highly skilled. Two, often hands off managers do this because they don’t know what they want, sometimes because they don’t understand the issue enough to be able to ask for anything more specific.

If you don’t know what the potential outcomes of something are, you can’t be an effective leader. Now, if you put it to the person doing the work as an investigatory project, meaning you want to know what you’re up against so you’re gaining knowledge, that’s one thing. But if you’re telling someone to “fix” something without knowing what, or if, there’s a problem, and the solution turns out not to be what you want, it’s your fault. Don’t ever blame the employee… which you’re going to do anyway.

Being an empowering leader means you know what’s going on, and you know you’ve hired the right people to do their jobs. You stay on top of their progress, have meetings, and encourage rather than delegate without knowing what you’re talking about. Sure, things come up that empowering leaders might be surprised by, but that’s more about life than about leadership; no one knows everything.

I can honestly say it’s a pleasure actually knowing someone in a leadership position who does everything right; yes, they do exist! :-)
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell
Listen with webreader

My wife and I both travel for our careers. We’re different in that I’m a consultant, whereas she’s an independent contractor who works on 13-week assignments.

IMG_3586
Fondazione Giannino Bassetti via Compfight

Her present assignment will be ending in a couple of weeks and she’ll be coming home. She has spent the last couple of weeks trying to confirm where she will go next, after a two-week break. I’m about to tell you a tale of elation and frustration, and the frustration isn’t her fault.

One of the companies she works with contacted her and mentioned that there was an assignment relatively close to where we live. By relative, I mean within three hours; that’s a big deal, especially when you realize that her current contract is in California and my last one was in Memphis, and we live in the Syracuse NY area.

Only a couple of hours after this company had contacted my wife, the director of the department called my wife out of the blue and asked if she could interview her. That’s not normally how things are done, and the woman even told her she wasn’t sure if that’s how it’s supposed to work but that she had called wanting to know my wife would talk to her. She did, and the interview went well. After the interview, my wife called the agency and told them that she had already interviewed with this particular hospital and it seemed to have gone very well.

A couple of days later the agency contacted my wife and said this hospital was very interested in having her come. That meant it was time for some of the negotiations, which usually includes things like insurance, where to live, and a host of other things. There was some back-and-forth over the next couple of days, and by Friday of that week my wife had agreed in principle to the terms of the deal. She was ecstatic mainly because if she wanted to she could come home every weekend, and she’d also found a fully furnished apartment in a nice neighborhood, which means she’d have saved some extra money to help pay for insurance.

Then came Monday.

_MG_2030
Creative Commons License Wayne National Forest via Compfight

A representative from the agency contacted my wife and told her that the person from the hospital had been overruled by the doctor in the department who, as it turns out, had the authority, not the director, for bringing people into the department. The physician, even though this hospital has had trouble finding a permanent replacement for the position, decided that he would rather wait and work harder to get a permanent person rather than fill the spot temporarily with someone who had no intention of taking the job on a permanent basis once the assignment was over. The agency representative also said that based on how things had gone down they wouldn’t represent this hospital any further in trying to find someone if they tried to come back in the future

Strangely enough, I can commiserate with my wife because I had the same type of thing happened to me a few years ago. I had the opportunity to consult with a local hospital on a project that would’ve lasted anywhere from 3 to 6 months, and we had already agreed on salary, but it turned out that the person who had negotiated the deal didn’t have the final authority to close the deal and I never got a signed agreement.

Most of the time I never have a problem when people decide to take the initiative to fix an issue that has presented itself. However, when you’re in a leadership position, even if the person you’re talking to isn’t the person who reports to you, let alone works for your organization, it is your responsibility to make sure that you’re allowed to do what you’re trying to do before you potentially ruin things not only for your company, but for the person you’ve been working with.

There’s always some kind of fallout from something like this. Obviously people are disappointed, but sometimes people lose their job over things like this. If you don’t have the ultimate authority over making a decision, it’s always best to at least run the idea by the person who does before going through the motions. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s a leadership best practice.

Luckily for my wife, who was a bit disappointed because she was looking at the benefits of being close to home, there were a couple other opportunities on the table and she’s sifting through them to make a final determination on which one she’s going to select. However, none of them will be close to home, which means they all come with their own set of complications. Still, it’s possible that she dodged the bullet that would’ve left her without any options at all.

Of course I could add something about the physician holding onto a pipe dream, but I think I’ll save that for another day.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell
Listen with webreader

Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m in the wrong era when it comes to talking about good leadership principles. I know things change and that each generation brings something new to the table. However, based on a lot of what I’m seeing lately, I’m not sure it’s for the better.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, Washington D.C.
Norto Méndez via Compfight

A few years ago I wrote about my issue with the term servant leadership and it’s overall concept. It’s the biggest buzzword in leadership today, and a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon; I’m not one of them.

In the last month I’ve seen a lot more leadership articles saying that leaders need to be more submissive to employees and should show more emotion in the workplace to help employees identify with them more.

Frankly, I see this as the “wussification” of leadership, and in my opinion it’s an extension of a part of what’s wrong with some of the young people and their work ethic, or lack thereof. I guess it’s time for a minor rant on millennials and some Gen Y’ers.

I played a lot of sports when I was a kid. It was rare for parents to come to our games; I think my dad saw me play one basketball game ever, along with one baseball game. Sure, it might have been nice to have my parents come see me more often, but that’s how the world was.

Also, awards were given out based on merit. Just like the Olympics, many awards were given out to the top 3 teams and top 3 players in the major categories. That was it; for everyone else, there was the season ending party, and then time to prepare for the next season.

Over the last bunch of years, even though I have no kids, I’ve seen where more parents are going to games, yelling at coaches for not putting their kids in games, saying they don’t care who wins as long as kids play. There’s also more emphasis on the phrase that “winning isn’t everything”.

Frankly, I think things have swung way too far to the other side. Coaches don’t teach anything except good sportsmanship unless it’s for school teams, and even then they sometimes have to deal with overzealous parents who think their kids are better than they are. If one team gets up by too many points or runs or whatever games are called; that didn’t happen when I was a kid.

I also know that at the end of some seasons, instead of giving major kudos to winners it seems that every kid now gets a trophy; what’s that all about? When did it become a good thing to reward mediocrity and a lack of talent? I agree that winning isn’t everything but I’ll always believe that there’s an important aspect to winning and lauding winners. Without that, why have sports at all? For that matter why have leaders?

I remember being in a seminar when, during a break, this young woman in her mid 30’s was saying how upset she was with the school her 14-year old was going to because they took her cellphone away. The mother was saying she called her daughter 3 times a day while she was at school to see how she was doing and that, as the mother, she should have that right. This was a Gen Y mother talking about her millennial child, who at this point is a young adult who’s had to have grown up with an interesting sense of entitlement that wouldn’t have been on the minds of parents, let alone students, when I went to school.

Dallas DA - Martin Luther King Jr Parade 2014
Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
via Compfight

Last week I read a story where a study was taken that came away saying that millennials in the workplace today believe it’s up to leaders to make work “fun”, and that they believed employers should pay for them to get advanced degrees so they could do their jobs better. Then I saw some of the comments on the story where there were people in agreement; ugh!

I’ve talked a lot on this blog and in my two books about what I consider are good and great leadership qualities. I tend to believe that great leaders make sure their employees are well trained, have access to everything they need to do their jobs, and that it’s important to interact with employees and find ways to motivate them since their performance is ultimately what leaders, aka management, is evaluated on.

Having said that, I tend to believe that if those things are taken care of that it then becomes the responsibility of the employee to find their own way of being happy. Every company isn’t going to be Google and have video games, play cushions and “come to work when you feel like it” rules. Let’s face it; not all work is fun; that’s why it’s called “work”.

I also believe that if leadership does what it’s supposed to do in training employees that their liability has been met and that, if employees want more advanced degrees so that they can achieve greater success down the line that it’s on them to figure out how to get those degrees. If companies decide to offer reimbursement that’s cool, but it shouldn’t be an obligation unless it’s expected for those employees to keep the jobs they get.

That there are a number of people who are talking about leadership that are advocating these things is somewhat disturbing. Good leadership isn’t about allowing ones emotions to overrule the job. It’s not about genuflecting to the opinions of the employees. It’s also not about abrogating the responsibilities of leadership by being anyone’s “servant”.

Good leadership is about treating everyone fairly. Good leadership is about making sure everyone has the tools to be successful. Good leadership is about giving those who wish to participate in the process a chance to show it and to progress as much as they can. Good leadership is realizing that you might be the person in charge but that everyone needs to be treated as an adult.

Tell people when they do good. If they’re not good… they don’t deserve a trophy. That’s my belief anyway.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell
Listen with webreader

A couple of days ago an online friend of mine talked about going to the gym. While there, this guy came in wearing cologne really strong. She said it made her gagged and that she didn’t understand why he was wearing so much.

I Can BEE Empathetic
Enokson via Compfight

I wrote her independently because, strangely enough, I knew that answer, even if I’d never done it. Sometimes with guys there’s this conundrum where we know we’re going to work out but might not be the freshest we can be. We’re not up for cleaning up, let alone showering, before we head to a place where we’re going to sweat even more. So, sometimes we try to do what was done back in the Renaissance period… cover it up with some kind of perfume.

Why did I know this answer if I’ve never done it? Because I’ve thought about it. I’ll own up to this one, only because I haven’t done it. I don’t go to a gym anymore, but when I did and I felt like other men might feel, I’d get a towel and do a quick wipe down, then use antiperspirant, since I don’t wear cologne. I figured doing even that little would make me bearable, and most probably no one would even notice since I’d at least done something.

I didn’t know the answer just because I was a man. Whereas I understood that scenario, there’s a lot of things I don’t understand about guys that they’ve done for… well, at least things I’ve seen since I was young.

For instance, what’s the deal with throwing paper in a urinal? You know that doesn’t flush right? What’s with all the hocking and spitting everywhere? Not only is that nasty but almost no one has the need to spit like that 24/7. I mean, I’ve noticed that not a single man in all my years who wasn’t sick did that sort of thing inside; ugh.

Pleasant stories? Not really, but they help to highlight something that’s been on my mind.

There’s always this assumption that people will know how to deal with someone they perceive is like them better than anyone else will. You know what? That’s not even close to true.

Sure, there are a lot of men who, even in today’s world, can’t fathom working for a woman, or even reporting to one. Yet, if they’re actually paying attention to their circumstances, they don’t fare better at work just because they report to a man.

The same goes for women. When I first started working in health care finance there was only myself and another man at the time, and I was the only minority. The vice president and office manager were women, yet neither was all that inspiring with the other women who worked there. All the supervisors were women; same thing.

At some point I was not only the only male, but I was the only assistant supervisor, otherwise known as team leader. I always had better relations with the employees I worked with than our supervisor did, and it extended to working every once in a while with other departments.

I was far from having anything similar with any of the people I worked with, and not only because of race and gender. Turns out we didn’t watch the same things on TV, I read way more than they did, I didn’t drink or party, and I wasn’t married or have any kids, which more than half the women there were and did.

Yet, I got along with everyone, and I carried that into every position, job and not contract I get. I think it’s pretty easy to say I still don’t have a lot in common with the people I work with.

Sand Sculpture - friends
Creative Commons License Erich Ferdinand via Compfight

How do I do it? What’s the big secret?

Back in February, when I defined leadership for the first time on this blog, I said that one of the major criteria for being a great leader is the concept of empathy. I said that empathy was finding a way to talk to others.

It’s actually a lot more than that. Empathy is finding a way to care enough about others so you can help and communicate with them.

For most people it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get them to work with you in a positive way. I tend to believe it’s because it’s not something most employees are used to seeing all that often. I like to think this is what allows me to have the ability to talk to people who work on every single level of an organization, or even in places like supermarkets or restaurants when I’m out.

Even though I’m somewhat of an introvert (in that I never start conversations… well, almost never if it’s not related to business), I seem to be able to find opportunities for making a connection with lots of different people. Trust me, that helps a lot because you never know when you’ll need a friendly face.

I like to think that because I’m pretty good at empathy, to the point that I often do it when I’m not trying to, that I’ve had some job offers for things I’m not qualified for and I’ve had some people who decided that I was their “guy” and would do anything for me, even find someone to kill anyone who was bothering me if I asked them to… no, I never did that, but it was something interesting to have in one’s portfolio. lol

It’s possible that out of all the leadership recommendations and tips anyone’s ever talked about, empathy has been forgotten about a lot of folks. After all, I’ve written this blog for 10 1/2 years and it turns out this is only the 8th time I’ve even mentioned the word in a post; that’s a major shame, but I’ve made up for it here.

Empathy deserves more respect, and hopefully is something you’ll give some serious thought to. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this concept.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell
Listen with webreader

First, I’d like to put a cap on my marketing experiment for the week by thanking those who participated in it. I didn’t get a lot of comments on this blog but I did on one of my other blogs and I received some email. Frankly, that’s the best I could have hoped for. If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, check this out.

Volunteer in Accra, Ghana
Volunteer Abroad UBELONG via Compfight

Back in April I wrote a post titled Can You Be Fired From A Volunteer Job? It was my telling of basically deciding to give up on a position I’d held for pretty much 12 of 16 years as the local chapter president of a larger national organization after basically being threatened with ouster. One of the strange things is that no one from the organization has ever officially mentioned it anywhere that I know of, as I continue getting regular mail and email from them; freaky right?

Actually, it turns out to not be a freaky, or even a common as it seems. Believe it or not, there are two other organizations where I felt like I wasn’t wanted as a member, left both, yet decades later both organizations still send me monthly messages, first trying to get me back as a member, then trying to get me to advertise with them. Are they kidding?

I’ve never been one of those people who’s stayed around when I knew folks didn’t want me there… for the most part. When I was in high school, I wasn’t the most popular person around. The reason was because I wasn’t from the area; I started high school in a new city in my junior year. Almost all the friends I ended up getting were others who moved there around the same time and had the same problems breaking through.

At that time, traveling because I was a military kid and also an only child helped me a lot. I didn’t need anyone else’s approval to do whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t care who might not have wanted me in a lot of places within the school as long as I wasn’t doing anything wrong. So if other students didn’t like it… tough.

As adults, sometimes those lines get blurred. Sometimes we have to weigh what we want or need from something versus someone else’s apparent dislike of us or wish to dismiss us from whatever it happens to be.

I figure it this way.

First, if it has to do with my money I’d rather use it on something that’s benefiting me more than someone else. That’s why I’ve left some organizations… and probably why they continue reaching out to me for more, as the people at the top or in other spaces either don’t know or don’t care what’s going on below them.

Second, if someone doesn’t want you to the point of deciding to make your life miserable, why give them the satisfaction? That is, unless you have some authority you can use to not only stay but to affect things whether they like them or not. Most of the time I’ve left but I did have this one time when I decided to stay and go up against a clueless bully… and I eventually won that battle and didn’t feel a bit of remorse, especially since he actually hurt himself and I’m just part of the group that reported him for it. Big lesson; if you decide to go after someone you don’t like, don’t make it too easy for them to crush you. :-)

Third, sometimes you have to figure that maybe you’ve been doing something for so long that, even if it wasn’t perfect, it was comfortable. That’s why I left the group I first talked about immediately, and why I’m leaving another group come November after 13 years. I feel like someone new needs to come in and take my spot; at least it’s my choice with the second one, so that feels a lot better.

Does this make me a quitter? No, I don’t think so. If I wanted to fight I could, but sometimes you have to do what makes you feel better sooner than later. A few times I’ve been really irked and, being a fighter, thought about fighting. But why fight for something that, when you think about it, you’ve given more than you’ve gotten?

What’s your feeling? What do you do when you feel someone doesn’t want you around?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch  Mitchell