April 30th, 2008 12:20 EST
Window Shopping for a New Life is Simply Brilliant
I was recently speaking to a dear friend of mine whose company had just been purchased by a private-equity firm. With the sudden change in management and the uncertain future, she then proceeded to say “Simon, I am window shopping for a new life!” Well, of course my ears perked up because I recognized this all too familiar sound. Frustration over not having achieved more, disappointment in having waited so long to break out of the doldrums of dead people working, and regret for allowing fear to prevent taking the leap sooner to explore other possibilities internally and externally.
As I listened to my friend, I began to relive the many times I have been to the mall with my bride (Renee – wife of 15 ½ years). What I learned during my shopping trips is that men go to the mall with a specific mission in mind; a goal to be accomplished and a conquest to be achieved. Women, however, go to browse, try things on, ask trick questions like ”how does this look on me?” And, of course, to eventually make a purchase.
I have discovered that window shopping is an art. How something appeals to the natural eye will either attract the viewer to want to explore more or simply move on. Many people are window shopping for a new job, relationship, business, or opportunity. Why? There is a void in the soul that can only be filled by a sense of adventure and rediscovery.
People want to come alive and make meaning instead of just money. Fortune Magazine just released the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For. A reoccurring theme of these enlightened companies was the way in which they released the brilliance of their staff.
Edward Jones Company gave 70% of employees in the corporate office a 6.5% raise when most companies dole out a measly 3% that will be eaten up by Uncle Sam. Genentech provides doggie day care and an on-site farmer’s market. Qualcomm provides an on-site primary care clinic.
Those are large companies with tens of thousands of employees. What about small companies of less than 2,000 employees? Well, consider the legal firm Alston & Bird that provides 90 days of paid maternity leave, coverage of fertility treatments and concierge services. TD Industries is an employee-owned construction firm, where no one earns more than ten times anyone else. I could go on and on, but the point is not everyone is looking to leave their current place of business and window shop elsewhere. Are you?
The reason people develop a wandering eye to shop their talents, gifts and abilities elsewhere is that the organization/management has stopped talking to them about their future. They are told what to do instead of asked what they need to be brilliant. Now, if you are considering window shopping for a new life, may I suggest that you take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’ve done everything possible to be a catalyst of change.
Have you been personally accountable and responsible for your actions and behaviors? Have you turned over every stone internally before you put a toe in another pond? Have you met with your mentor/sponsor to express your desire to go window shopping for a new opportunity?
If you have covered all of the bases, then I would say it never hurts to window shop by having a conversation with another potential business or organization. It is imperative in the competitive global economy that you see yourself as a mobile brand that is not confined by your zip code or self-imposed limitations.
Are you tired of your life? Are you tired of waking up looking in the mirror at the same ole person? Something new wants to emerge. Do you sense it at a subconscious level? It’s like a submarine moving very quietly in the ocean floor of my soul and it’s now ready to emerge from the dark shadows.”
What happens in life when “what’s next” becomes more important than wanting to shine in “what’s now”? Perhaps you need to take a stroll through the mall and do some window shopping.
Simon Says--Spring is here and window shopping for a new life is simply brilliant!
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