Ever since I put an “entrepreneur” label on myself I lived by the motto of “it’s not just business, it’s personal.” Until I realized that it was not a good thing…
You see, at one of my previous jobs, when the company went through downsizing (and started with the marketing department of course) my boss told me – Helen, it’s not personal, it’s just business. I was in tears. I couldn’t get it. But now I do. Of course it’s not personal, and taking it personally is where all the troubles begin.
Now, my problem was – it took me way too long to realize the difference between taking things personally (i.e. deeply caring, and taking full responsibility), and taking things personally (i.e. not having clear boundaries, and getting personally involved, getting attached to things/jobs/people).
The main issue with the second scenario is that you start to slip into a completely different zone;
- you want to please people
- you think everything is your direct responsibility, and if things go haywire, it’s your personal fault.
It’s impossible to make everyone happy.
And this is exactly what happened to me. At one of those (wonderful) leadership seminars. When it was my turn to get up and pronounce my reason for being there, I (literally) heard myself say:
I just want everyone to be happy. I want my team to be happy. I want our clients to be happy.
That very moment, I sat down, back at my round table. In horror. Is this what I was trying to do? Is this what leadership meant to me?
What a crewed up vision.
I have completely messed up my boundaries, and my role as a leader, business owner, and a marketing professional. I am not there to make people happy. I am there to deliver results. I am there to help people grow professionally. And guess what. Very often is sucks. People are not happy. People are hurting when they grow. Personally and professionally. Sh*t happens and it’s unavoidable.
Interestingly enough, not taking things personally, and putting the boundaries (not barriers) around what “personal” means, is the first step towards happiness.
What about you? Are you personally accountable? Or personally involved?