One thing that I understood was that a leader must always have unwavering belief in his firm. The employees need and deserve a leader who is confident in his team and in his vision. This can seem a little hard to reconcile for those close enough to understand the very real challenges we faced.
I am an optimist. As a designer, I always see the finished product. I could visualize the business, not as it was currently, but as it would be in the future, in 2018. I focused on that.
A duck seems all calm at the surface, while below the water it is paddling madly. And that describes me at that time. I was trying to maintain a composed appearance, but I was working like crazy, all my available time was being poured into fixing the many challenges we had with the finances, the personnel, merging the two firms, getting new work, invoicing the work. The jobs I was doing have now been divided among 3-4 different people. I was trying to save the firm through sheer determination and stubbornness, which are qualities of mine.
I was in the habit of keeping quiet about the challenges and trying to handle them myself. And most of them I was able to navigate and we continued down the road.
But that very fact, that it seemed like smooth sailing to so many others in the firm made it all the more shocking when I reached a problem that I could not resolve. At that point, when the problem surfaced, all the other challenges that I had overcome were not apparent, no longer relevant.
I was right that employees need to be able to have confidence in their employer in order to do their jobs effectively. But I wasn’t able to do it all.
It almost cost me my job and the company I had already worked for 5 years to save.
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