I have known Jack for many years and one of the things I’ve always found so interesting about him is that he never follows the tried and true path.
Jack is not a believer of following the herd and in doing things the way everyone else does them.
So when Jack called me a few weeks ago and told me he, like many others in our province, had been laid off due to the plummeting oil prices I just knew that not much time would pass before I received a call from him excitedly telling me of the great new job he has just begun.
Sure enough as I was leaving the office late Wednesday afternoon the phone rang. The number on my screen was not one I was familiar with but I certainly recognized Jack’s voice when the first words of the conversation were, “I’m calling from my new office.”
Jack is one of those rare individuals who live free of doubt in their own abilities and no matter what he undertakes he does so with the unquestionable certainty that he will succeed.
The Monday following his layoff he spent the entire day researching career options and narrowing down the types of companies he would like to work for.
Once he had identified those companies he undertook further research to learn as much as he could about each of them and selected 12 possible companies that he considered worthy of having him.
As I mentioned Jack does not follow the herd and so he did not send his resume to anyone in these companies. Instead, he explored his own network of people to find anyone who knew anyone who could connect him to someone in those companies.
He was successful in making contact with people in seven of those companies and in each case, having met with those seven he asked a small favour of each; would they please tell him the name of the person he should be talking to, who had the authority to hire him in his area of expertise.
He then went back to his network and spent several days connecting with people who have direct relationships with each of those seven and invested his time in asking each of those folks out to lunch or coffee.
During those meetings Jack implored each of those folks to make a personal introduction to their friend/colleagues/relative and pave the way for him to call and schedule a meeting.
Jack was successful in meeting with four of the seven and, as is Jack’s way, he prepared for each meeting with the vigour and enthusiasm of an actor auditioning for the most important role of his career.
Jack did not go to those meetings timidly. He did not hand over his resume and ask if there was any possible way that there may be a position for him. That’s not Jack’s way.
As mentioned Jack had spent much time reviewing each of these companies and his research helped him identify one area within each company in which he knew with certainty that he could make a valuable and needed contribution.
At each meeting Jack presented his plan for how he, with his unique skills and talents, could turn that weakness into strength and contribute greatly to the future success of that company
Two of the four people Jack met with told him that they had a hiring freeze and were unable to offer positions to anyone.
The other two companies both requested Jack return for a second interview, each time with the boss of the person he had interviewed and both offered Jack positions.
Jack being Jack played one against the other and was able to negotiate a compensation package greater than the one he’d had at his previous job.
So when the phone rang on Wednesday and Jack told me where he was calling from, I was not surprised.
Jack’s sense of self-certainty can never be confused with arrogance. He just understands that the biggest theft of success and the tallest barrier to greatness is doubt and he rid himself of the evil of that curse many years ago.
I know Jack will succeed in his new position and have no doubt that any of you reading this, who may too have been victims of this economic downturn, can emulate Jack’s strategy with the same degree of success as he enjoyed.
Many years ago I read a quote and unfortunately cannot recall the name of its author, but the quote, being as profound as it was, has resided in the corner of my brain ever since. “Live with certainty and you will certainly realize your dreams..”
That’s how Jack lives.
Till we read again.