Some Cheese For That W(h)ine?

This morning, I read a comment to one of my posts that I should have ignored, but decided to indulge. It was a rant about this young lady's past horrible bosses and the crazy crap she had to endure with each one of them, imploring of "someone" to write a tell-all book about it. Instead of pressing the little thumbs up as acknowledgment that I'd read it and moving onto the next comment I decided to dive on in and do a little teachin'. Now, I'm all for a good rant and a perfectly executed expletive or two. But what never sits well with me is a rant with no solution or conclusion. I want to know how you plan to change it or what you did to solve the riddle. Not be forced to endure a bunch of endless complaining and whining, which feels a little desperate and "thirsty" to me. #gethelp #itsmoneywellspent

About an hour later I received the following email from someone who'd contacted me in confidence a couple of months ago:

"I wanted to reach out and let you know that I have extricated myself from my last position and changed my happiness quotient! Things are hopping at this new gig, and I am so glad to have made a great career move. It is to your credit that I have changed direction and gotten out of my funk, making it easier to find something that fits me much better than my former position. Sooooo, THANK YOU!" 

Nothing excites me more or makes me more proud than to have someone tell me that my words have, in some way, resonated to the point where they've done the introspection, summoned the courage and made the conscious decision to make a change. This young lady felt stuck. And we had a really deep conversation not about what she didn't want but what she DID want. And now she's off to the races with a smile on her face and in her heart...and one proud coach.

As I start traveling across the country with MEGA Assistant University I'm more determined than ever to yank Executive Assistants out of this cycle of complaining and b*tching and into recognizing and creating a strategy around solving the problem. Misery loves good company. But misery never paid a single light bill in her miserable life. So we need to stop accepting invites to her parties and start creating a mindset based in solutions, not lament.

Every single one of us has one superpower granted to us when we sign an offer letter. It's the power to MOVE ON. If a situation has degraded to the point where most of your thought space and casual conversations are dominated by how much you hate someone or something, remember that power. If something no longer fits within the parameters of your joy and you've made an honest, self-aware effort to make it work (for you), then remove the obstacle. Quit. Simple as that. Find something that feeds your soul and that you play a direct part in creating whatever it is that makes you happy. Let go of old adages like "Quitters never win." They actually do. Quite handily, in fact. Especially when they find something they believe in wholeheartedly.

But this incessant whining! Let me drop this bomb real quick. No one really cares. You're dragging people away from their individual joy for some sort of sick validation of the fact that you're too lazy to change your attitude or situation. And once you become known for constantly b*tching and complaining you will get added to a pile that's really hard to climb down from. And once your execs catch wind, likely ratted out by someone you thought was "your friend," you might find yourself carrying a sad face box full of your picture frames and duck figurines through the lobby with a visible footprint on your backside.

I heard an amazing [minimalist] affirmation the other day from a Navy Seal. "Everything has an end." When you unpack it, it's incredibly powerful. The context was around his mindset during the heat of battle and managing his fight-or-flight instincts. Remembering that the stress would eventually end and the battle would eventually be over was what allowed him peace enough to stay focused and continue moving forward in power vs. fear. It was one of those "A ha!" nuggets of wisdom that I often recite to get through many of my tougher days.

Becoming a MEGA Assistant, or even a happy employee, requires you to manage your emotions every day at every hour. It also requires you to create a bulletproof mindset and attitude and think tactically, often devoid of any emotion. Always remember this. It's not about you. It's about the business and moving the needle. When you get lost in emotion and make it about you, you hijack the focus and steal the wind from the sails for everyone. And never, in the history of the business world, has a hijacker been a celebrated member of any team.

Stop the whining and start winning by solving your way out of yet another bad misery party. It's a conscious decision that YOU must make, no one else. And make it snappy. The rest of us are already drunk from all of this w(h)ine.


Phoenix Normand