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Are you prepared to work for your peer?

Posted by Meg Bear on October 19, 2010

I have been in management long enough to have seen a common story play out several times, it goes something like this.

There is a strong team.  Each has their own unique strengths, but overall they all do good work.

The leader departs

and someone has to be given the lead role.   Multiple people want to be considered, some are more qualified than others.  Each think they are the most qualified.

One is chosen.  The rest are pissed.

The most common next outcome is that eventually everyone gets over it and moves on.


No one forgets.

Especially the person who was picked to be the leader.  That person went from having a peer they could trust, to feeling like the need to watch their back.

So I ask you..

at what point did the person who was not picked really lose something?

I would offer to you, that the real loss was not the missed opportunity but the future opportunities that were also lost.  Instead of focusing energy to cement a future promotion, they showed everyone that they were a sore loser.

When you find yourself not chosen, remember that you are being watched.  And in that moment you can show the best or the worst of your authentic self.  While you cannot control the outcome of every opportunity, you can certainly stop the opportunity flow by making bad choices.

Don’t let this happen to you.  Be the master of your own career and decide that while you cannot control every career outcome, you can control your energy and your attitude.

A bad attitude is never career enhancing – avoid that at all costs.

2 Responses to “Are you prepared to work for your peer?”

  1. Darren said

    Very true. An extended bad attitude can mean it’s just time for a career change – time to move on after being in the same company or position for far too long…

    While many people put their hands up to take leadership and they truly believe they are capable, it’s clear to me that only a small percentage of those people can make good leaders. For me the corollary is that human nature dictates who is chosen as leader and if they are not the chosen one then it doesn’t matter how good their technical abilities, people skills or insight is… they won’t be the best person for the job and the outcome won’t be the best outcome. The leader needs the support and respect of the majority otherwise they function as a token leader.

    • Meg Bear said

      Hey Stranger! Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog Darren and for all the support you have always shown to the leaders in your organizations. These things are always appreciated and I’m thrilled to hear from you again.


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