CHAPTER 16Be willing to rock the boat

In my ‘first career' I landed what I thought was a pretty plum job working in marketing for a large multinational. It had been pitched as a really important position, with a lot of exciting opportunities for me to really make my mark. To my dismay, within a couple months of arriving I disovered the reality was very different. I found myself working in a very dysfunctional team with a manager who was clearly either going through a mid-life crisis or just more focused on other things outside our department. I suspect both. Day after day I would show up and try to make my mark on the role with close to no direction and zero feedback.

As the months passed, I found myself increasingly disillusioned. By the time I was nearing a year in the role I decided I could bear it no longer and began looking for a new position outside the company. At the exit interview with the department director, he asked me why I was leaving. I decided I had nothing to lose and may as well be candid with him. To my surprise he conveyed sincere disappointment and then asked why I hadn't spoken up earlier to share my concerns as he would have appreciated the opportunity to have addressed them. The truth was, I was simply too timid to rock the boat and too afraid of the fallout. The lesson was an important one. When we cower from addressing issues for fear of rocking the boat, we sell out on ourselves and can end up being rocked out of it anyway.

When I look back on some ...

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