Guess who else has been fired?
Lee Iacocca-Former CEO of Chrysler
Pat Mitchell-Former head of PBS
Bernie Marcus-Founder of Home Depot
Tom Sternberg-Founder of Staples
Bernadine Healy-Former CEO of American Red Cross
Michael Bloomberg-Mayor of New York City, and 8th richest person in the world
Larry King-Radio personality
Robert Redford-Founder of the Sundance Film Festival and producer and actor in one of my favorite films, “Sneakers”
Martha Rogers-Head of Peppers & Rogers Group
Jamie Dimon-CEO of Bank One
Deborah Rosado Shaw-CEO of Dream Big Enterprises
JK Rowling-International best-selling author
Did you know that 60% of CEOS get fired? Would you like to nominate some right now?
Are you ready to get fired? Ask yourself some questions.
Are you prepared to lose your job rather than compromise fundamental values?
Have you developed enough different skills so you always have a backup career in times of crisis?
Here’s some advice from Dr. Bernadine Healy, former President of the American Red Cross, who raised over $3 BILLION dollars for them before being fired. She did all of this, mind you, with a brain tumor.
She says, “Don’t get fixed on things you can do nothing about. Otherwise they will slow you down.”
“If you have faith in your own judgment and the cause is important, and if you have done your homework and sought wise counsel, and if you are driven by the right reasons, you must have the courage to take the personal risk of standing up and being counted.”
“Life isn’t a straight upward trajectory, but I think you will win more than you lose if you stand for something.” -Bernadine Healy, M.D.
Mark Hansen, coauthor of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul books, was living in his car when they were written. Nobody would lend him money, not even his family. No one would offer any support. Then he wrote this book, and suddenly he was on top of the world.
He says, “If you go for security instead of opportunity you will lose both.”
“Ask yourself, what are the multiple streams of income you can create in your lifetime?”
“Constantly ask the question-What’s the one skill that will double, triple, quadruple my income?”
Lee Iacocca‘s story is startling. He made Ford $1.8 BILLION, and then Henry Ford fired him. He went on to Chrysler and turned them around to make $2.4 Billion. Just goes to show that unfair firings can happen in any industry, at any time, even when you think you’re doing things beyond reproach.
His advice? “Look for bosses who are buoyed by your success. If they seem threatened by it, it’s time to grab a life preserver and swim for shore.”
“Working with a despot, no matter how good you are, can only have two possible endings. Either you become a despot too, or the despot turns on you.”
He says, “If you can’t move forward, go sideways.” and, “Don’t let your love of success justify staying in the wrong place too long.”
Robert Redford says,
“Find your passions and pursue them tenaciously.”
“Embrace a dream. Have you been living out someone else’s script that squelched your dream for the future?”
“Link Your Thinking.” Redford created Sundance, which led to a film festival, which led to a restaurant. He says, “Once you find your primary channel, it can sprout opportunities in one hundred different directions!”
Finally, he says, “Give back. The people who give back the best are the ones who push things forward.”
All quotes from “We Got Fired” by Harvey MacKay, Ballantine Books, NY, NY. 2004
If you want 65 more fundraising career resources, just go here.
If you want 99 more nonprofit leadership resources, click on over here.
You are so right. People who are threatened by your success did not have good models in their past.
I think of my friend lisa, who seemed genuinely PLEASED when I told her good news, who was the first to show me the model of someone being just happy for me.
Family members might have said, “Yes but..” or looked for some flaw in the victory. Just like old bosses I have had! so it’s really nice when someone can just appreciate your success with you. That’s the hallmark of a good manager.
And a great manager is one who is always looking for your successes to share with you.
“Look for bosses who are buoyed by your success. If they seem threatened by it, it’s time to grab a life preserver and swim for shore.”
This is going on an unmade-as-of-yet list of favorite quotes. I think that mindset — of being threatened by success — is prevalent in the nonprofit field, unfortunately. Which only keeps it stuck. And I think it’s generational… which is a shame.