Leadership: Temporary Failure Ignites Change

For months I have been telling myself I will get back on the content train and I have failed to do so. Ultimately, that tells me it wasn’t important enough to me. I am now 13 years into my career, and without being too braggadocious, one that has been pretty accomplished and successful. Of course I have had my ups and downs, but all in all, I am sitting in a position as a CMO and Head of Business Development for a company I love and one that is growing at an impressive rate. Yet this evening I am sitting on my back porch wondering what my true purpose is at our company. How do I contribute in the best way possible to the growth of BamBams? Is it writing marketing plans, strategy documents and tasking our team to execute them? Is it traveling every week to open doors, build and maintain relationships and help us reach our lofty sales goals? Is it being in the office as much as possible and providing a hands-on approach to our team?  I have always felt I knew where my skill set is best suited, but right now, I don’t. It’s a troubling feeling… and a great opportunity.

As leaders, we wear so many hats. We are called on to be visionaries, teachers, problem solvers, closers, business development experts, marketing specialists, budget managers, human resource providers, and even janitors (yes, many times I have seen the partners in this company take the trash out, clean the kitchen and etc.). Logic would tell me that I need to focus on the one thing I am great at and to not allow my time to be consumed by activities that don’t fuel our company’s growth and goals. Reality tells me that’s not possible. We’re called on to be nimble, we’re called on to execute our company’s mission statement, and most importantly we’re called on to lead with the highest level of integrity possible – for our team and fellow leaders, and our customers. As I sit here and write this I am finally comfortable in saying that I have failed at all of those things more times than I can count. I have let my integrity wade in murky water, I have failed at executing our company’s mission statement, and I have failed at leading my team and fellow leaders when given the opportunity to rise up and seize it.

Over the past month, led by our CEO, the leadership team at BamBams has embarked on a mission to define/redefine our core values. I was reading them a moment ago and it sparked this post. We surveyed every member of our company and asked them to vote on what they felt was most important. The top responses were integrity, humility, trust, our people, one team, joyfulness, inclusivity, responsibility, excellence, and customer always. What does that mean to me? Does it mean the same as it means to the rest of the company? A month or two ago I would say it doesn’t. Today, I can say proudly it does. I have been working hard on my personal transformation and making sure that I grow every day into the best possible version of myself. The defining moment was watching my daughter come into this world, and then looking into her eyes. It may reflect poorly on me that it took that to make a change, but I am proud of it.

It is said that there is nothing stronger than a broken man who has rebuilt himself. I have been broken for a long time and I have been broken many times. I have tried and failed at rebuilding myself more times than I can count. Tonight, I have a fire in my soul that is driving me towards change and growth every day. It is the most inspired I have ever felt. As leaders, we always want to feel this way. It’s not possible, and that’s okay – as long as we strive to grow. I’ll leave it with this, wake up every day and don’t stop going until that little voice inside of you says “you’ve done well, get some rest.”  Always lift up your team and develop them. Do everything with a purpose. Be transparent in all of your actions and words. Develop your mind and body in concurrence – be hard to kill and die living. Not many people get second chances, leaders tend to see the smallest amount of them because we’re in a position to guide our flock. I won’t ever forget that again.

By | 2019-08-06T22:02:30+00:00 August 6th, 2019|Leadership|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Nonia Gay Jones August 7, 2019 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Ben, that is not a face of failure!! Look back at your life. When I taught you in 10th grade, you were smart, tenacious, extroverted, and much more. You wanted so badly to be settled in your mind. You were always searching for that satisfaction of knowing where you belong. I loved you from day one; such a wonderful soul to have in class! With your smile and malleable youth, I saw great things for you. You didn’t dissapoint. You found love, direction, and now parenthood. You are NOT a failure. Stop thinking that. Remember the kitten seeing herself in the mirrow – she sees a lion! Look at your accomplishments – blessings. Part of this is called maturity – age. Accomplishment doesn’t always equate to money. Look around you. Sometimes a baby will put your life in perspective. Human growth comes with failures and age. Remember my discussions on growth coming from what falls below the life line of continuum? If we were always content with life, we would never grow. It’s part of life. That’s where you are. NOT a failure, just growing. I love you!!

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