Some four years ago I was already working in a dental company I still work for today. It was my first year and it was not easy adapting to the new environment and for sure my Serbian mentality did not help much. It was already 6 months after I realised that CEO and myself do not “have a good chemistry”. Something was off, I just did not know what. One day, I went to speak to him and ask him what was the problem. Long story short, he told me that he believed I am not a good fit for the company and that he just does not think I should work there anymore. But he did not want to fire me because I was working with his daughters at the time and they liked working with me. But I knew he expected me to quit. Which, in normal circumstances would be the case. But my life at the time was anything but normal.
You see, having Serbian passport and managing to land a working visa in Switzerland was close to getting pregnant without conception (sorry Jesus, but that is kinda true). Me losing that job would at the time mean probably going back to my country that I tried so hard to leave for better future.
So after this talk with a CEO and owner, I went home crying (actually, I went to immigration first to check my options). Do you want to hear something funnier? At the time I was going through coaching program of Bob Proctor, Thinking Into Results, the same one I am coaching now, and I had an amazing coach, Jen Barna, whom I immediately called and cried to. I was about to lose my job and my future all-together.
The following conversation would be by any standard considered as a completely crazy talk and I do not remember it in detail but somehow it went like this…
Jen: So, your CEO does not like you and says you should probably leave.
Jen: Do you know what is your purpose in that company?
Jen: well, good. focus on your mission there and go to your work thinking about it every single day. Work on your TIR lessons, do not skip that. And, Ana, one more thing…
Jen: Whenever you see your boss, think about one thing you like about him. But it HAS to be honest.
After that talk, I was seriously thinking Jen is on drugs and I am super desperate for going along with this. So I started going to my work thinking about what is my mission there and every time I saw the CEO I would think about how dedicated he is to the company and the vision. First month there was no changes. But then, something weird started to happen. I started to be more positive when I would encounter CEO and actually smiled when I would greet him. He would smile as well. Things were going for the better and I did not feel like crap every morning I came to the office…
A year passed in this effort. I was supposed to give a huge speech in front of our sales partners from around the world. I prepared for it and came to the stage ready to share what my department does in the company and the importance of it. Once I finished my speech, people applauded and CEO came to the stage. He shook my hand and wanted to say something. But then, suddenly, in front of all those people, the 70 year old CEO, fearless leader with 50 years in business – he started crying. I will not go into details of what he told me afterwards because I believe that some things should be left in private. But he knew he had made a mistake and he was sorry.
One week after this speech, I went to his office because I was preparing another speech for some students and I needed his advice (one more great thing about our CEO, his office doors are always open for anything that you need). We talked about what I should say and he was in the middle of giving me some tips, when he suddenly stopped himself and said: What am I saying to you? You already know what to tell them. Because you are on the mission, same as I am.
Thing is that I never ever told anyone what was I doing for a full year coming to the office, how I thought about my mission there and somehow he felt it and he knew it. And that was a mind blowing. The take away from this story? Circumstances are nothing when you set your mind to achieve something. So stop crowning them. Also, Jen is an awesome coach and a friend. And yes, Thinking Into Results program works :).