She Believed She Could, So She Did – Leadership is a Choice #14

Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.


“Hey, when you’re done come down to my office,” says every boss in America. “Sure boss, can you tell me if it is good or bad?” says every employee who is now riddled with anxiety about why they are being called to the boss’s office.

“It isn’t good or bad, it just is” says this particularly responsible boss with a defeated look on his face. I walked back to join the group I was with to close the session with them, all the while running through the many scenarios and worst cases in my head.

While walking to his office and plopping down in a seat I was thinking, “Bring it, whatcha got?.” In reality I calmly asked what he had wanted to share with me.

First, I want to give you a little context. This particular client had been talking about bringing me direct (I am currently a consultant) after only six months working for them.

Pause to claim that win.

I have quite enjoyed my time here and for the first time as a consultant I was really considering and even desiring going direct to a company. So for the past few weeks I was asked to help “build the case” to pay me what I currently make as a consultant. (I wont go into the rant about that).

Sitting in front of my boss’s desk I hadn’t even considered that this might be related to the idea of going direct.

“They aren’t going to make you an offer.”

I didn’t speak. I wanted to assess first what was going on in my mind. Was I upset, hurt or disappointed? While I was taking inventory, my boss continued to explain why I wasn’t going to be extended an offer. The short version was that even though I was out-performing others there were three main factors:

  1. No college degree
  2. Comparatively little experience
  3. It would make my peers upset if they offered it to me first

I want to acknowledge my boss for going to bat for me. Fighting back against all three of these reasons and simply saying, “She is the right person for the job, that’s all that matters.”

Ok, inventory check done. Yep – I’m pissed, but what can I do? I was faced with a choice. I guess I could choose to be pissed and stop working so hard justifying it with “my results don’t matter anyway” or I could choose to allow this corporation to be where it is. I want to allow but that does nothing for me, so what could I do?

Damn it, I could prove them wrong.

I could work even harder, get even better results and prove to the world that number of years and the amount of degrees doesn’t actually mean you are qualified or the best person for the job.

Tell me I can’t and I will work 100 times harder to prove I can.

Wanting to prove I can has nothing to do with the people that told me I can’t or “this is just how corporate America works”. It only has to do with me. Every time I push myself to do something new, bigger, better, harder, or more full of purpose the results mean nothing to anyone but me! That’s the way I want to keep it.

I could’ve taken what I was told and let it stamp out the flames and demotivate me, sending me further away from what I want. Instead, I’m going to choose to reuse the frustration as fuel for my fire, the very fire that burns in my chest every day pulling me towards self-actualization. We all have that same fire.

My intention is to enable the mindset of seeing the benefit of valuing the person over the number of years experience and degrees held. I am asking this community of leaders, what is your intention?



Jessica Soroky, CSM

IMG_3285Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.


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Posted in Responsibility on 06/01/2015 11:50 am
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