Finding Advantage Through Disadvantage

There was a time, not too many years ago, when I was a high and mighty senior consultant in Corporate Canada. I had not broken into the realm of management, and I seemed to be always focusing my attention on getting the role as manager, which would put me where I thought I belonged.

One problem – I was lost in the complaints of a victim who perceived herself to be kept out of management by biased, jealous, and unfair superiors. I was guided by the hypocritical smiles of my victimhood, the perception that I was a better team leader, a better presenter, a better designer, and better motivator than managers ahead of me.

My focus rarely rested on, my greatest vision, helping staff become the very best of themselves. I gave words, not action, towards my vision of superior development for professionals, support staff and the like. I was lost in my complaint. I was lost in my victimhood. I was lost!

Fast forward to today. On the other side of a long and difficult journey through severe stress, stroke and healing, I no longer live in the shadows of victimhood. I no longer hang out at the doorway of position and status. I finally understand, that to truly serve others, and help them get what they need to be successful, they have to be my focus.

One of my greatest loves lately has been the volunteer work I have been doing for a few hours in the Stroke Unit at McKenzie Health Hospital. Posting notices, pushing wheelchairs, conducting surveys, organizing information and doing friendly visits certainly do not lead to the grand position I once craved. Yet this has given me much more.

Nothing can replace the appreciation I have seen on patients faces, when I tell them that I was where they are.  Nothing can replace the hope that I see when I share genuine pleasure for the progress that I see in just a week or two. Nothing can replace the warmth that I feel when I sit for a friendly visit, listening to the experiences of stroke which confuse them, and consoling them with my experience of the gradual healing which comes with effort, time and a positive attitude.

What is seen as my disadvantage became my greatest advantage. Helping people become the best of themselves was not a part of my craving and fighting for even more status. For me, it was in diminishing my ego, and dropping myself to the level of the people I serve; in so doing, I was able to reap the advantage of truly being with them face to face, truly impacting their lives and my own. In my disadvantage, I found the advantage of seeing my vision as it is fulfilled.

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