Friday, September 30, 2011

Passion Party #398 - Commitment

Ever since my first sales job, I always felt that I could do the manager's job better than the person I was working under. But I didn't want to be a "manager". The manager's job was on the "dark side":
- it took more hours
- it took commitment
- it involved hiring and firing, monitoring and penalizing people.
I didn't want that job. I didn't want my "work" to become my "life". My dad had spent his whole life building a company, and I wanted to live “life”, not live “work”. I had the perception that in the “us vs. them” world, I would rather be on the side of freedom, rather than management.

Then in 1995 I was hired as a loan officer for a national bank that was moving into California. Two weeks after I was hired, the manager quit. A decision was made not to hire a new manager. Our division of 20 loan officers would just hand our files into the wholesale loan division, and hope for the best.

It was then that I made a decision: I would become the Retail Loan Manager.
After 8 years in the banking business I knew I could be a production manager, but until then I never had the desire. I remember saying that night to my wife, "I am going to be the manager".

The next day when I walked into the bank, everything seemed different. The way I interacted with people was different. The way I felt was different. Even the way I walked seemed different. Before I approached the wholesale operations manager to apply for the job, I was already acting as if I had the job.

I had made a commitment to mortgage banking.
I had made a decision to lead.
I knew I could do it, and that I would do it.

After a few weeks of negotiation, I officially had the job, working side by side with the wholesale ops manager. She went on to become a great friend and mentor.

It was the commitment and the decision that made the difference. It was the start of my becoming a leader.

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