Back in the mid 1990s, Day & Zimmermann was at a turning point as it was about to establish its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software companywide. I was itching to lead the implementation and made my ambitions well known. At the time there were other opportunities becoming available as well, and I actually ended up in a role I, admittedly, wasn’t as enthused about.
Whether personally or professionally, we can all recall moments where we felt like we were dealt a bad hand. You think there’s no chance you can win with what you’ve got or with what’s happened. I can confidently say that you can, in fact, win with a bad hand. How? Looking back in hindsight – which we all know is 20/20 – I see now how things ultimately worked out for the best for me by playing the hand I was dealt. I eventually did move into the ERP role, but coming into the project already underway presented unique challenges. But the lessons I learned from first taking that job I wasn’t initially interested in, and then stepping into the ERP project midway, were the lessons that best prepared me for my later role leading IT as CIO. Without those experiences, I may not have been as suited for that leadership opportunity, and it was being successful in that opportunity that paved the way for my role now in Yoh.
Also, in any role it’s important to be accountable and do your best, even if it’s not exactly the role you wish or thought you would play. By being accountable and working hard, I learned more and got more out of the experience than I would have if I had just done the minimum to get the job done. Each step along the way, each lesson learned, each challenge, was needed to get me where I am today. Each step was set into motion by playing that hand I was initially dealt.
While you can’t control the cards you’re dealt, you can control your response. You may not see what’s ahead, but if you maximize your present opportunities, even if they seem less than desirable, you will set yourself up for something greater. We can learn from any experience if we are present and apply ourselves. Learning how to better deal with adversity builds personal fortitude that proves invaluable professionally and personally. Will you play the hand you’re dealt, or will you fold?