mwv_dwalker_10.4.12

Doretha Walker

Leadership is not only important when you hold the title, but it is incredibly crucial when that title is no longer yours, when you get fired and have to do something new. 

While from time to time we all dream about being free to pursue other opportunities, I do not think anyone really dreams about being fired. Severance packages aside, there is a certain amount of ego involved.

I hated my job.

I had allowed it to suck the life out of me.

I allowed it to take over my life making me completely miserable.

I continued to work hard making myself an invaluable employee. Or at least that’s what I thought.

Anyway, there are two sides to every story, and I found myself walking out of the door never to return. And while I will admit that leaving on my own terms was my preferred exit strategy, God often decides that something more drastic is required.

The truth is that I stayed much too long where I was. I referred to my job as ‘it pays the bills’. Not a ringing endorsement for the place where I spent most of my waking hours. Everything happens for a reason, doesn’t it? I needed to go.

Time for me to lead somewhere new

Now is when I am so happy that I’m a leader. Notice that I did not use past tense.

I firmly believe that leadership traits do not disappear when situations change only the method in which they are delivered is different.

I am still a leader. I still have the skills to prioritize, analyze, strategize, and motivate. Only for right now I need to use those skills on myself. I need to remain focused, remain positive and refuse to allow myself to feel sorry for myself. And above all else, do not panic. I still have a dissertation to write.

Lee Childs said it best:

It’s about opportunity… you’ve learned a few things.

You’ve got skills and work habits.

You’re in charge. But try something. Anything.

Sit back, take a breath, believe in yourself, identify your dream, and go for it 110%.

Trust me, your motivation will never be as strong.

And the chance might never come your way again.

At the moment, I have not entered into another employment opportunity, but I know what it is that I do not want. I am convinced that my leadership abilities will serve me well in whatever comes next.

And for now, I am doing some of those things that I wish I had the time to do before.


Today’s guest post is from Doretha Walker, Ph.D, past president of the Charleston, SC Center for Women, blogger, and professor. Having just done through some major life changes, Doretha shares some candid and touching insights.