Imagine that you worked for an organization most of your life. During this time, you held various roles to broaden your skills. You took on more and more leadership responsibilities, tackled the tough projects, did some of the grunt work and gained experience in a broad range of departments. In the analogy of the military, you “earned your stripes.”

And then the top job came open and you applied. You had the experience and skills. You had proven yourself loyal to the organization. Many in the organization wanted you more than the other candidate.

Yet, someone from the outside got the job instead. Someone with no experience in your organization. Those hiring did not know this candidate or have evidence as to what he could do, but some thought an outside perspective could be valuable. He had no concrete plans for how to make things better, but the bravado in the interviewing process earned him the job anyway.

And now you have to work with him.
And live with the consequences of his actions.

There is a flood of emotion as you find yourself in this spot, but it comes down to two choices. Leave the organization or work like the dickens to make it better. Our Declaration of Independence reminds us that we are endowed with certain inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Fairness is not one of them.

So like it or not, the outsider has the wheel and we need to become involved to keep him from steering us all over the cliff. Get to work.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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