I’m ending one of the worst two weeks in my recent past. It all started on my birthday – and not just because I’m freak’n old!
I was driving back from speaking at HR Southwest (THAT was actually a blast) when the chairman of a client called to tel
l me he didn’t like the terms his President had agreed to on a contract signed 6 weeks prior. We were supposed to be extending an offer to an outstanding candidate – and in the 11th hour he wanted to change the terms of our deal.
Significantly, I might add.
I listened, emphasized the fact an officer of his company had signed a contract and therefore I didn’t understand why it was MY problem he didn’t agree with it at this point in the game. I also made the observation that his soon-to-be VP of HR might take issue with the integrity and ethics he was demonstrating as he dealt with partners (me) to his business.
After offering up two solutions (each of which would have cost my company revenue), he stood firm that his way was the ONLY way. I encouraged him to make the offer and let the candidate decide – and indicated I’d make her aware of our conversation. He agreed; and an hour later he left a message for the candidate that they would not be extending an offer after all.
Thankfully, my candidate trusted her gut and was grateful I was not only looking out for my company, but also her best interests. She was gracious, understanding and felt she’d dodged a bullet in the end.
The next day, within 5 minutes of dropping my daughter off at her church school, my car window was busted and my purse stolen. My fault for leaving it in the car – but COME ON. At least $2000 in property and damage – not to mention I had to go to get a new driver’s license. You should see how pissed off I look in THAT pic.
The following day, my daughter started running fever and ended up missing a week of school – which meant my life and my husband’s were a bit undone for over a week.
I happened to be reading, “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey during this time. It’s a tough one to get into, but as the last two weeks progressed, I gravitated to it and began to really understand the title. Trust is about character AND competence. In talking about character, he writes:
“A person has integrity when there is no gap between intent and behavior…when he or she is whole, seamless, the same – inside and out. I call this “congruence”. And it is congruence – not compliance – that will ultimately create credibility and trust.”
I am a trusting person. I want situations to be win-win. I hope whoever stole my purse needed the Nordstrom’s gift cards and extra birthday money more than I did. I trust my decision not to allow the chairman of my ex-client to force me into a bad decision – even though it cost my candidate a job – was the right one.
Roy Disney said, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are”, and I whole-heatedly agree.
I trust it was the right decision to stand-up for my work and the integrity of my firm; to take responsibility for leaving my purse in my car; and to stay home with my sick little girl to comfort and care for her.
The speed of trust can be lost and gained within an instant. I always want to be able to define my character and competence by trust. You?
Kathy Rapp is the CEO of hrQ where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent for permanent or project roles across the country. Prior to joining hrQ Kathy booked more than 15 years of diverse HR leadership experience working in F500s and start-up organizations. A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent insights can be gleamed from the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen and AC/DC.