Fast Friday with Murray Kane, SVP HR, LCBO

Posted May 14, 2010 in Latest News & Insights

On more than one occasion, I have watched as mighty leaders have fallen out of their ivory towers and back down to earth.  How quickly each one rebounds directly relates to how well they have kept in mind this nugget of wisdom that Murray shared with our group at a recent PowerRoundtable session…

“You’re only renting your position.”

Meaning, the title and the accompanying status/power are attached to the role… not to you

For me, this lesson is about making sure you don’t fall into the trap of believing your own hype.  When you attain a certain level of title and status, it is very easy to find new “friends” quickly.  Everyone will want a piece of you and many people will tell you how wonderful you are, but a funny thing happens if that fancy title disappears: so too will your new-found “friends”.

I’ve had more than one conversation with a senior level person who has found themselves “in transition” and shocked at the lack of support they’re getting from people who, moments earlier, were clamouring to get their attention.  This rejection (because it is a form of rejection) can be hard on your self-confidence (especially if you’re already reeling from a job loss).  To illustrate the point… imagine stepping out of a high-profile leadership role, like say being President of the United States.  If you caught Laura Bush’s interview on Oprah, you would have heard her comment on how suddenly everything was “just over.”  Even though you can know that the attention goes with the position, it can catch even the most seasoned off guard.

So remember, your position does not define who you are or who you have the potential to be.  Your genuine friends and allies will be with you through titles and role changes… for the rest of your so called “fan club”, it’s just business.

Happy leading!

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