Get out of your own way

94598808_e212c2d779 “Get out of your own way.” Not my words…but straight from Valeria Maltoni in her comment to Olivier Blanchard’s post, How to hire the exceptional. Are you a human roadblock to yourself or others?

As I prepare for a BIG life change (more on this later), I find myself questing who I am. Never before did I have any doubts. I was never one who “fit in” and always felt a bit blurry and on the edge. I was voted “most unique” in my high school graduating class and have carried that title proudly through college and eight years working as a communications professional. I love(ed) change and wiping the slate clean. I broke the mold…or at least, liked to think I did!

Now I find myself paralyzed with fear at the thought of having to start from scratch. I may have accomplished many pretty portfolio projects and instilled acts of change in those places where I have worked, but it did not exactly help me to climb the ladder. Most people are intimidated to work with me. Of course, the younger Lauren was a bit of a pill to work with, thinking she could conquer the world and change the organization on a massive skill, but being mentally chained in a cubicle for the past six years has drained some of the original fire and passion. I find myself constantly asking, Do I still have it? Or even better, Do I still want it?

Perhaps I should be seeking out the “normal” and “defined” jobs and employers, rather than looking for my next long-term challenge, inspiration and project? It would be easier. But that would not be me. Olivier’s post gave me a nice jolt. I can still be me and embrace me. No need to be afraid of being different. Then as I read through the comments, Valeria’s words (like usual) were another slap in the face. Get out of your own way, Lauren!

I have no aspirations to have the flashy car or office, because when I work on a project, ideas, execution and shattering corporate culture with new growth and development, I am content…content with the joy and exhilaration that comes to keep driving!

Pretty soon, this crazy one may come knocking at your door!

Remember that your company’s mojo doesn’t come from your products or your logo or your tagline. It comes from your people. So if you haven’t done so already, get out of the skills market mentality and hire like your life depends on it. Hire the best that money can buy. Hire the exceptional. Hire the extraordinary. Invest in your own future.

Thanks, Olivier and Valeria!

(Photo courtesy mhumphrey.)

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  • Kellye Crane

    Great post! I’ve always felt there’s only one difference between those who try and those who don’t: the ability to ignore the negative voices in your head. We all have them. Even the most successful, risk-taking person has her demons.
    So good for you Lauren for taking a chance and paving your own way! I look forward to hearing what you’re up to.

  • Lauren Vargas

    Thanks, Kellye! I will post details soon! ;)

  • Rotkapchen

    Believe me EVERYONE is starting over.
    Remember the saying “The Internet changes everything”?
    It has. This is it. No rules from the past apply. All models have to be rethought.
    The new currency is re-thinking.

  • Lauren Vargas

    @Rotkapachen I don’t look at it as starting over, but embracing who and what I am. I do like the statement, “The new currency is re-thinking.” Especially for corp comm…

  • Valeria Maltoni

    Lauren and Rotkapachen – I would go one step beyond re-thinking and I’d say re-imagining (borrowing from Tom Peters). Cookie cutter does not cut it anymore – “beta” was always part of life. Now it caught up with work. Looking forward to reading what you’re up to.

  • Lauren Vargas

    @Valeria – Lauren Vargas “Beta”…I like it!

  • Skaareworks

    If you can change your organization from inside a cubicle, you understand real change. You can do it. You’re still unique.

  • Lauren Vargas

    @Skaareworks: Change evangelists come in every color and size…and at every level in the company. Senior leaders need to recognize this.