This morning a client fired me.
This morning, a client fired me. It wasn’t for anything I did, or anything I didn’t do for that matter.
Instead, he told me that he simply wanted to go in a different direction, which is totally fine.
At the end of our face-to-face meeting today, he thanked me for my years of commitment and work. He told me that he really values our friendship and wants to keep it that way in the future even.
As we discussed the reason for his decision, he said that even though we did not always agree on things 100% from an investment strategy aspect, he always appreciated the fact that “I owned it.”
He said I owned all of my decisions – those that worked and those that didn’t in retrospect – with full accountability.
My former client and still friend also intimated that quality was rare in today’s business world.
Later on, it made me think.
Since when did personal accountability and owning your mistakes go out the window?
How long has our society been rushing down that slippery slope where we want to be right above all else? The ego play seems to be more important than reality these days.
This evening after work, I watched the first part of the Lance Armstrong docuseries.
To say that I was blown away is an understatement. Not only was I awestruck by his lack of ownership for what he did, but the same for those around him – his stepfather, mother, and his entire team of enablers and “yes men.”
From what I saw, they had ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY, either personally or as the world’s most elite cycling team.
Well, I guess we know how that turned out – an important cautionary tale that shows what happens if we don’t stand behind our choices and actions always.
So, what I took away from the docuseries – and my morning meeting with a former client whose business and opinion I really valued – was how important it is to take responsibility. ‘To own it.
In fact, great leaders and iconic people often take responsibility for things that aren’t even necessarily “their fault.” By doing so, they understand the key principle that unlocks everything else: by taking responsibility, good or bad, you’re instantly empowered to affect change, to improve, to solve problems, and to grow.
The reaction I had to Lance Armstrong’s deflecting, evasive words was pretty profound – and I don’t even know him personally! So, imagine what that must feel like for people in your life when they experience the same: clients, friends, or even family.
Tomorrow is another day. As I look to the future, all of this only reinforces my desire to be the best role model, the best husband, father, the best advisor and friend that I can be – and all of that starts with holding myself to a higher standard.
Believe it. Own it. Improve.
We’re all empowered to do better, so I plan to do just that.