"You'll never succeed in this business." That's what my boss told me in 1988. He didn't just say it, he memorialized his opinion in a two page letter-just to drive his point home! He identified everyone of my known shortcomings and added a few I'd been unaware of.
I took that letter home, threw it on the floor of my closet where it remained until years later-around the time Dise & Company was named to the Weatherhead 100 for the first time. I wish I'd kept it. What fun it'd be to have it on display in the Dise & Company lobby.
Every day our outplacement/career transition practice gives us the opportunity to meet professional men and women who've received similar messages from a boss. It's hard to come back from such severe criticism, especially if you get fired or laid off in the process. But come back is what they do-and usually much better than what they left behind.
From time to time I ask myself, "Did you succeed because of that letter or in spite of it?" What do you think?