Kent Sterling – Recovering Program Director by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

An interesting thing happens when you focus your attention on moving in a direction.  The first is that you move farther away from being the person you were before you started moving.  The second is that you get somewhere else more quickly than when you stood in one place.  That sounds elementary as hell – so simple that it barely deserves to be written down.

Learning instead of doing is wonderful.  There is freedom in admitting that I don’t know everything.  The pursuit of the knowledge that has avoided me has been very rewarding.  So much of our time at work is spent trying to prove that we are worthy of our position – or the next rung on the corporate ladder that we become impervious to the notion that we have so much else to learn.

The last year has been a time of ridiculous change.  My boss and friend died quickly of cancer – six months from diagnosis to the grave.  I was fired by the new manager for the place I had called my professional home for 17 years.  This was the place I thought I would retire from.  He told me when I was fired that he was probably doing me a favor, which is the kind of trite bullshit that most of us hope is true when we fire someone, but so seldom have the stones to say out loud.  Oddly, he was right, but he gets no credit for that – at least not from me.

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Kent Sterling Finds His Inner Anger, and Lets It Go by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

My decision seconds after getting the boot at Emmis Indianapolis was to move on, get busy, and find another challenge.  That process was made easier a few days later when my wife said we had been hurtling toward unresolvable domestic issues if there hadn’t been a change in my approach to work.

Delegation was not at the top of my professional tool box, and I knew it, but thought I could figure it out over the next year or so.  It wasn’t that I felt I had to do everything, but that I couldn’t let go of my investment in the result.  Given two radio stations to sweat, I was up to my ass in emotional investment.  That left little room for Julie.

Okay.  Good.  Move forward.  Don’t whine.  Work at something, and if you didn’t get paid, who cares.  Keep moving.  Self pity is always wasted energy, but sometimes it might be good to reflect for a second or two.  That is something I did not do.  I had lunches with dozens of friends that served as cheap therapy, but my focus was more toward convincing everyone that my unceremonious dumping was not the end of anything, but a long-overdue beginning of uncharted and undreamed of new challenges.

The only problem with all that was the dishonesty – not in the conversations with friends, but with myself.  As time has gone on, I’ve come to the realization that I am pissed.  In my mind, my firing isn’t just a slap in my face, but in the face of the Emmis culture I have been a part of for more than a third of my life.

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