Be Careful What You Wish For - Leadership
Faced with a challenge do you complain or get started?
I started working at fifteen with the permission of my parents to get a work permit, which basically allowed someone underage to work before they were allowed. Most of my friends were working at a fast-food chain, but I was seeking more of a challenge, so I used my resources around me and asked my mother if she could identify something within the gaming industry. She identified a traveling position that was referred to as a project staff employee that rotated around from department to department that needed basic tasks completed for a limited timeframe. The position did not allow me the opportunity to work in all facets of gaming due to my age, but it did expose me to accounting, retail, food and beverage, and human resources in a limited capacity. By the time I was sixteen I was ready to give up high school sports and start working as many hours as allowable based on child labor laws, which is exactly what I did. It was not about the money at the time as much as everyone would assume with a teenager. It was a child who became an adult many years prior that was caged and ready to begin her life, and experience as many opportunities as possible. I had something to prove to the world and I needed to get started. High school was not challenging for me, so by my senior year I had obtained more credits than necessary for graduation, so I only took a few classes my senior year, which allowed me to work full-time after getting out of school at 10 am every morning. Upon turning eighteen, I was ready to start my career. So, I went back to my mother for assistance to be placed in a full-time position.
She suggested a position in the investigations department. This department was led by a retired FBI agent and few of his retired associates. Seriously, who in their right mind would pass up this opportunity, not this teenager. For the next few years, I was involved in every aspect of the investigations department and made a name for myself as being someone that was not a pushover by the men in the office.
During my employment at Mirage Resorts my boss served me up a big curve ball that I will take with me my entire life. One of the charity hires was 65-year-old women who had never turned on a computer before. Yep, you read that correctly. I could have pissed, moaned, and complained, but what good would that have done. All I could think of was my grandmother who never learned to ride a bike. I knew I had to take her on and train her because who else would. It was not easy for either of us, but slowly and surely the constant repetition paid off. I have never to this day had an employee as thankful as she was that I took the time to train her and provide her an opportunity she so desperately needed to get back on her feet. Some would say that I gave her life. I say she gave herself life by having the willingness to try something new at 65 years old.
“I believe that life only hands us what we can handle”
I am not a religious person, but I do believe that life only hands us what we can handle. When faced with challenging situations, do what my grandmother taught me and take the lemons and make some lemonade. I promise you that it will not only change your life in ways you never knew possible, but also the lives of others that need a step up. The next time you encounter or are faced with a challenge like this, do not make excuses for why not to help. It is more rewarding to just help.