What “frame” of mind are you in today? (Part 2 of 4)
As Jeopardy is one of my favorite television shows I am going to open today’s post with an answer; Alex Smith.
The question of course is how would you respond to losing your job because of an injury?
For those of you who are looking forward to this weekend’s Super Bowl clash between the San Francisco 49rs and the Baltimore Ravens, you will undoubtedly know about what I am talking.
Alex Smith was the former starting quarterback for the NFC Champion San Francisco team. Last season he came within a field goal of taking his team to the championship. After leading the 49rs to a winning 6-2-1 record this year, he suffered a concussion. This opened the door to back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick who, to his credit, has made the most of this opportunity establishing himself has one of the premier quarterback’s in the league.
What about Alex Smith?
Despite recovering fully from his injury, the once top player on the team has been relegated to the obscurity of the bench, not even warranting a podium spot for media interviews during Super Bowl week. For many, this would be a hard pill to swallow, yet there are a great many athletes that can learn how to be true professionals from the way that Smith has handled this difficult situation (see video below).
This segues nicely into this the 2nd of 4 installments in my “Frame Of Mind” series, in which I will be talking about Maynard Webb’s Disenchanted Employee philosophy frame. In discussing the Disenchanted Employee, Webb describes individuals who see themselves as “not only still working for ‘‘The Man’’ but also assigning the employer too much responsibility for his personal happiness and fulfillment.”
When I read Webb’s definition of a Disenchanted Employee, one word immediately came to mind . . . entitlement!
Entitlement or a feeling that one is owed something, be it a paycheck or job security, is the quickest way to the unemployment line. This is due to the fact that we have to now focus on clearly demonstrating our value each and every day in each and every interaction we have with others, regardless of past accomplishments or tenure.
This is the reason why Alex Smith’s story is so compelling.
Even though almost everyone would understand it if he had publicly criticized the coach for keeping him on the bench pointing to all he had done for the team before getting injured, he did not do that. In essence, his mindset was not based on an attitude of entitlement. This does not mean that he isn’t hurt or disappointed. What it does mean is that he had the presence of mind to take a step back and look at the big picture. In doing this, Smith exemplifies true selfless leadership in that he put the best interests of the team first.
Because of this, other teams have noticed how he has handled the situation and will undoubtedly be bidding for his services when he becomes a free agent. Becoming a free agent may happen sooner than anyone might suspect because his present team, the 49rs, have also noted and appreciated his response. So much so that they have indicated that they will either try to trade him to another team after the season or, cut him early out of respect if a trade does not happen quickly enough.
So what is the takeaway from today’s post?
Disenchantment is usually tied to an attitude of entitlement in which individuals abdicate their responsibility for making their futures happen. When you adopt an attitude in which you take ownership for your own success and happiness, disenchantment will give way to a feeling of power and optimism that will open up new horizons of opportunities for success. After all, this is how a great CEO thinks!