I was remined of this while cycling yesterday. I was recalled two occasions when careers may well have benn quite different of only a conversation had occurred.
The first example concerned a business meeting with a recently resigned Chief Manager.
It seemed really important almost to the point of being obsessive that he explain his reasons for leaving.
He explained that the CEO is firmly and happily entrenched and after some years as Chief Manager, a promotion to CEO is not possible, hence his decision leave.
It was barely 3 months later the CEO announced they were departing the role to have a break and then pursue other opportunities and interests.
How different might the outcome have been if the Chief Manager had initiated an open and honest conversation with his CEO about his career goals and plans?
The second occasion concerns a sportsperson being considered for representative selection.
It was in an era where a player was categorized as predominantly a left side or a right side player.
A certain player was known to be in contention for State Selection and in reality was considered a certainty.
At the conclusion of the State Championships, the Team to represent the State was announced and the player in question was not selected.
The State Coach sort out Coach of this players team and explained that he was close to selection, it was just that they needed a left side player.
There was to quite some embarrassment it was revealed that in his career to date, he had almost only played left side and was as good, if not better on the left.
All involved would have done well to have had a discussion before the team was selected.
His career was adversely impacted by this conversation taking place all too late.
What reminded me of this?
I went for a bike ride yesterday morning under skies that were threatening to open with rain.
Because of this, I designed a 5 kilometre loop so that I was never too far from my place of work and therefore shelter.
During the first loop, when passing a construction site a worker digging a hole waved and called out “you are going to get wet”.
Not long after, a few drops started to fall.
I decided I would continue riding until rain was heavy enough for work to cease on the construction site.
He waved again on loops 2 and 3.
The rain was getting heavier as I passed by the next time around and I was half expecting hole digging to have been postponed. He was still digging and waved again. I kept cycling.
When I next approached the construction site “my guy” was loading gear in to his vehicle and as I reached where he was, he called out “you win”.
I stopped and he explained he was going to keep digging for as long as I kept riding.
Both of us were now wet.
If only we had a conversation an hour earlier.
In these days of SMS, whatsapp, messenger and whatever else, still nothing beats a simple face to face conversation.