In today’s competitive world, the phrase, “take care of yourself, because no one else will” is prevalent. We hear other phrases like “he was thrown under the bus” or “watch your back” or “trust yourself and no one else”. With these attitudes, taking the “low road” is expedient, easy and sometimes, even justified in the short term. Unfortunately, this philosophy leads to a lonely career and an isolated life. Relationships are important and integrity within those relationships is paramount.
I am in the midst of a transition that could have easily been a low road experience, but it wasn’t. I announced last week that I was leaving the company I have been with for the past twenty-four years to return to my previous employer. That previous employer is a consulting firm that we have contracted with for the past twenty years for architectural design services. Over those twenty years, the consulting firm has achieved “Quality Partner” status with my current company because of the similar mission, vision and values that we share. After one of our recent building dedications, our president said of the consulting firm, “they really understand who we are and why we do what we do in senior living.”
After sharing with our owner of my leaving the company, he responded with, “that is a great opportunity with a great company.” Our president told our owner that this was an example of “investing in people, sending them out and extending the quality legacy beyond the walls of our company.” All I could think was, WOW, what a big picture vision. An engineering consultant told me he has never seen anyone leave one company for another where it was such a lateral move in terms of culture. There is more...
Both companies have been working on a significant project together as client and consultant. My moving from the client to the consultant role could have easily jeopardized the project, and worse, our relationship. After some honest and open discussions, this relationship, and the collaborative project, will remain intact. I am confident this will be one of the best projects that this team has ever created because the integrity of relationship has prevailed.
There were many points along the way where any of us could have taken the low road…the road more traveled…the easier road in today’s business world. It has been rewarding and meaningful to see two companies, and a number of individuals, walk along the same path….the same journey…the same relational high road.