Don’t settle for settling down
Steve, Senior Project Manager for a Washington mechanical contracting company, told Session 3 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“In the winter of 1988 I was working for JH Kelly as a Journeyman Pipe Fitter on a large plant upgrade project at the Longview Fibre Company. On a Friday afternoon I received a phone call in the main office trailer. The call was regarding an opportunity for me to take a supervisory position in JH Kelly’s new pipe fabrication shop. I accepted with great enthusiasm. As far as I was concerned this was the opportunity of a life time. The fab shop crew members were considered an elite team. They were the best of the best in our company.
“Over the next six years I had the great fortune of both leading and working alongside some amazingly talented people. I could not have imagined a more rewarding experience. I had already determined in my own mind that this was the place I wanted to spend the rest of my career. I had found my ‘comfort zone.’
“In 1994, JH Kelly was awarded with what was at the time the largest contract in our company’s history - Weyerhaeuser’s new Kraft Modernization Project in Longview, WA. I was elated about this news for many reasons. One, because I knew this project would be great for the company’s growth and experience, and also because I knew it would provide ample work for the fab shop for many months to come.
“A few weeks after the news broke about the project, our Senior Vice President, Terry Major, stopped by the shop and asked to speak with me. He asked me if I would be interested in accepting the role of Instrumentation Superintendent for the Kraft Modernization Project. I was honored to be considered for this position. At the same time I had some serious reservations about accepting it, not the least of which was the fact that I had up until that time zero experience in the instrumentation field. Then there was the fact that I was totally
happy in my current position, though something inside me, a gut feeling, told me to say yes, and so I did. What ultimately moved me to accept the position was the fact that Terry had obviously had enough faith in me, knowing that I had no experience in this particular field, to offer me the position. The project was a great success for both JH Kelly and for my own personal growth.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that taking that leap of faith was the best decision I’ve ever made. Since that time I’ve continuously accepted new and challenging opportunities for JH Kelly, each of which required me to leave my comfort zone.
“The action I call of you to take is to accept challenges when offered. Don’t be afraid. Trust in the fact that everything you need to be successful in life is just outside your comfort zone. The benefit you will gain is a rewarding career and exhilarating life.”
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