Dr. Tim Irwin




How to Have a Personal Resurgence

Cara Gaskins - Tuesday, August 11, 2015
This morning I watched an interview with Carly Fiorina, who many pundits feel won the debates last Thursday night on Fox News. Her poll numbers surged over the weekend after her outstanding debate performance. The interviewer asked her about being fired as the CEO of HP some years ago. Ms. Fiorina handled the question very adroitly by pointing out that leaders who challenge the status quo often meet resistance from those entrenched in the status quo. She also reminded viewers that Steve Jobs, Oprah, and other notable leaders of change were fired. “I’m in some pretty good company.”

Frequently, I’m asked if a derailed executive can stage a comeback. The answer is yes, but it is difficult. Robert Nardelli derailed as Home Depot’s CEO and then again a few years later at Chrysler. He didn’t make it back, but Ms. Fiorina displays many indications that she became a stronger person through the challenges she faced.

A knowledgeable friend told me that Ms. Fiorina has undergone a profound personal transformation rooted in her faith, which has smoothed off the rough edges of her leadership style. Her extensive leadership experience in running a huge global corporation, and her command of both domestic and international issues make her a formidable candidate. And, it seems like her personal likability has grown as well.

Most of us have had significant setbacks in our lives and careers. Adversity has the potential to deplete our ambition, but it also gives us the opportunity to develop a stronger core. Regardless of how we might feel about her political views or how far in the presidential race Fiorina goes, she is a great example of someone who has worked on her core and experienced a personal resurgence. We should do the same.

© Copyright 2015. Dr. Tim Irwin and Irwin Inc, LLC. All rights reserved.

s c commented on 12-Aug-2015 06:46 AM
Great focus word of the day. Agree with your perspective and would just add that resurgence offers great personal reward when a persons energy is focused on serving a greater good. Starbucks is a great example. In 2007 the stock was trading below $10 but Howard Shultz did not give up on the company and they bounced back focusing on quality and people (customers and employees). An excerpt from a on-line review, "...His caring attitude toward his subordinates, even the low-level ones, amazes many people. If Schultz is in the business – he is an aggressor, if he is with employees – he is a fair and tender leader. An increase in profit could not bring him peace of mind, if the employees of the company didn’t feel right." .
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