The Constitution of Me

I’m generally a healthy person. I don’t get sick very often and when I do I heal quickly. I’m strong of body and of mind (so far) and I hope to keep it that way.

Generally this is defined as one’s constitution (not to be confused with the ‘We the people’ type of constitution).

While some of it could be due to genetics, I like to think that some of it is how I prepare my body. Sure, I indulge in a few beers and the occasional crappy food, but I try to eat right (for me that means steering clear of sugar), stay moderately active (though I could do more).

Basically, what I put in I got out.

I know, you didn’t click here for some health blog… but THIS is what knowledge bombs are all about. So keep reading.

Some who follow me on Twitter know that after nearly 11 rewarding years as the Managing Editor of Metro Calgary, I was let go.

Metro cover
The irony was that in our last get-together as an entire Metro Calgary team – that’s when I felt the most appreciated in my career.  This is one of the mementos they had made for me.

As most firings go, I was hurt.

There was anger and lots of tears. More than a decade of blood, sweat and tears – and more 14 hour days than I care to count – put into a product that, when it launched, had a miniscule chance for long-term survival.

As companies age, leadership up top changes and I knew my demise would only be a matter of time (read between the lines as much as you want), but nonetheless it hurt.

Then the support came. And it was overwhelming. Not one ‘good riddance’ type message was sent my way either directly or indirectly.

Then, I wondered: “What did I do to deserve this support?”

It comes back to my constitution. Just a different kind of constitution. This one had more to do with the health of my career.

Despite the fact I was unceremoniously whacked, and the hurt that caused (we’ll call that the ‘sickness’), I am ready to bounce back and start moving forward. Thanks to the outpouring of support from all over the country – but most importantly from my team members, past and present.

I was fortunate to work with some of the brightest young journalists in Calgary and Edmonton, with many now spread across the country, both in journalism and in other fields. I gave them everything I could, and we all learned together.

The vast majority of relationships I’ve formed over the past decade were done so with integrity, trust and a respect for one another (some involved beer). Whether it was reporting teams, media partners, business partners or other Metro colleagues, I extended my respect to those who deserved it and many who didn’t.

Because of what I put in, this is what I got out. And I’ll be damned if I’m not as excited and energized as I’ve ever been.

It was a lesson that took some time early on to learn, but it’s one that I won’t forget.

Build your career constitution. It will pay off for you like it has for me – especially in times when you need it the most.

  • Surround yourself with good people – in life and career.
  • Keep your integrity intact; it’s all you really have and should never be sacrificed.
  • Conduct yourself with dignity.
  • Laugh and make others laugh (even with dad jokes)
  • Lead by example

Finally – inspire others by enabling them to accomplish their goals and dreams. Leaders don’t tell people what to do. They clear the path for others so they can share in the amazing experiences life has to offer.