The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


The obvious choice

“Gary, you’re going to get fired tomorrow.”  That was the Thursday night phone call I received from the man who had hired me a little over a year ago. I had suspected something was up and emailed him earlier that day to see.  And at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning on a conference call with him, my recently hired, Manager and a Human Resources representative, I was.

When you’re in the business long enough you experience a lot of “firsts”.  I must admit, getting fired was a first for me.  But, I can’t really say I was surprised; disappointed, yes; but not surprised.  The company was reorganizing and even though I was 155% of quota my first year, it was just not impressive enough to convince the new leadership team to keep me.  I wasn’t the obvious choice. And although I felt I was “running as fast as I can”, they thought they could find someone who could “run faster”.

Going in a different direction; reorganizing; changing ownership; being taken private; consolidating; there are a lot of ways executives describe changes to their employees (and soon-to-be-ex-employees).  Geoffrey James said it another way:

As one IT Professional put it; “We’ve been reorganized, restructured, re-engineered, right-sized, down-sized, up-sized, TQM’ed, and MBO’ed, and if I hear the word empowered once more, I swear I’m gonna scream!”

Well in my case, this wasn’t about empowerment or quality improvement.  Nope, just good old fashioned cost-cutting.  Here’s a hint:  anytime you hear the new CEO talk about EBITA, beware!  In my final analysis, I hadn’t given them enough reasons to be “the obvious choice” – EBITA won out.

“Obvious choice” is a rarely used phrase. Oh, sometimes we receive congratulations; sometimes a nice note; too many times, nothing is said at all.  I can remember one time I was awarded a promotion with this phrase, “Pokorn, you’re the best of the worst.  Get a haircut and buy a couple of new suits.  You’ve got the job.” Motivating, huh?  I assure you I hit the ground running that time and enjoyed a great string of success.  (And not just because of the haircut or suits!)

I’ve always felt that the best way to succeed in business is to be the obvious choice.  I suppose this concept also applies to our personal lives – like when I was in high school.  I’m not sure how I did it but when I met my then future-wife-to-be, I convinced her that I was the obvious choice.  (Breaking the news to her Friday was the hardest part.)

I have always associated being the obvious choice with good news.  Now I know there’s another version, too.  I think it was Spock who said, “for all things there is a first time”.  So I will mark this first time well; and I will become the obvious choice for my next company.  I will also focus on hitting the ground running (might even buy a couple of new suits).  I’ll think of my favorite African Proverb:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.  It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.  Every morning a lion wakes up.  It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.  When the sun comes up, you better start running.

I’m on my way – gotta run – wish me well!


How’s your day?  When life gets tough you could get a helmet.  Or, you could read The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please sign up on



  1. Michael Buckham-White
    Feb 21, 2011

    I love the post Gary. I’m sorry to hear about your “first”, but I am inspired by you getting up to run. Run fast… Run strong… Run long!

    • Keisha
      Sep 13, 2011

      Whoa, things just got a whole lot esiaer.

    • Alexandra
      Sep 14, 2011

      I can’t believe you’re not playing with me–that was so hlepufl.

  2. David Prosperi
    Feb 23, 2011

    Gary, you have a great attitude on your “first.” Good luck and keep running, because when you “break the tape” and get your next opportunity, you will appreciate what that gazelle feels when he outruns the lion.

    • Gary
      Feb 23, 2011

      Thanks David!
      I appreciate your comment around my recent post. Hope you’ll find ones in the future interesting too. Thx, GAP

      • Rain
        Sep 12, 2011

        Back in school, I’m doing so much leraning.

    • Liliam
      Sep 13, 2011

      I’m out of leguae here. Too much brain power on display!

      • Gary
        Sep 14, 2011

        Hi Liliam, Thnak you for taking time to read and reply. I hope to continue to hear from you. Thx, GAP

    • Sunny
      Sep 14, 2011

      Dag nbaibt good stuff you whippersnappers!

  3. Olinda Deale
    Sep 22, 2011

    Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who employess it, as well as me. Keep up the good work – can’r wait to read more posts.

    • Gary
      Sep 24, 2011

      Thanks Olinda! Don’t hesitate to suggest topics of interest and I am able I will write a little ditty for each. Thx, GAP

  4. Rob Denkewalter
    Sep 13, 2017

    Hi Gary, You have done well since that Thursday phone call.

    I enjoy your writing and Thank You


    • Gary
      Sep 20, 2017

      Thanks Rob! Lots of guidance from lots of friends – honored to count you among them. Thx, GAP

Leave a Reply