The tea spilled and shots were fired. I died and my friend captured the moment. Grapes were everywhere. And I become the CEO.
In the chaos of the morning, I forget what I had planned. The biggest day of my life and I was dehydrated and wasted. Finding my glasses was a huge pain. Because I couldn’t see beyond an arm’s length.
Unpacking everything and creating more chaos than the existing ones, I find my eyes. It was a cold morning and collected myself to make the breakfast, do the personal hygiene thing and eat the damn food. I need it more than I ever needed in the lifetime. Sometimes when you get everything on time, effortless – you start to ignore them as ordinary. Starve yourself for few hours and you will start appreciating the importance of nutritious, delicious and mouth-watery foods.
And then tea spilled all over the place with a loud boom. BOOM!
My ears went deaf for a while. I couldn’t collect myself because shots were being fired.
I feared going out to check. So I opened the television to see if there is some news. But nothing. All I could see was entertaining sitcoms. The biggest tragedy is when people laugh at your pain. I could see the similar view on TV. It took some while but the news people got it. A nearby school was bombed and police were firing shots on the probable terrorist who did it. And all of it happened right outside my home. A little far for me to be safe but a little close to instilling fear in my nerves.
I was scared to go out. But I had to give the presentation and attend the most important meeting. The one which would help me become the best version of me. I knew this wasn’t the usual thing which I could postpone. If I avoided it today then I couldn’t do it any other day.
Now was the time. But how could I address it? I felt dead inside. My friend was going to pick me up. She came and saw me looking in the mirror. I was devastated perhaps because of the attacks. But deep inside it was the decisions I made. I was sad, angry and uninterested. My friend clicked a snap and showed me the picture.
I couldn’t recognize it. The person in the pic was someone who seems wasted, trapped and unfriendly. I murmured – I ain’t like that. I wanted a better look. But no clothes could do the trick. So I burst into tears and told everything to my friend. She knew all of the details but she still listened. She didn’t advise me. And I wasn’t looking for one – all I needed was to burst all those feelings of guilt and brush off the heavy responsibility gun. I felt relieved.
I headed out with my friend for the day which we hesitated, prepared and avoided. The moment of failure. We reached the office and all the senior management and leaders entered the meeting room.
There was water-glass, coffee, and grapes everywhere. But this meeting was different. No one would take a sip or eat anything. The ears were eager and my voice was hammered.
All of us knew this would be coming but somehow expected a miracle. I was the hopeless CEO – I told them the facts. “The company has faced severe losses.” The pale faces told the story. Because it meant laying off employees and making many families worse. Some might get another job but many would struggle, go through a phase of joblessness and eventually move on. The company you work in isn’t the caretaker and you shouldn’t expect that either. But still, there is hope that the job is secure. The illusion still exists.
And then I pushed my inhibitions and told them the harsh relief. There would be no layoffs from the company side. Employees won’t receive a raise or less raise but we aren’t firing anyone. Not now.
I had made plans to connect and get more sales and become more profitable by next quarter. And do so every 3 months to uplift the company by next year. Tough but doable.
I was the arrogant CEO who made rash decisions and relied on the management to take the decision and somehow emerge as profitable. But the shock of loss and the responsibility I had made me the CEO in the real sense. I got the tag long time back but become the badass, motivated and best CEO today.
Life puts you down. You need to get up and challenge it, take decisions to improve and learn from all the mistakes. You are the change you need.