What if you only had two weeks left to work at your company? What if you knew you were leaving, or if you knew you were going to be fired?
But what if you still really wanted to make an impact?
Assuming you’re a value creator, you’d do a few things differently.
1. You would work harder. What would you be holding back for? Your time would be almost up. You’d work like there would be no tomorrow to do all the things you’ve been hoping to do.
2. You would work with clearer vision. Instead of worrying about your own career or ego, you’d be able to set your priorities straight. You’d be able to do what’s good for the company’s mission, without wasting time defending yourself, fighting for status, or trying please the boss. And you’d gain a new perspective on what really matters of what you do and what your company does.
3. You would be more honest and direct. With clearer vision, you’d speak your mind without fear of triggering egos. You’d communicate your ideas without hesitation. You’d ask better questions, give better feedback, drop any passive aggression, and drop any “games” or political maneuvering. You’d admit your mistakes and say what you want and need. You’d speak up for other departments, teams, and people who won’t speak up for themselves.
4. You would get more efficient. All the time-wasting people do to avoid fear and discomfort wouldn’t be all that productive for you. You’d be more discriminating about the projects you chose. You’d cut back and dial in.
5. You would work on your legacy. You’d think about how to make life easier for the people coming after you. You’d work to build the best version of your department/organization you could. You’d work to staff your team or company with people who could do better than you. You’d confess to past mistakes. You’d finish old projects you’d been procrastinating on. And would rebuild (and build up) relationships, which last long past any job.
I suggest that you can start doing this immediately, even if you have a happy, stable job situation.
Many of us brush up with failure every day, and being fired is a risk we all take every day we work. You can easily imagine being fired, and you may have experienced setbacks that were as good as being fired.
Let those failures and that risk strengthen your resolve to not hold anything back. Your story at your company will come to an end one day. Think about how you can live a good ending at all times.