I’ll See You At The Top

Today marks another milestone in my career.  Two months after having been promoted as an Operations Manager, opportunity came knocking again during that serene morning of June 12, 2015.

After wrapping up, I have decided to take a long walk from my office to the highway, since it has been an orthodox for me ever since to take long walks whenever I want to free my mind.  T’was a long day at work, pretty crazy and a little tiring than the usual.  I was about to cross the street when I heard my CEO calling my name.  He was standing at the entrance of Starbucks.  I couldn’t understand what he was saying until I’ve finally figured out that he was inviting me for breakfast.  When we went inside, I saw our Chairman standing at the counter.  His smile was calm and very welcoming.  He said, ” Come AJ, join us for breakfast.”  I seldom feel intimidated, but what the heck!  My bosses caught me off guard that I felt conscious and yes – intimidated!  I’ve decided to take my favorite pastry and immediately said, “I’ll just have a glass of water please,”  My CEO said, “No!  Why don’t you order a cup of coffee?”  I told him that it was late, and that I need to catch some sleep for the meeting tomorrow.  He smiled and said, “Nah!  Stop that rubbish!  Either ways you won’t be able to sleep after you learn what we are about to tell you.”  My feet went cold.  You see, at times I feel like I am Carrie Bradshaw, that when things overwhelm me I tend to talk to myself in my head.  I freaked out and answered, “Why, Sir?  Did I just lose my job?”  Our Chairman suddenly burst out laughing while my CEO didn’t help it, and squeezed my shoulders while laughing hard.  He said, “Oh AJ!  Your friends are right.  You really are crazy!”

They started the conversation by asking how I’ve been doing.   (BAU of course!  What do you expect?  I am with my big bosses!)  My CEO said, “No, we are asking about how’s your personal life?”  And I was like, “Uh, oh!”  Then I started talking to myself in my head again, like, “What the f**k am I going to say?  I just work and sleep these days.”  LOL!  So I said, I have been busy painting (kindergarten art, of course), still read books during weekends and right now, I am learning how to bake cookies.  I told them how my nanay prepares packed lunch for me to keep my diet and tummy flat.  They both complimented me and then kick started “corporate” with Microsoft Killing Internet Explorer, followed by topics about Real Estates then our Corporate Properties and Business Expansions.  I’m used to my CEO, asking me about my thoughts on certain things.  (Expansions, Strategies, Media, Business Development etc.)  I think it’s his way of checking if his people are in the loop, and making sure that we are alert.  In my case, his way has sharpened me, so I always make it to the point that I am always geared up by facts whenever I am with him.  Then our Chairman popped the big question, “So what are your thoughts about a General Manager?”  And I was like, “Oh!  So we are going to hire a new GM.  Well, with our company, continuously  working on its expansion and the current rapid growth of our employees, not to mention our Corporate Office, which is already in the process, it’s high time for us to add a force in our team.”  I was shocked when they both laughed, and I was like, “What’s funny with that?”  They laughed even more.  I frowned.  Then my CEO said, “No, AJ, what we meant was, what are your thoughts of having you as the GM of the company?”  I lift my cup and sip my coffee, with my hands – shaking.  Both our Chairman and CEO were giggling. Then my CEO said, “We were supposed to announce it tomorrow, but we are so excited that when we saw you crossing the street, we’ve decided to let the cat out of the bag today.  Well of course we will formally announce to our people tomorrow.”

Over the years I have learned that successful people always worked on surrounding themselves with positive people, mentors or people that would “high five” their absurd over-sized dreams.  I don’t have to explain here what I did with most people in my life (which I continue to do) but you can read between the lines.  I also don’t have to point out success takes an extreme amount of determination and focus, and just having the right set of friends is not a guarantee – but successful support  network will lift you up, push you forward, inspire you to try new things and create healthy competition for you to be better.  I remember one of my previous bosses told me that if I want to be successful, I must limit my time with the dead weight, the negativity, and I must be willing to constantly challenge myself to be better, and build better network of friends who will hold me accountable.

You see, I am not sharing my story to tell you that I have already won it.  Instead, I am parting with you this spark of achievement to pay it forward with the hopes that you can pick a piece of idea that will help you conquer the path to your own dreams.  Success come from a mindset.  Learn it, and I will see you at the top.

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