The price of persistence can be high, but it promises powerful payback.  Sometimes when you are in the middle of a major life-stage, personal, or career transition, that truth is easy to forget.  Nonetheless, the persistence needs to be there for the ultimate success.

Troy Carter found this to be true when he was fired after seven years as Lady Gaga’s music manager.  Carter had fully invested himself in that position.  As Danielle Sacks explains (“Step Up” Fast Company, February 2014, pp. 76–80, 104):

Being an artist’s manager is like being is like being their CEO, but it’s more personal than that.  The job is about believing when no one else does.” (p. 79)

Even though Carter knew creative differences with Lady Gaga were eventually taking them in this direction, when the decision was finally made, the news was devastating.  It took Carter time to process it.  He experienced everything you or I would think he would experience:

‘I’m human.  I went through every emotion. . . . You go from fear to sadness.’” (p. 104)

However, Carter was smart.  As invested as he was in that role, he simultaneously had allowed himself to pursue other passions and interests.  These became the concrete for a new runway.  Seeds he had planted in the past began to produce fruit.  He realized he had new options now.  A former colleague emailed him an insightful and encouraging Steve Jobs quote.  It is one from which we can all learn:

‘The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.  It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.’

As painful as it might be at times, creativity is often produced in the crucible.  We might not always see it initially.  It is a life lesson we all must learn.  I like Carter’s closing thoughts on the matter:

Resilience, he says, isn’t something he can teach [you].  Everyone has to experience . . . their own Gaga.  Only then do you know how to get back up.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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