Is Getting Fired Always Bad?

How well are you learning from mistakes?


Award-winning Emory University professor and author of Celebrate 100: Centenarian Secrets to Success in Business and Life, Steve Franklin offers advice for those who feel stuck in a “bad boss” situation, or lost their job and feel as if they’ve hit rock bottom. The key to successfully moving through a difficult situation, says Steve, is to diligently look for the takeaways: What can you learn from the situation?

Steve asks, “Are you going to have a pity party or be powerful?” Using his grandfather’s advice, Steve offers the tools people need to turn a seemingly negative situation into a positive one. Learn more lessons from centenarians as well as Steve’s insights from years in education and leading others.

I think the natural tendency when somebody gets fired or is working under a bad boss is to be very tactical in thinking and reacting, as opposed to strategic and thoughtful and maybe wise in what's going on. It's natural. Come on, we're all natural. I've been fired couple of times. A couple times, I had a couple of deals go under, and went bankrupt. And I tell everybody, "Listen, it's a great thing."

My granddaddy once told me, he said, "Son, if you haven't been broke at least once in your life, you'll never amount to anything." And I remember the first time I went really broke, really broke, I called him and said, "Papa, I know I'm going to amount to something because I am broke." And it was great. And again, it gets back to attitude. Are you going to have a pity party or be powerful?

If you're in a bad boss situation, I've told people, I've said, "Look, now, everybody has bad bosses from time to time. You try to be a student of the bad boss and the circumstances and the situation. Don't just be hanging around. Be a student, be a learner. Leaders are learners, leaders are readers, and see what you can learn from that situation. Always be in class, good boss, bad boss, being fired, going bankrupt. Be learning. Think about it. What can you learn from that that will help you in your next venture?


Steve Franklin

Dr. Steve Franklin is an educator, researcher, author, and business executive. He also is a Centenarian Wannabe on a mission to "capture their wisdom and wit" and share it with younger generations. While Associate Dean and tenured pro...

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