Right person + right position = success

Lately, it seems that I’ve been talking and thinking a whole lot about the importance of knowing the place where you’re likely to make the most positive impact.

Many people are frustrated because they are in the wrong position at church, work and yes, even, school. That frustration has to do with the person’s temperament not matching the task as assigned. Your temperament, not to be confused with your personality, is the “combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition,” according to http://www.dictionary.com. In other words, it’s your internal makeup that makes you more suited for one thing over another.


Here’s a prime example:

As the oldest grandchild of my now 92-year-old grandmother, Viola, she determined that I would be the teacher she wished she could have become. For Ms. Viola, a teacher was the top profession for  women. She wanted to go to school, but her father thought his girls would make better homemakers, forcing Ms. Viola to miss out on being the successful teacher I know she would have been.

I know this because it was Ms. Viola who prepared her grandchildren for a successful education. When we arrived for kindergarten, we were actually ready for first grade

Ms. Viola never lost her quest to have a teacher in the family. When my mother took an alternate route in the nursing field, Ms. Viola began to groom me to be her teacher. For a long time, I too thought I would be a teacher. That is until I began to see that there were other opportunities for women, unlike in Ms. Viola’s day.

After taking several assessments that gauge your aptitude and temperament, I quickly realized I wanted and needed to do something else. Much to Ms. Viola’s dismay, I no longer wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a news reporter.

A journalist, that’s what I wanted to be. It matches my temperament, which suggests that I’m more inclined to be bored and restless with jobs that are routine and structured. I’m better suited for a career that allows me independence and freedom

 In other words, I don’t like doing the same thing, the same way the same time every day. Yes, that pretty much sums up my three years as a public school teacher.

NOW LET’S BE CLEAR. I have the utmost respect for teachers who are the only people who can truthfully say they impact all other careers. However, my natural makeup doesn’t allow me to be in one place for too many hours in the day. Being in the news business allows me to be the best me I can be. No day is the same. That would be frustrating for people who do their best work in a structured environment.               

Take Cheronda Cooper for example. Cheronda is a teacher a Peabody Magnet High School. Her dedication and passion for the profession recently brought her the Milken Educator Award, which is no small feat. The award comes with big prizes and big national recognition. That would not have happened if Cheronda had been in the wrong position.

Like me, Cheronda tried to do something else before getting to the classroom. Like me, she realized she was in the wrong position. Like me, she’s now in the right position and doing well.

Are you the right person in the right position at the right time? If not, I know you are totally frustrated. If you are, good for you.

Oh, I almost forgot. Ms. Viola does have several educators in the family. My brother, Kevin, is an assistant principal at Horlick High School in Racine, Wis; my cousin Matthew, is a math teacher in the Atlanta area; and my aunt (in-law) is a principal in the Denver area. Guess what? They love every minute of it, and I love every minute of having a crazy, unpredictable day.

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