If You Do The Right Thing, The Next Right Thing Will Happen

Published:05/12/2020 | Posted by Tammy Davis

Lessons Learned from a Lifetime in Business

The StevenDouglas leadership team is comprised of executives with decades of business experience and many stories about navigating success, despite what life or the economy throws at them.  We want to share these valuable lessons to help others prosper in uncertain times, be inspired, and know that there is always a way to progress, regardless of the circumstances you face.

LEADERSHIP LESSON #4: If You Do The Right Thing, The Next Right Thing Will Happen

I am very fortunate to have been around positive leadership my whole life.  My parents were 16 when they got married and I was born.  Essentially, I grew up with my parents – I even attended their high school graduation.  My Dad worked three jobs, my mom two, and I was their constant shadow for at least the first six years of my life.  I saw firsthand what hard work, dedication and determination looked like, and I knew I wanted to be just like my parents.

Watching my parents work and build a beautiful life for our family (my brother coming along 7 years after me when my parents were the ripe old age of 23) taught me very valuable life skills.  What I didn’t realize at the time, was that many of those skills would carry on throughout my professional life and career as well.

Through my parent’s actions, I learned that hard work pays off, honesty is always the best policy and that sometimes things aren’t fair.  The most important lesson they taught me was this

“If you do the right thing, the next right thing will happen.  It doesn’t mean the right thing is the easy thing, but the right thing is always the right thing to do”.  

I’ve carried on believing that and early on in my career adopted that belief as both my personal and professional motto. Time and time again, I’ve made the choice to do the right thing, even when it was difficult.  Sure, sometimes the right thing comes very naturally.  Don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t lie – all the things we learned in elementary school.  However sometimes the right thing is absolutely, positively the HARDEST choice to make.  It might even set you back for a period of time, until you can look back and give yourself a pat on the back for doing what is right instead of what is easy.  Of course, there have been times I’ve taken the easy way out.  Not only was it NOT the right thing to do, in the end I spent much more time, money, effort, etc. to still have to go back and do the right thing.

Many of us have experienced the person with great results but horrendous behavior.  Early in my management days, I had that star player on my team.  My whole team was great, but one person really brought business in by the truckload.  I’d done everything possible to mentor and coach this person, and there was never any improvement.  I suggested to my boss that I make a change and was very quickly told no.  The VP couldn’t imagine why I’d want to make a change with the top performer on my team.

Initially I bought into the pushback, but a week later stated my case again, that I believed our team as a whole would be better without the negativity.  My VP finally allowed me to make the change, and three weeks after, our entire team experienced increases in productivity across the board.  I knew it was the right decision to let that person go, but there was a part of me that thought it would be so much easier (on me) to allow the business to come in.  Our initial workload increased, then the productivity levels soared and overall morale was the best it’d ever been after making the change.  It’s a lesson I’m very fortunate to have learned first hand and often think back on that experience.

I’ve been in the recruitment and consulting industry for over 25 years now, the last 10 ½ years with StevenDouglas as Managing Director of the Central Florida Project Division.  I love that I get to wake up every day and connect great people with great companies, ease my client’s pain, and help my associates make a great living.  This pandemic has changed the way I do business, but thanks to some great life lessons, I’ve been able to change right along with the world and adapt quickly.

These unprecedented times have caused the world to take pause, whether it wanted to or not.  I see folks taking time that they might not have thought they had prior, to reevaluate and reexamine how they work and how they prioritize their time.  We are all given 24 hours in a day, but it’s how we are using those hours that count.  I’ve been incredibly fortunate to continue to work full time and without concern for my job status changing.  I’ve spent my days speaking with clients, prospects, team members, and recruits about how the pandemic has changed their daily routines, and what they’d like to go back to as their ‘new normal’.  Many have said they’ve enjoyed the less harried pace, and that they are taking more time to listen and be more engaged in each conversation they have.  Many are revisiting their career choices and either doubling down on why they love what they do, or realizing, it might be time for a change.

One of the most relevant topics and questions has been, ‘how is your company handling the pandemic and are you happy with the result?’.  The results have varied, with some saying they are pleased with the way their firm has handled things, and others saying they are not happy and will be making a conscious decision to join a different firm as soon as possible.  That brings me back to my biggest life lesson and motto.

“If you do the right thing, the next right thing will happen.  It doesn’t mean the right thing is the easy thing, but the right thing is always the right thing to do”.

Reflecting on the actions of my current firm’s executive team, I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’m prouder than ever to be part of StevenDouglas.   They exemplified this motto by going out of their way to do what is right by everyone on our team.  I know that we will come out of this pandemic stronger and with a more loyal team of consultants than ever before because of the hard choices that are being made.  It reminds me how eternally grateful I am to my parents for instilling in me the desire to do the right thing. And ultimately, giving me the foundation and tools needed to find a company with the same core values and ethics.

~ Tammy Davis, Managing Director – Interim Resources

About the Author:

Tammy has led the StevenDouglas Central Florida Project practice since 2009, offering a specialized focus in accounting & finance, internal audit, human resources and information technology.  She believes in investing herself in each new relationship and maintaining credibility through performance.

Prior to joining StevenDouglas, Tammy started the Florida practice of a publicly held global professional services firm where she was consistently one of their top national producers. Tammy’s focus and commitment to client service helped to gain her trusted advisor status with a Fortune 50 client where she led an internal global team, including three sister organizations, in providing consulting, project and staffing services.

Tammy has received several honors from professional and civic organizations such as winning the Business Woman of the Year award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Board Member of the year from Florida Coalition for Children and Big Sister of the Year award from Big Brothers Big Sisters Tampa Bay.  She is very active in her community and with a variety of charities.

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