Debbie and Kathy were the best of friends. They worked for the same company for three years. They were bathroom buddies, lunch buddies, and had a friendship outside of the office.
Debbie was a single mom and took her job very seriously; she was punctual and meticulous, and believed that being diligent would get her a raise.
Kathy was a mediocre worker and often slacked off in order to talk on the phone or gossip with the other ladies in their department. As a whole, all the women in their department were considered “the group”.
Well, one day, Debbie was called into the boss’ office and was offered the supervisor’s position for her department, as the current supervisor had handed in her notice. Debbie was ecstatic. She had been working towards this goal for three years, and now, her hard work finally paid off. When she got back to her desk and told Kathy and the others, they seemed genuinely happy and wished her well.
A few weeks into her new position, Debbie was beginning to feel very anxious. It seemed that the others wouldn’t take her seriously as their boss.
Kathy continued slacking off and being the office gossip expecting favoritism from Debbie. After all, they were the best of friends. But Debbie knew in her heart that since she was now responsible for her department that things had to change, and that she had to deal with the issue of her friends not respecting her authority.
When she mentioned this to Kathy, Kathy became very defensive. She accused Debbie of acting high and mighty and spewed childish insults at her. One word led to another and before Debbie knew it, Kathy had turned the others against her.
Debbie’s boss got wind of the situation and called her into the office. He commended her for her hard work and then offered her some advice.
He said, “When you take on a position of responsibility there must be a separation of the management side with the friendship side.”
Debbie sat there staring into his face knowing all too well what he meant. This new position meant the world to her, yet she didn’t want to lose her friends over it.
So she said to him, “I want to keep the office in a productive state of mind, but when I delegate the work, the others get nasty and angry.”
“Do you want this position, Debbie?” the boss asked.
“Yes, of course I do,” she quickly responded.
“Then let me explain the way life goes,” he said. “If I would have offered this position to any of the other women in your department, they would have to be the bad guy, as well. This is a managerial position with great potential. You will make a wonderful contribution which you will be handsomely compensated for. Which is more important to you as a single mother? Keeping the office gossip going, or making a future for yourself? If your friends cared about you, they would know that this is business, and that if they were in your shoes, they would want to be treated with respect. In other words, once you take on responsibility and are serious about your goals in life, you must step away . . . even if it means stepping away from your friends. If they are real friends, they’ll understand this and still be your friend anyway.”
Debbie stared through his head as she let his words sink in. She took in a deep breath and then stood up.
“You’re right,” she said. “This is my life, and I am the only one who can make it right. I want a solid future for my daughter and myself. If these ladies were my friends they would respect me as a boss, but they don’t. Instead, they expect to get away with what they’ve been doing all along. I don’t want to lose their friendship, but my life and my future is my responsibility. They aren’t going to pay my bills or pay my daughter’s college tuition. I guess stepping back is what I have to do.”
Goals and dreams aren’t just for “the sleeping”. When you realize that you are the only one who can make your dreams come true, you must make the choice of doing what you have to do to make it happen. True friends will never leave you because you are busy fulfilling your dreams. Real friendships won’t dump you because you are going for-it. If your friends walk away or abandon you because you’re out there living your life to the fullest, then guess what? You need to get yourself some new friends, because you get one time around in this life–you either will make it or not.
Being excluded because you are seeking your dreams only says one thing about your friends; they’re upset because you’re doing something about your life and they’re not doing anything about theirs.
The greatest people of this world had to walk alone. Are you willing to pay the price to follow your dreams? I truly hope so.