Apparently, it was my fault.
I kept ‘going offside’.
I kept asking awkward questions.
I was a ‘loose cannon’.
I didn’t have ‘enough bottom’.
I committed ‘career limiting acts’ (CLAs).
I didn’t stick to the party line.
I had too much fun.
I spoke to the wrong people.
I was too cynical.
I didn’t speak up enough.
I should know when to hold my tongue.
I should know which side I was on.
My face didn’t fit.
I was too anonymous.
It was my fault.
And to make things worse, I kept delivering results. I kept launching innovative products. People liked working for me. People wanted me on their team. I was the ‘go-to’ guy. I cared about what I did. I cared about the people I worked with.
I was a problem.
You see, all the things that were ‘my fault’ where the reasons I managed to get things done. My entrepreneurial instincts, my collaborative approach, my focus on the outcome and the impact, my curiosity, my openness, my independence of thought, my care for others and desire to do the right thing.
Only it wasn’t my fault.
And I wasn’t the problem.
I was the right plant in the wrong garden.
It was their garden that was at fault.