Continued development is very important to me and should be for anyone in or working toward leadership. So, back in late February I decided to sit for the Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification. SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally.
Shortly after qualifying and registering to take the exam, I would have about three (3) months to prepare which I thought sufficient time. But, what I thought would be three months of intense learning would prove to be the most intense of my life and career. COVID-19 entered our world and life as I knew it, changed in an instant. Shortly thereafter, the world witnessed the senseless brutal murder of George Floyd then Ahmaud Arbery then I learned of Breanna Taylor's killing. Moreover, I was dealing with a workplace matter no employee should have to endure. No amount of skill or prior development I'd learned worked to pull me out of this space I was in. Determined however to see my certification commitment through, I did what I could (which really wasn't what it should have been) to prepare.
The day of the test arrived and I for a moment thought about not going. This was a three-hour intense exam that I simply was not prepared for. I decided however to give it my best. I received my exam results a week later and learned that I had failed the exam. As I continued reading the document however my eyes lit with excitement, pride and accomplishment. I'm sure you're confused by this. Well, the passing score was 200 and I scored 180. YES!!! 180 on a three-hour very intense exam that I didn't fully prepare for, trying to come to terms mentally with life events and with little external resources. You see, though I failed the exam I came close and if I could do that there is no telling the record breaking score I could obtain with proper preparation!
Life happens and yes it may hinder our ability to move forward seamlessly. But failing is winning when you realize that sometimes, life does take a toll and self care is just as important if not more than career development. Taking care of yourself during times of crisis is leadership and affords you the opportunity to try again. So the next time you think you've failed, consider what's happening around you. Regroup, replenish, reset, rest and WIN! And that my friends is #HighHeelLeadership!!