It’s been 10 weeks since I was appointed interim CEO. It feels like much longer. Each week has been filled with changes. This week has already presented wins and losses. Big Wins: TAPS is still alive and operating. Current employees are up to date on pay. Big Loss: There are nearly 200 former employees waiting for paychecks.
Leadership has its rewards, but can also put you in tough situations. As CEO, I have to know that this is not a popularity contest and that my decisions will make sense to some, but not to others. Being focused on the survival of this agency is the critical goal.
Early in my professional life, a trusted mentor told me, “It’s easy to be a leader when you are making popular decisions. But you will learn your strength when making unpopular decisions.” My decisions of late have been very unpopular. I hope that I can continue to be strong and make the decisions TAPS needs to survive. It’s not easy being beat up on social media and in the news media. Leadership is taking the beating and staying true to what you believe is the right thing.
Rebuilding TAPS is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.