Think about the following scenario:
You have been working for a leading international company for 10 years, with regular promotions and positive fedback. You show strong loyalty and dedication to the cause. You get things done.
You consistently achieve above-the-line results.
You are offered a chance to attend a six-month executive development program which requires taking the time off work and will uproot you from your family and kids to spend the duration in another country. Your direct boss and the CEO agree to the leave. In fact, they welcome it.
“It’s been earned”, they say.
You make a detailed passover to another senior manager who will fill your shoes. In particular, you prepare this colleague for a major company event to be held two months into your time away. And, despite a serious course workload, you keep in regular touch with the ‘newbie’, guide him as best you can, do everything in your power to ensure that the right preparations are made for the event.
Then, two days before the conference, your manager calls and asks you to attend – he won’t admit that he is panicking because he’s is afraid things will go wrong in your absence.
The management of the Executive Program aren’t happy when you inform them that you will miss important elements of your course. “It won’t look good on your record,” you’re told.
But, out of loyalty to your employer, you go anyway.
You take a 20 hour trip (2 long-haul flights) to get to the venue. On arrival, you shower, then go straight to work, survive on 3/4 hours sleep for the next two days and work your backside off to make sure the event goes well.
Generally, it does. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
Minor logistal problems do occur, but outcome-wise, the event is considered a success.