A Great Career Lesson Hiding in a Terrible Job Security Story

Does job security exist? Does your employer promise a smooth ride till you retire? 


See, employment offer letters and contracts bring happiness in the short run, not job security.  Really? I am not kidding. 


Relying only on one “secure” job is like putting all your eggs in your employer’s basket. And doing so is as risky as the stock market. Not convinced yet? 


Allow me to tell you a job security story. Buckle your seatbelts. 

Have you heard of Lee Iacocca


To put my story into context, let me introduce Lee Iacocca.  In a nutshell, he: 


  • Was an exceptional automobile executive.

  • Presided over Chrysler and Ford Motor. He was the first CEO to lead 2 of the 3 big automakers back then. 

  • Was the mastermind behind the Ford Mustang and Pinto cars.  

  • Brought Chrysler Corporation back to life in the 1980s.

  • He wrote several books: Iacocca: An Autobiography (with William Novak), and Where Have All the Leaders Gone? 

  • He was named the 18th-greatest American CEO of all time.


Now that you know about Lee Iacocca. Let’s get into the story. Shall we?

Lee's job security story

Lee Iacocca had a remarkable career at Ford Motor. He got promoted to several important positions and in the end he became president of Ford Motor. But despite Lee’s talent and influence, the unthinkable happened. What exactly? 


Unfortunately, Lee Iacocca and Henry Ford II, the owner of Ford, never saw eye to eye. The consequences? Lee earned Ford Motor $2 billion in profit in 1978 and got fired the same year. Unbelievable, right?


Yes, you read that right. Henry Ford II got rid of the man that added $2 billion profit to his company’s bank account. Crazy, right? 


What’s my point?


The story leads us to two career lessons about job security. Let’s dive in. 


The lessons...

Lesson # 1- Job security is a myth unless you are a United State supreme court justice. Why? Let me explain. If the economy collapses tomorrow and your company files for bankruptcy, chances are you will be on your own.


I am not cynical. I am just telling you the truth.  But that’s not all…there’s hope in lesson #2for the linchpins


Lesson # 2- Only YOU can add security to your job or career. This lesson is a big secret. It’s my all time best coaching intervention. But you deserve to know it because you read my blog. Allow me to elaborate. 


Your job security lies in the quality of work you do and the way you change people. Put differently, when you do work that matters, when you make real change happen or when you are a linchpin, you will always have a job. Simple! 


Contrary to popular belief, a linchpin—or an indispensable talent becomes even more valuable when the economy is bad. Why? Employers are desperate for solutions. So they hire problem solvers, not average workers.  



Like Steve Martin said,” be so good they can’t ignore you.”


Take Lee’s story, for example. He was so good that he became President and CEO of Chrysler after he got fired from Ford Motor. The irony was that Lee helped rebuild Ford Motor’s competitor.


My question for you is, “What are you doing to secure your position in the marketplace?”  


Click here to send us your questions. And join our blog to receive our proven Continuous Improvement (CI) insights. 

The coach
Coach Teddy Edouard develops Continuous Improvement(CI) processes and systems to help individuals and companies increase productivity, reach peak performance, maximize their impact, and save time, resources and energy.

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