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Recovering From a Late Setback - WSJ.com
May 27, 2003 | WSJ | By JOANN S. LUBLIN

The well-publicized announcement made it impossible for Mr. White to mourn in private. But the coverage started him on the road to recovery by bringing him advice from his wide personal and professional network. "There is important work in the world for a person of your ability and integrity," wrote Fred Alger, founder and CEO of Fred Alger Management. Mr. White has been a trustee for some of the New York money-management firm's funds since 1999...Mr. White decided not to blame others for his turndown nor let the episode diminish him in any way.

He demonstrated his resolve by trying to arrange a flawless transition. Among other things, he prepared extensive background materials, then briefed Ms. Coleman face-to-face in Iowa.

Mr. White brought his inner turmoil to a cathartic conclusion during a campus dinner to honor his interim leadership in July 2002. University regents and senior officials expected perfunctory remarks. Sensing a "teachable" moment, the veteran professor instead spoke candidly about his loss to an already uneasy crowd.

"It's no secret to anyone in this room that I'm disappointed not to be able to serve the university in the years ahead," Mr. White declared. He went on: "We can choose how to think about and react to disappointment. At the extremes, one line of thought leads to bitterness and a shriveled soul; the other leads to wisdom and growth." Mr. White said his own career disappointment had enabled him to challenge himself about "what will be my work, my contributions, my sources of satisfaction and self-esteem?" He got a standing ovation.
bouncing_back  Joann_S._Lublin  setbacks  Managing_Your_Career  inspiration  Wall_Street  Colleges_&_Universities  disappointment  affirmations  seminal_moments  career-defining_moments  emotional_mastery  mybestlife  teachable_moments 
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