The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

August 10, 2012

How Has the Recession Changed You?

By Jim Hessler

How has the recession changed you? I’m not asking what it’s done to your wallet, but rather to you – your attitude, your values, your outlook, your health, and your work life.

Here’s what has changed in me:

  • I’m more resilient and patient now. Since the beginning of this recession, I’ve believed our economy has undergone an irreversible and permanent change. So I’ve learned to work the same, or more, for less.
  • I’m more grateful for what I dohave. I have become a grandfather – twice. My love for my wife, always strong, has blossomed into something full of incredible possibilities.  I have good friends and a well-loved piano. I know how to make a soufflé. I sometimes take walks for the express purpose of ripping out the invasive species of plants on the hillsides around our neighborhood. I read the comics before I read the business section. I listen to music more carefully. I find all the space I need in the smaller closets of our new home.
  • I am less hopeful about the ability of our culture to make the changes needed in this new reality. There is a great deal of fear in our country, making us less intelligent and less reasonable in our efforts to solve the big problems we face.
  • I feel I’ve aged more than four years in the past four years. Not so much physically, but I find it harder to start over, harder to get motivated. I don’t yet think of myself as old, but the energetic impulse to change the world seems to have lessened.
  • I find giving and receiving kindness to be a central purpose of life.
  • I compare myself less to others and more to the person I have hoped to become. I still come up short in this comparison, but at least the focus is more spiritual and less materialistic.

How has the recession changed you?  We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page or – if you’d rather not be so public – via We’ll discuss this in an upcoming podcast.


About the Author

Jim Hessler bootstrapped his way from retail work into a successful career as salesman, sales manager, Fortune 500 executive, and corporate turnaround engineer. Along the way, he developed The Leadership Platform, a proven model for training managers to become sustainably better leaders. It became the basis of his leadership primer, Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guild to Building Your Leadership Platform. Jim is the founder of Path Forward Leadership Development Services.

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