I'm going to be honest. Sometimes, the interviewing style of the Today Show's Ann Curry drives me absolutely crazy. Personally, however, I have an insane amount of respect for this woman, and my admiration of her was only increased when I read a recent interview with her regarding her imminent ascension to the Today Show top spot next to Matt Lauer.
In 2006, despite having been an enthusiastic and highly-visible staple of the morning show's anchor team for nearly 10 years, Curry was passed over for the position Katie Couric would shortly be vacating. That coveted job went to Meredith Vieira, while Curry remained the mistress of the news desk.
A talented veteran of the show, Curry would have had every right to be a little sulky at the snub. But according to the interview published on the Huffington Post, "She didn't leave. She didn't sulk or back-stab. [She] instead created a niche for herself with international reporting, often on tough, unpleasant stories."
In the interview, Curry says, "Sure, I had the sense of `I wish I had been asked,' . . . But shortly after that I said to myself, `Look how lucky you are. Look at what a great job you have and look how great she [Vieira] is.' I opened my arms wide and never looked back."
This is probably the most valuable lesson anyone can learn, both in and out of the office. When you're passed over, shot down, or just plain rejected, use that negativity as fuel to improve. Curry did this by amping up her coverage of the international events and problems that interested her most.
Through this approach, Curry earned the respect of her bosses and coworkers in a way that laid the foundation for her future advancement. Curry's ramped-up dedication to her work also benefitted her in that it allowed her to get out in the world in a very real way that wouldn't be available to a top-spot anchor on the Today Show, who needs to be a consistent fixture in the studio.
There are two things I think can be gleaned from Curry's superior response to what could have been a negative situation. The first comes straight from her mouth: "Too many people come to their jobs with attitude, not gratitude, she said," in the interview. Simple, poignant, and oh-so-true.
The second is that the best revenge is success. Even if you're not really looking for revenge, taking negativity as a challenge to excel is the best possible way to approach life - when you do this, you skip handicapping yourself with anger and upset and instead empower yourself to achieve and succeed. In the process, you also demonstrate not only your value but your quality as a human being to those around you, and that will get you far more notice than any tantrum you could possibly throw.