Tuesday, April 12, 2011
And Out Comes the Little Dictator
Yesterday was one of those days! Just one where you have a few situations that don't make you feel too happy. Client work, in particular, can be fraught with daily challenges. Most of the time, we work with people we know and like. Every now and again, we will get entangled in a contentious client relationship. The thing is some people are never satisfied. And attempting to satisfy the insatiable is an exercise in a lot sugary platitudes, a lot of futility, and frustration. One thing that hit me yesterday as we were brainstorming some problems was that I was treating my executive position like the leader of the free world. Sometimes when you're an executive, you have to make an executive decision which means it's time to sprinkle a little dictator in the mix. My little dictator came raging out when I realized the day was going to be one of those days. So the first thing I did was take charge of a client situation where these clients kept telling us how to run 3L -- of course, all in their favor. I made a decision and pushed it down. Imagine that leadership AND decision-making all in one -- impressive. And then I had another situation where I was in "shock and awe" over a client's reaction to a contract. Let's just say it was one of those situations where the nit-picker was going to join the program. It suddenly hit me, "Is this my ideal client?" Um no! So out came the little dictator unleashed yet again and yet another decision too. Wow! I was on a roll now. Here's the lesson: sometimes you have to take charge -- and more importantly remember who is in charge when you have so many demands coming at you all at once. You will actually find as a leader that it can feel darned good to finally lead!