Unspun was recently told of how the head of a communications consultancy left her people dangling in the wind.
If true, it would be a heinous act to perpetrate on one’s underlings. The story goes that two consultants had been having difficulties with one of their clients.
The client was livid as the consultants seemingly could not grasp what she wanted. So in a huff she demanded that she see their boss.
When she met the boss, the boss first tried to wrangle her way out of the situation but when she pointed out that what her team delivered was way short of what’s needed, and it became very obvious, what did boss lady do? She caved in, and agreed that it was slipshod work done by her minions – right in front of the two consultants.
What’s wrong with that? In the consulting business it is rule of thumb that the most senior person should take the responsibility. If the client was unhappy, she should have looked into the account before meeting with the client.
If she found that her people were remiss she should accept responsibility and go apologize to the client without fuss and offer to make things right. And if her people were right, and the client wrong, she should be ready to defend them.
What not to do is go in unprepared and when it looks like she could not bluff her way out of the situation, turn on her people. That is not decent and causes harm onto herself as it affects her credibility as a leader.
In this business we make it or break it by the number of people who choose to be led by us.