Friday, January 11, 2008

Road Blocks

So after the drama of the bubble gum incident when I met Discount Dan, I haven't really said how it went. The reality is, Dan is a salesman and probably a very clever, smart talented man, but he wanted my business and he may have "smoothed" over some troublesome issues for me with the occasional, gentle "don't worry about that, we'll sort it for you", "you don't need to work that out, we will" etc etc in order to get my business. Of course, blinded by a world I'm unfamiliar with and that's completely terrifying to me, I was woo'ed by these comforting words.

So we're sitting in some hotel lobby during our pre-christmas Sydney meeting, me with my dress gaping and the wrong colour underwear on, subtley pushing my shopping bags under my chair, and it took me a good 15 mins to actually start to listen first to the waffle and then the additional sales pitches.
Suddenly I was hearing what was rapidly becoming a dreaded road block. Dan had assumed I would manage the business in a particular, hands on, high risk way.

Getting into gear, I told me, no way, that's a big road block to me, he gave me more sales pitching to try and divert me, but I was already transitioning from naive, slightly gullable to taking more control. He didn't pick up on this but his offsider (a cool young guy wearing shorts and jandals - I could have avoided the bubblegum wardrobe malfunction and worn my own choice of corporate shorts!), did and smoothed the road with some comforting, rational words that made sense.

Lesson for me is - this is my project, we have paid for it, I am in control of it, it is my responsibility. So I have set some ground rules with my project team - no surprises, lets get how heads loosely in the same place about all the business processes and not leave anything to the end to sort. No matter how uncomfortable it will be, I need the comfort of the detail, and I do need to upskill on the hard stuff.

So Dan and I are now discussing, not chatting about this particular road block. I have asked for working sessions (by phone) not chit chatty ones.

My project, my way now.

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