The Unrivaled Leader : Part 10 – What To Do When Something Really Bad is About To Happen

Have you ever experienced this?:  some new plan, structure, vision, direction, idea is announced and you know in the very core of your bones it will fail.  Maybe it’s a terrible in that it could result in a severe impact on you, your team, your job, your customers.  Maybe it’s coming from someone new in your organization who may not be aware of things you’ve learned the hard way.

Unless you’re the CEO, you will have someone managing you.  And honestly, even the CEO has someone they must satisfy (stockholders, partners, etc.).

So what if this decision or plan is coming from northward of your position?

At this point, let’s assume that you want to remain employed at this organization (you’re not going to jump ship or move to a unimpacted department).

What are the options for a seasoned manager like you?

Fight Like Hell Against It
Possible outcomes:
1. The plan fails. However, your senior management decides that it failed because you didn’t support it as you were asked to do. [-1]
2. The plan succeeds anyway, without your support. You have alienated your senior management, perhaps irreparably. [-1]

You Express Reservations, But Ultimately Must Fall In And Support the Plan
Possible Outcomes:
1. The plan fails miserably, but you supported your management and thus aren’t directly attributed to this failure. That manager is removed and you go back to your regular work. [+1]
2. The plan succeeds, and it turns out you were wrong or misunderstood the plan. In the end, you like your wounds but are in good with senior management and the plan [+1]

Clearly, as a good steward for your organization and your customers, you should be able to professionally and sometimes strongly express your opinions. There may be times when you fall on your sword.

But using a simple options matrix, it appears the most appropriate thing to do is express your concerns professionally and through proper channels, but, in the end,  support your management.

If you truly cannot support the plan, then you should consider working in another capacity or location.

Bonus advice: you can argue and debate with your manager behind closed doors, but once you and your manager leave that closed environment, whatever the decision is you must be in lockstep.

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