Edward Johnson, PMP, CSM

Trusted Advisor

It Happens Quietly

Edward Johnson, PMPĀ®, CSMĀ® August 29

https://rebelreach.blob.core.windows.net/6496/68716_img.pngFor a while now, I have been watching a situation unfold and play itself out to its foregone conclusion. Sadly, it is a scenario that happens all the time. A minority is given a job and then is replaced as quickly as they came. You can't put your finger on anything, but you know there is something there.


I watched as a consultant was hired as an assistant to several executives. She was never given the tools to be successful though. Such as, why wouldn't you give your assistant access to your calendar, especially when it is one of her primary responsibilities? Next was the lack of work. Strange considering the person that had the job previously was always busy. Not to mention her hours were cut from 40 to 37.5 and the lack of interaction with the people for whom she was hired.


This second point was worse since the assistant felt so bad about not having anything to do that she reached out beyond her team to seek work. I was one of the people she reached out to and so was one of my peers. So, we gave her things like managing our calendars or setting up meetings or arranging for conference rooms. She did so, quickly and with exuberance. She was happy to be helping someone. Another one of our peers had her help with creating a presentation.


Being a consultant for over 20 years, you kind of recognize when someone has skills or not. This young lady had skills and, more importantly, the desire to help. Even better, she had the drive to seek people in need. Coming across someone with that package of skills is more than hard to come by.


She was told she had to meet with the agency. The only reason you meet with the agency is when you are being released. The question is 'why was she released?'. From the outside looking in, you have no facts, just the awful feeling that is in your gut. You know why, but you have no evidence to prove it. It all happens behind the scenes. The interviews for the replacement and dismissal.


From day one, the new person assumes the role and she is greeted like a warm blanket in the winter, as if she was one of their own. Immediately she is provided with the tools to be successful. She is accepted as a valued resource. She is given the same work to do, but since she has the necessary access to everything, she can actually do the job.


One of the people involved is a Senior Director that has shown myself and another minority that same 'face', if you will. Again, not something you can prove, but something you feel in your gut. The clear understanding you get when your eyes meet: you don't bother me, I won't bother with you.


Who are you to turn to when something like that happens right in front of you? Right now, it feels like no one. I truly hope this changes, but it will take time, diligence and the wherewithal to persevere.

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