“We have to shut both the offices, it’s a global MnA, we have to follow instructions,” said my boss. I promptly broke the news to both my leaders in those countries expressing my helplessness.
One of the 2 leaders asked “If you give me 3 months I can turn this around”, her numbers weren’t adding up, but it was difficult to counter her confidence. So, I argued with my boss and got her a 3 months extension.
“Please ensure I am paid till I get another job, btw, were you guys on drugs when you started this office 2 years ago” the leader of the second office shot back. Rightfully so, we accepted that request and parted ways eventually.
Eventually, the colleague who asked for that extra time ensured the survival of the biz & went on to create a successful business model against all odds during the recession.
When I reflect back, I don’t know if it was
a) her demand to stick with her
b) my relationship with her
c) the confidence she showed in her abilities
d) the logic of her business case (as you know all XL sheets are mostly fictions )
which allowed us to give her that extension and the opposite of that in the other case.
I think it must have been the same with my boss too; He too gave me the empowerment and backed the risk I was taking on his behalf. In fact, He was taking the biggest risk. He wasn’t close to the ground realities. He hadn’t even visited those offices nor met those teams to back the decision I was taking. Now I think of my boss and wonder how he must have stuck his neck out with his global CEO.
See, How the chain of decisions work in organisations based on trust or the lack of it sometimes when people don’t back you?