A hard fought personal lesson learned…

Do you fit the mold? I once interviewed for a job that I proved the need for, designed the team for and ultimately delivered already in the field. After the interviews they selected someone else and told me “I wasn’t strategic.” My confidence personally and professional dropped through the floor. I later joined the team because frankly it was the best place for my skills. While on the team I built everything I had laid out in my less than strategic interview.

I found out from other people that the role I was interviewing for had been selected before the Interviews even started and they had given me an interview because I had built the framework on which the team would exist.

It has however for the past 5 years been a motivator for me. You cannot in the end be strategic when the deck is stacked against you. But you can learn from the what and how of the deck being stacked. In the end I was right. There was a huge need for the team I designed. But that team isn’t there anymore. I had built it into a 3 year window. I knew that was all they would need. Because frankly three years before that a bunch of us had created the market. In the end strategy is seeing the big picture.

The big picture in the end is never today.

Its about the messaging delivered yesterday and the messaging delivered today resulting in the customer feeling like they have to move forward with that messaging tomorrow.

What I learned and it was hard won, was that strategy means what the person talking to you thinks it means not what it may or may not mean to everyone else. When the goal is changing things around, then coming in as the existing system won’t get you a strategic vote.

Like I said it shook my confidence but in the end I moved on (literally as I no longer work for that company).

You have to in the end move on. It can be really hard to move on but in the end it is the best thing you can do. So I share this today not as a bitter reminder of getting kicked in the teeth but rather as a lesson learned about hob nailed boots. There is in the end a reason why people aren’t liked. There is a reason why people have agendas.

Do the best you can. And let the rest fall away from you.

My grandfather always told me to look before I leaped. I always remember that but I don’t always do that. This is a great example of my leaping before looking. In the end I should have paid attention to those around me telling me the fix was in.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow