What’s the biggest mistake you ever made? (part 2)
And why didn’t I fix it?
As a marketing professor, I often ask my students to work in teams on behalf of a real-world client.
The students often do not enjoy group projects, for a variety of reasons (and maybe a future article).
Sometimes they try to right the ship, often they don’t.
Sometimes they let me know during the semester that the team is struggling, often they don’t, or they wait until the end of the project.
When a student does come to me with an issue related to their team, that issue is usually centered on one particular teammate who is difficult to work with, for a variety of reasons (and maybe a future article).
My response: “What if that person is on your team next time?”
So let me bring this back to the issue I brought up yesterday. The secretary I shared with my boss at the shopping mall thought I was criticizing her appearance by leaving an article on how women should dress on her desk, with a post-it note that said “you should read these.”
Hmm. When I put it like that…
What I was actually doing was leaving an article about women’s fashion trends, and about half a dozen other articles about different retail and mall-related topics, for our boss, on her desk. For our boss. As I did frequently.
As a result, she became NOT my secretary, refusing to fulfill her professional responsibilities. My boss would do nothing about it. I guess he expected me to figure things out or for magic to happen.
It was really frustrating.
So now, my response: “What if that person is on your team next time?”
This raises the important question of what COULD I have done?
Which brings up the important topic of power.
I’ll talk about that next time.