Your boss, Bob, asks you to support him on a
project – his pet project.

Bob’s not looking for new ideas. You’ve tried. He feels he knows what to do and wants you to execute HIS approach.

Unfortunately, he’s been working on this for months,
through several iterations, and his ideas are failing. He doesn’t have the perspective or respect of
his internal clients whose participation is critical to success.

He expects to convince them that his way is the
best way. He believes his problem is a lack of "dedicated resources" (people and budget).

He’s not listening.

In an effort to show his boss, Joan, that he’s on
the verge of making progress, Bob suggests that you have a status meeting with her
in his absence.

As you discuss the project, you share ideas on how
to reach the target audience. Joan loves
them and feels they’re just what the project needs.

She asks you to take the ball and run with it.

You’re in a sticky situation.

You want to do what’s best for your company. You personally want to contribute.

You may not have intended to undermine Bob, but
you have.  At least that’s what he’s going to see.

What do you do?

One thing I can add is that Joan is aware of Bob’s
managerial tendencies.

She shouldn’t have put you in this situation
without being prepared to facilitate your position with him. Bob continues to do what he’s always done
with no coaching, supervision, or repercussions.

That’s Joan’s fault!

In the absence of Joan’s support, you’re going to
have to deal with Bob directly and alone.

Tell him the truth. Tell him how excited you are to work on this project
with him. Ask him how he feels you
should proceed. How you can both manage
Joan’s expectations and get the job done successfully?

Bob has yet to learn that his team is his greatest
asset. It’s only through their skills
and expertise that his department will be successful.

Is it possible to prove that to him? How?

In this series:

Situations: To Call or Not to Call