My heart was beating through my chest, and my mind racing. The same thought kept replaying over and over again within my cerebral cortex: “I’m not prepared for this meeting. How did I allow myself to get into this situation”? After my colleague and I entered the client’s palatial office, I calmly sat down and distributed the packet of information that we would be reviewing. I was confident with the early part of the presentation but was struck with an escalating sense of foreboding as the conversation progressed. His eyes said it all, but his words would remove any doubt: “I was expecting something very different. I am now stuck in the unenviable position of having to make a difficult decision…Either postpone tomorrow’s board meeting, yet again, or trust that this presentation will be properly fixed by tomorrow morning”. His comments, coupled with my senior colleague’s less than stellar support, shook me to my very core. I was thrown under the proverbial bus, and I knew there was no coming back from it. Less than two weeks into a new engagement, I was surreptitiously rolled off the client. Just like that…I was done.
Never in my career had I experienced such a profound sense of failure and anger, in both myself and the project’s leadership team. I cannot put into words just how deeply my confidence had been shaken. In many cases, a consultant’s effectiveness is directly tied to his ability to exude confidence. Had I lost my Mojo? Had my personal brand been tarnished? How could I recover from something like this? continue reading »