This morning I received an email from a colleague that allowed me to put into action much of SCS work. For three years, I worked closely with the largest biller in our firm. Although I was not formally assigned to her team (we operate in a semi-matrixed environment), she trusted me and considered me to be a valued member of her team. I served as her de facto Chief of Staff.

In May 2017, I was presented with two opportunities by our company’s leadership team – 1) was to formerly align with another Partner whom I greatly respected – it was my “dream job” and 2) to take on a special project for $15,000. I attribute these blessing to the work I had been doing in SCS. It was difficult to let the Partner with whom I had been working know that I was accepting these new opportunities and would not be able to take on new projects with her. I felt that it was the right thing to do for her to hear the new from me. Since then our relationship has changed dramatically – and I am ok with that. After a several month transition phase while they hired someone for her, I finally am spending most of my time with my new team.

This morning she sent me an email said that WE had to redo a project that we launched back in 2015 for free. Our minimum fee is $75k and it is the industry norm to guarantee our work for one year with a few stipulations. Suffice to say, I was completely blindsided. In this particular situation, the client sent us an email on June 1, 2017 – one day short of a year since we had finished. When I asked the partner in June 2017, if we needed to redo the project she said no. Eight months later, without any warning, she now has agreed that we would redo it for free.

I immediately knew the result I wanted but I paused and went for a walk to clear my head/re-listen to podcasts. I did a thought download + models on what I wanted the result to be, observed my thoughts, waited/tried not to resist and then responded. I kept saying things like, “I love you but no” “This is happening for me, not to me” “How do I want to show up” and “she gets to redo the project but I get to choose if I want to work on it or not.”
My reasons for not wanting to work on it are all part of my manual: 1) I think it is shady to come back on day 364 and complain about services rendered. If there was an issue, the client should have brought it up sooner. 2) I would have re-done on June 1, 2017 because even though it was shady, in a court of law they were sorta of within their rights. 3) Coming back eight months later is ridiculous and again falls in that shady category – and I don’t roll that way. 4) She didn’t ask about my capacity to help, just directed me to start the process to redo the project, which I allowed to get under my skin and get righteous and defensive.

In my models, I wanted to be confident, resolute and honorable. I didn’t mention all of the points above because she knows the facts. I simply said, “Unfortunately, I don’t have the capacity to help with this project, but I would coach and support whoever senior management found to execute the project.”

Here’s the rub, our CFO got back to me right away saying that he would handle it/find someone else as did our Chief Human Resources Officer. I got the result I wanted, but still feel insanely anxious. I think because others will think that I am not a team player or that it was about the money or that others have to pick up a project where they won’t get paid.

I try reminding myself it is a “thought error,” “half of the time we feel like ass,” “nothing has gone wrong here” and “it is her choice if she wants to run her business this way and redo the work for free, but it isn’t my problem.”

Still I can’t seem to move beyond the anxiousness…