post # 168 — August 22, 2006 — a Client Relations post
This happened thirty yeas ago.
I had been hired to assist the executive committee of a major consulting firm to discuss their strategy. There were 8 or ten senior officers of the firm around the table, including the CEO, who was due to retire in 12 months.
As I was generating various options for them to consider, the CEO suddenly said to me (in front of everyone else): “You just want to see us change so you can get consulting fees.”
I had no idea what to say, and said nothing. I was hugely offended. It’s one thing to dislike my ideas, but to question my ethics? Impugn my integrity?
On the other hand, don’t all clients and customers distrust the motives of all professional provides (and all other businesspeople?)
The air hung heavy and silent until one of the other executives picked up the conversation and moved on.
I carried on working with that firm, through the term of my contract, and no-one ever referred to the CEO’s remarks again.
I have often thought about what I SHOULD have done or said.
What would you have done?
What are you going to say or do when someone accuses you of only being in it for yourself?