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THOMAS set predictable problems that he failed to forestall. Instead of further poisoning his relationship with his boss by seeking to “expose” him, Tom should now start to repair the damage he’s done to both his professional relationships and his career prospects. Tom’s ? rst mistake was in neglecting to consider that he was not his boss’s choice for the position of senior marketing specialist. From the outset he should have recognized the signi? cance of that initial strike against him and, therefore, should have made it a top priority to earn Frank’s trust right away.But he did just the opposite: failing to deliver an important report on time and not keeping Frank informed about his work in general. Most glaringly, he challenged his boss’s authority publicly. Tom may believe that hierarchy doesn’t matter so much in today’s corporate world, but bosses still love the sort of deference that validates their status. Tom’s second mistake was in assuming that merely articulating his impression of the competitive threat from web-based offerings would immediately change the minds of his boss and others in the organization.Tom spent virtually no time building the close social ties with people that would give him the credibility to convince them of his perspective. For example, after his promotion, Tom didn’t brief Shannon on what he had learned and accomplished in his new role. She had no way of knowing about the contributions he was making and thus had little reason to continue to support him. Her only information about Tom was the negative feedback she had been seeing from Frank TOM CAN’T change his boss; he can only change himself.If Tom wants to succeed in his new job, he needs to forget about what anyone else “should” do and focus on his own actions. Tom has some truly valuable points and direction. He’s even touched on the strategies of what will make things happen directionally that will work better. It may be in this presentation of those recommendations that lack and where the flaw is on his side that he can control in the situation. As they say, take a deep breath and look at yourself in the cold hard light of day: see what you can control and what you can’t, and do what is within your control.Making a better presentation of your ideas and why it will work and how is a more convincing method than challenging the boss, especially if you are the new guy, publicly in a meeting (that you are also late for). In these cases, because of Frank’s experience, he probably does know and understand things Tom doesn’t, but Tom is no doubt correct as well, he’s future viewing. You’ve got to present your case though in a better way…. period. Facts and figures. Bottom line. How it’s going to be done, how long it will take, and what it will cost vs the return.Frank has a point about the people not dropping their investment. It’s costly. But Tom’s points are good about the ease of internet. Anyone ignoring this is cutting of their nose to spite their face. Shannon probably knows this about Tom which is why she backed him for the position to begin with. It’s old school Frank vs new school Tom. Tom could also ask for whatever training he lacks in order to better connect with Frank, if that’s how to do a good PowerPoint, then do it. Tom is asking for the company to go in a completely new direction.Shannon has clearly stated Frank’s numbers are out of line for what the data warrants so she already knows Frank is off base. She wants Tom to challenge Frank. So Tom could ask her for some direction on how better to present his own ideas (if he really doesn’t know how to, which I find hard to believe in this day and age…. but if that is the case, the guy, Tom, needs to brush up on his own communication methods). You will never walk into a meeting and get a complete direction of a company change by just saying so.That is naive in a process, but not wrong in premise. So let’s not throw the baby (Tom) out with the bathwater (the direction Tom wants to take the company it). Let’s find the way to investigate if this idea has any legs to it. Show Frank the numbers and let Frank show Tom in the numbers why this won’t work. Innovation costs money. Not every company is ready to put that down in this economy. I’ve supported older methods and gotten new business in where I could while I was launching a new division.It’s not only doable but absolutely necessary. I worked with an existing structure while creating the new. Tom also can not throw the baby out with the bathwater….. the business exists along a current path. You can’t just dump that and go into a whole other direction but you can lay it out in the way it will work. And this is after all what Shannon has specifically asked Tom to do. He will have to learn to become comfortable with detail and doing the groundwork of convincing people correctly why they should do this and not from the hip.It’s a great learning opportunity for Tom. Shannon is in fact allowing him to do so. And he will have to appease Frank by changing some of his own methods for Frank to be satisfied that Tom can show respect for Frank’s position. They’re establishing the boundaries, setting the rules of engagement, and depending upon how well Tom reacts to the situation will also depend upon whether Tom gets to keep his job and help set the company on a new and more profitable long term sustainable path.

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