The problem is me

I spent over 15 years as a consultant.

During that time clients would hire me to fix a “problem” that they had in their business. Their new business system was broken, their margins were terrible, they had too much turnover, etc.

They had a problem, my job is to fix it.

Most of the agency founders I met with would define the “problem” in terms of “them”.

  • The account team can’t sell.
  • The creatives are going over budget.
  • Our PM’s can’t seem to manage projects effectively.

And when I accepted those assignments I knew, 100% of the time, that “the team” wasn’t the problem, the founder was the problem.

  • The account team can’t sell because the founder isn’t willing to be disciplined about the work they take. So the portfolio doesn’t tell any cohesive story about what the agency does! They know the right thing to do, but they want to be liked more than they want to be disciplined so they never say no.
  • The creatives are going over budget because the founder is setting prices based on how long it took them to do the work when they were a creative 15 years ago. She’s afraid to increase the budget because of her own fears and hangups about money.
  • The PM’s can’t manage project effectively because the owner jumps into every client call promising things we can’t deliver. Having clients be disappointed with the agency makes the founder feel worthless and small, so he jumps into every conversation instead.

So let me ask you.

How long are you going to look for the tactical solution before you give up and decide to work on yourself?

Every time I go searching for new tactics, I find it super helpful to remember that the problem is me, not the tactics. ~ Carl Richards

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