I think the chief executive is trying to get rid of me. He didn’t appoint me he inherited me. We have very different management styles I am a people person he is excellent at reading the politicians.
At the senior management team again this week I found myself alone voice. No one else said anything unless directly asked a question. I am being to think these issues have been discussed outside of the meeting. Not that debate is encouraged the purpose of these meetings seems to be to get Directors to make public commitments. My colleagues seem to be in competition to outdo each other in the size of cuts they make to their services. This week it was the number of management posts they intended to cut and the speed with which they would restructure their departments.
I am all for being corporate but surly as a director it is my duty to make explicit the implications and risks involved in such drastic cuts. It is clear however that my concerns are viewed as special pleading, procrastination and a failure to appreciate the gravity of the budget situation. Any attempt at debate is seen as disloyalty.
I would be happy to raise my concerns with the chief executive outside the meeting if I could get a slot in his diary, preferably before decisions are made. I use to have a regular one to one with the previous chief executive but this one says he is too busy and in any case someone with my experience doesn’t need that amount of “hand holding”. What about urgent briefings I ask knowing how keen he is not to be caught out by a question from a politician or the media. “Just grab me between meetings”. Easier said than done.
This relaxed approach does not does not seem to work the other way. I frequently get pulled out of meetings to speak to the chief executive on the phone “urgently”. We clearly have a different view on what is urgent I always assume it is going to be something important but it never is. The last time it was a technical question about a partnership agreement and why we had less places on the steering group when we but were putting in the greatest share of the funding? Obviously a question raised by a member.
On more than one occasion I have been “summoned” at short notice to explain a budget proposal again presumably as a result of a members question because he had shown no interest in the details before as long as they met the savings and I could assure him they were deliverable.
Am I being paranoid? What should I do?
Blair McPherson author of Equipping managers for an uncertain future published by www.russellhouse.co.uk