I have fond memories of an internal client who was notorious for being dissatisfied with leaders throughout the organization. He was critical and rarely felt anyone was up to par. It was a frustrating experience; I know how hard I work and the solutions I bring and to be met with a less than stellar reception was difficult. So, my goal was to understand what was the source of his dissatisfaction.
I threw myself at every project and was overly communicative so we were always aligned. I learned their dissatisfaction wasn’t personal – he needed someone who was equally invested. The key was leaning into the challenge as this was a huge learning opportunity. I worked around the clock and made it my mission to provide an unmatched level of partnership. It taught me a lot about leadership and partnership. Ultimately, we developed a long-lasting respect for each other.