LeadershipSmall Business

The month of disappearing people

We just finished the month of January 2018 that I will likely remember as the month of disappearing people. It left me puzzled and uncertain in my position. No less than eight separate times I was in the middle of a work project with a schedule or deadline when a key person just stopped responding by phone, text or email. I tried alternate methods to figure out what’s going on with little success. It is deeply disruptive to the community and puzzling to the many people and other businesses clients.

In one case I found that serious flu was to blame and he is still not back to normal. In another, a guy left his job and I was eventually connected to the successor. In one case I suspect substance abuse but have no proof. But in the majority of cases I have no idea what happened.

In one case we were in the middle of an important deal when a business woman said “OK, we will continue tomorrow when I call you at 3” and then nothing for the next several weeks. One guy was scheduled for a group meeting and confirmed he was on schedule two hours earlier. Then no-show with me holding an empty bag with my other stakeholders and no later response to my communications.

The total costs of these disappearances is substantial in terms of lost productivity, wasted hours and  the extra work required in my “chase down” investigative efforts.

On my agenda today – February 1 -I’m setting polite but ultimatums with several of these MIA people. Unfortunately, no matter how talented you may be at your job, if you can’t response to multiple phone calls, emails and text messages then your market value is zero. There may well be very good reasons for the disappearances. Yet I must keep my business and clients moving forward. As the saying goes “the show must go on”.

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