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Ask the Expert - Trust Your Caddy

By: Ted Miller, HMCC, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP | Jun 16, 2020

Ted Miller_200x200Question: In this past year as I worked on various projects, I kept second guessing myself on the decisions and direction I was pursuing. It turns out I was right each time, but I need a method to give me more confidence in myself. How do you suggest I proceed?

Answer: If you have ever watched professional golf, you will see the player walking with their caddy. The caddy carries the clubs and gives the player information on the distance to the hole and any weather conditions, such as wind, to consider before selecting the club to use for the next shot. The player could make the decision of club selection without the caddy but uses them to confirm what they see. What may be of great help is to find yourself a caddy. You might find someone in your office or an industry colleague that you consult to verify you are making the best decision. Once you start to see that the decisions you are making confirmed by your caddy, you will feel more confident.


Question: I am working on a complicated blanket contract proposal that will have several firms receiving a purchase offer. Most of the costs are fixed so there is not much in the way of price difference between each vendor. Do you consider it ethical to consult with an industry colleague who is a competitor and also a friend?

Answer:  It may be a matter of how you approach the problem rather than the pricing. As long as you do not attempt to make an agreement between you and a competitor on the price of any items, you can certainly have procedural discussions. However, I would suggest you look to a true industry leader known to present issues for the benefit of the industry and not just their own business.


Question: Recently I was approached about a new position but am having trouble deciding if I should pursue it. How should I reconcile my feelings?

Answer: First, I would think about why you were approached by this other firm - who you know within their organization and your relationship with them. If this organization is a competitor, they may be seeking someone they feel can bolster their business position by attracting someone who is a known commodity. Seek out an industry colleague and ask their opinion of the offer. When you remove the emotion in the decision by having someone else evaluate the situation you will be able to make a much better decision.


Question: We are trying to resolve an issue with a client that was caused by our company downsizing and releasing several key staff. Do you consider it prudent for us to consult with one of our former staff who was intimately involved with this account?

Answer: When you attempt to consult with a former staff member, it can be hard to engage them based on the situation they encountered. To seek their advice, find someone who can be neutral to talk with your former employee. They may be able to get some information you need but do not expect them to solve the problem.



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