My daughters hate the word ‘deliver’. They claim I repeat it too often. I guess I do. But in order to prove any point, you not only have to create the idea (which is some ways is the easy part), but you have to figure out how to make that idea come to life.
When I was sent to Kuwait to monitor a corporate strategy, my boss – the CEO of the Bank – said ‘Would you like to be in charge of one of the deliverables’. Immediate answer, ‘No, I will just monitor implementation’. Well that lasted a few weeks and I found myself in charge of the most difficult element of the strategy – to create the ‘Bank of the Future’. Not only had I never worked in retail banking, but the work involved in monitoring the strategy was all-consuming. As life goes, it did not matter what I thought; I was going to deliver the Bank of the Future.
The path to dream what this could be included moving mountains, culturally and from a banking perspective. The Team internally was not supportive and I was the ‘bad guy’ (non-Arab woman) bringing change. I got the feeling no one but the CEO was supportive. And thus, virtually no one was collaborative. Back-stabbing, undermining, non participation and more were daily occurrences.
So I just figured it out on my own. Brought the results in a state-of-the art presentation to the CEO and got the support from the Chairman. Ready to go.
But sabatoge continued even as we broke ground on the new facility and bought and tested the equipment. It was a quagmire.
However, I delivered a very cool concept with all the elements that were required present. I even built a mock branch to walk through and decided how it would work in real life.
At this point, no one could deny, I delivered. The only issue was “not invented here” and “not wanted here”.
In the end, it was discarded and I was thrown out.
But, I did deliver and it was pretty cool. So proof is in the pudding, even if the powers that be chose differently. My guess is they never thought I could do it and talk would not have convinced. Building it did.