In my last post I mentioned a meeting with my partners that was to take place, well it happened yesterday. I was hoping it wouldn’t go the way it did but it did and that’s life.
From going through my own inventory I can see that I have issues with trust and now that I am learning the lingo, it stems from fear and it stems from fear of abandonment. Friday afternoon there it was looking at me with two sets of eyes. My two partners who I have let use me as a scapegoat for years because I also seem to really hate confrontation. Be the “people pleaser”, “don’t rock the boat”, you see where I am going.
Knowing that I had written this letter to each of them putting my feelings out in handwritten form, delivering it to them by hand, I knew it would prompt discussion at least and if it didn’t then I knew it would tell me something by the non action, so either way I was setting myself up for some unsettled emotions on a Friday afternoon/evening, when in the old days would be prime “Happy Hour” time. I prayed several times throughout the day before the meeting, for strength, guidance and patience. I guess I am glad I did because I know I needed it, though when it was all said and done I didn’t feel very resolved.
We had a 3.5 hour meeting. The first part was filled with numbers. Sales, expenses everything I hate but know I had to pay attention and I did. Then as I expected, the tables were turned on me. The work I do is much “the front lines” about PR, networking and forming relationships with potential clients and often once a sale comes about, I pass it to a partner that has more technical expertise than I do. My expertise is in this area and why I joined as a partner in the company. Many of the projects I do by myself and am able to with our staff but larger projects with lots of data collection and framework design, one of my partners usually takes the helm because, 1) THAT is the expertise they bring to the table in the partnership 2) It bests serves the client. This has been how we have worked for the past 13 years.
I have been very honest with about my drinking issues. And though they don’t know the horror stories, they do know I am seeking help and have never asked details. But I have been working and working on a schedule and putting organization into what I need to do everyday and doing it. One partner has young children and the events of those children often run his day. Not every day but it definitely is a huge part of his life, as it should be. The other partner has taken on a large role in a local university, now as department head. Both of these people OBVIOUSLY have the same number of hours in the day as I do. I believe each one of us in one way or another had disengaged from the company in one way or another. Our company is no longer priority 1 and each of us own a piece of that situation, only to them it is all my problem.
What Has Changed
Me. I can see how they avoid discussing anything that they may have a part in and that in almost every case, anything that I have been doing (which is often function driven networking) has been completely disregarded. They don’t like to do it and I realize that. I also have accepted the responsibility that it happens by me. That I am the one that finds out the events, gets to them, participates in them and “press the flesh” as us “old timers” say. It became clear to me that the hours that I spend doing this is not of value to my partners, even though they expect it continue. They think these relationships drop out of the sky or they are responsible for them exclusively. Growing up in a family business with both parents having family businesses on each side, we all knew it was the BUSINESS that is the benefactor. Not the individual that may have actually gone out to pump the gas into the car, it was all the effort that went into getting the car and its owner to come into the driveway in the first place. This is not how my partners think
I left the meeting pretty deflated. Not that I didn’t expect that this sort of behavior was possible but I was disappointed that my partners are not the people I thought they were. And it has taken the fog to lift to show me that I need to decide what it is that I want to do about it.