By Martha D. Staab
I originally had this blog on my list of things to do for the beginning of 2023 but I kept putting it off and putting it off. I felt that I needed to write this with a clear head and less emotion. As the months went by and I reviewed tasks for my interns and staff on Basecamp this blog title that was overdue for months was staring back at me. Almost like a challenge of when you gonna attack me? So today is the day.
Almost 2 months later and a lot more knowledge under my belt I have more to say about this specific topic. I talked about this on my podcast titled, Getting Fired A La James Gunn Style. Leadership is a funny thing. Most people who step into the role are fired up to show the people who hired them why they hired them.
So this happened to me with a very large account. Losing this account is something I have not yet recovered from but the person who was managing over myself and my partner decided to up and leave their position. Listen I get it when you want to get out a toxic situation you do it. It hurt us tremendously because the person who came in didn't even give us a shot. Prior to the new leader coming in we had surpassed the yearly goal but several million dollars. Even though it was a feat never seen before by the company a new leader came in and didn't even care about that, they were determined to create a team they wanted. Which cost them way more to do so and the following year with such stark changes the company dwindled down not even reaching the goals the old team had the year prior. This made the owner take a hard look at what was done the year before and why the new team couldn't replicate. I sat back and laughed because this new leader couldn't do what we could do.
I also had many friends left in that company and I heard this new leader talk so much shit about myself and other people I worked with. The problem when people talk shit is because they are threatened and can't do what you did. This is such a low-level way of acting. If you come in and think you are the shit, act like it.
The problem with a lot of leaders is they are ready to create their own team instead of letting them stick around and show them what they can do. That current team needs to show their worth as well. I tried my best but when I was made to answer emails at 7 am by this leader was seen as aggressive behavior. I knew before this happened that I was out. But I still showed up, put a smile on my face, and turned out all my skills. Again this didn't matter but I was still willing to show them why I was the best and how I helped contribute to the company's growth.
When I was working for their competitor some 8 years prior to this job. This company set the standard in the industry we are in and I knew working with them would raise my marketing skills to the next level and it did. I really wanted to help them grow and become a huge force. In those 3 years, I did and I was proud of my work.
In a previous job I had as a full-time digital marketer I did the opposite. I went into the job and made no changes. I made that clear to the people who hired me. I wanted to see how things worked and as I began working I wanted to see where changes could be made. I made that known that me coming in was not an alarm to those already in place. I wanted to see the worth of people before making a decision. I think I made two major changes and tweaked some things to help that company grow from 2 million to 5 million in 2 years. Thats the way true leaders need to operate not like the grim reaper ready to plow good, hard-working people away. You are messing with people's lives here and it was one thing I wasn't about to do when I became a leader.
Another fantastic example of reaping. I was working with an entrepreneur who owned several establishments and the one I was working on was in its infancy but thriving. In the last 4 months of the year, sales grew 35% and growing. People were flocking for entertainment, or just a fun night in general. Facebook ads were kicking ass and people were buying! It was exciting. At the end of December, the owner called me and said the manager of the establishment was taking over and wanted his own team to turn things around.
"Turn things around? We're booming!!!
"No, he thinks he can take this to the next level and wants his own team. I'm going to let him and see what happens. You will be a causality so just a heads up going into the new year."
I was actually really gutted by the whole thing because I again cared for this company and its growth. The reason I love marketing is because I can see the hard work I put into something and to see it grow and thrive makes me so excited and happy for the owners. It also justifies my stills as a marketer. Over the years I have had naysayers say "You are not as good as you think you are..."
When stuff like this happens and you see the fruits of your labor grow it's a phenomenal feeling.
About 3 months into the new reign of "The Manager" things were falling apart. The content was subpar at best. Likes, traffic and everything around that brand was falling. I received a call from the owner asking me to help run ads for the company again because the person they hired didn't know how to do them.
"How can your "manager" hire someone who doesn't know how to run ads?"
"Look I don't know but I need some run some ads... I'll pay you whatever you want!!! Just please get it done the business is in trouble!!!"
Now I don't know how many times "LEADERSHIP" has failed and I get a call to help clean up the mess they have made. Just so you know I charge double when that happens.
I did the ads and collected the cash.
I got a call before the holidays that business had gone under and that they would be closing their doors soon.
Ironically this is a pattern for jobs and clients that I lose. Once I am taken off a project because someone thinks they can do it better, end up dwindling.
1. Company I helped build up to 12 million, I walked away because the owner was a dick, dipped to 6 million, and eventually sold the company because it was no longer valuable.
2. The company terminated me, I was unemployed for 233 days. I bounced back but Krama remembers and filed for bankruptcy in 2023. They could never get those sales numbers back up after my departure.
3. Worked for an independent entrepreneur, helped grow the business 40k in 3 months, let go due to me questioning how they could work in various industries and promise outrageous results. I was let go due to "attitude" The consultancy closed down 3 months later.
4. Surpassed yearly goal by 8 million, let go due to new leadership
5. Increased sales by 35%, let go due to new leadership
6. Increased sales up to $250K, let go due to new leadership
Shall I go on? My work speaks for itself and it's usually leadership that thinks something can be done better or they haven't had a talk with me about their goals and what they want better. Most leaders are too cowardly to keep those people who have been around, around because that's why you can see this leader doesn't know what they were doing. That's what happened with scenario #1. I started to see this person was not paying attention in the meetings, in fact, this leader was on her phone and got up to gossip with the other employee next door. When my partner was done explaining to the leader who wasn't there I told him. " They stepped out when you got into the acquisitions section."
"This is freaking important why are they not listening."
This situation made my partner fly down and have a meeting in person to save our jobs. It didn't work. Minds were made up.
So the moral of this blog and revealing embarrassing ways I have lost jobs and clients is to make this a learning lesson for those future leaders walking into positions of power. Have some heart, and a good head on your shoulders, and give the people currently working in positions that make the wheels of the business go because they could be crucial to your next big win. Don't be the grim reaper and fuck with people's livelihoods. Like the bosses that hired you took a chance on you, you can take a chance on them.
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