Smart Battles

Blonde woman with glasses In these tough times, the subject of when to go to battle with your employer has come up several times.  People are simply afraid that if they speak up, they will lose their job, lose a client or suffer a loss or reputation.


A couple of years ago, I had a beef with an organization whose management took advantage of a situation.  They simply refused to pay for one of their employees who attended one of our seminars. Why? Ultimately, the then management team had some kind of entitlement attitude. I could not allow blatant disregard for fellow vendors to spread to other vendors by this one company. As my frustration with the company's management grew, the management team handed the short end of the deal to their sales person whom I admired, Leslie Lumpkins.


Here is a young man who is an assertive and aggressive Legal Technology & Electronic Evidence Specialist.  Lumpkins' excellent background as a paralegal in prestigious firms such as Hunton & Williams led him to an alternative and exciting career in litigation support sales.  Winning several awards and exceeding the sales goals set down by previous employers, Lumpkins used his litigation paralegal background to help law firms cut costs and deliver excellent e-discovery services to their clients.


When management interferes with someone's ability to do a job, the employee suffers.  In fact, in the case of Lumpkins, you have a smart, polished and knowledgable litigation support specialist hindered by stubborn employers who, at that time, wanted to be right at all costs, including Lumpkins otherwise excellent reputation,  even though they were wrong. 


What do you do when management is so focused on the almighty dollar that they interfere with your ability to do the job right?  Who do you go to help you fight your cause and what chance do you have?


In these tough times, the more critical analysis is not the battles you fight but what battles you pick to fight.  Not everyone is as skillful as Leslie Lumpkins, who maintained his dignity while his management team floundered. How do you stand your ground with fear looming over you that you may lose your job in an economy  that has gone down some deep black hole?


Pick your battles carefully.  Management, just as non-mangement, turns over.  If your morals are compromised, if ethics are involved, if others are adversely affected, it is probably a battle worth fighting.  If it's a disagreement that could blow over in a few days, think wisely.


In the end, the top CFO at Lumpkins' organization did the right thing and paid us.  My beef was never with Lumpkins.  My beef was with management.  I'm glad I picked that fight because had I not, companies such as that one would have set a precedent for other vendors, law firms and CLEs - one that surely would have had damaging future consequences. 

One Reply to “Smart Battles”

  1. Way to go Chere! I’ve known Leslie for 7 years now and felt bad about all the bad press he got as a result of the incident. A lot of people took stabs at him over this and I’m not sure if the wounds have healed. Anyone that has ever worked with Leslie knows that he is really good at his craft. I consider him a rising star. I hope just as many people read today’s blog that read the one from years ago.

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