The hardest part of my job is stepping back when a client makes a decision against my recommendations. After all, I’m hired to make recommendations.

This pretty much says to me, “thanks but no thanks”.

I make informed recommendations based upon deep evaluations and assessments, fit, and applied experience.

I work in a very narrow niche – specifically agency/marketing operations. I work outside of the creative sphere: in the business of the day-to-day. What makes an agency tick, and what makes them bomb.

This is the space where creative groups make money, spend money and lose money – where employees are engaged and how their engagement affects the bottom line – whether that’s profit or delivering correctly, on time.

So, imagine my surprise when my client doesn’t listen to me.

I am never surprised.


Because when it comes down to introducing change, applying structure, and getting a group, department or entire firm on board – using a new tool or system means you – the client – made a decision and that equates to accepting some level or version of responsibility.

Working with many clients over the years, I have learned that decision-making is a tricky process.

No one wants to make a bad decision.

No one ever got fired for buying IBM.

Decisions are made at many levels. Whether it’s senior level guys making blanket decisions “because they’ve had enough”, the need to make a quick or cheap decision, or the worst – an agenda-based decision – decisions will be made.

Then everyone else lives with the consequences.

I make recommendations based on input from the people doing the work. They know far better than the C-suite, accounting or (God forbid) IT – on what it takes to get work done.

I know what I’m recommending and why. It’s a big responsibility, and one I never take lightly. I always have supporting documentation on my recommendations.

So make that decision. And never make it personal.