Read This If You Want To Keep Your Job This Christmas

photo (7)This is a short, sharp Possums post. And please- share it with as many colleagues and teams as you can, and with anyone you care about. Because this is a powerful message which- if you screw it up- will have huge ramifications. Here it is.

I was reminded about this threat when visiting the Hunter Valley wine district this weekend to see the amazing Leonard Cohen in concert. As I relaxed over coffee the following morning, I looked up to see a message on the café wall. It kind of shocked me, because it reminded me of one of the most dangerous threats that December holds. I have seen many careers implode because of it, many great client relationships disappear. And we must make damned sure no-one makes this mistake on our team. Easier said than done, but it can be done. Here it is:

“The truth is in the wine.”

Huh? What’s this mean? Simply this- it’s the festive season. Parties abound. Alcohol flows. WATCH OUT!!!! It is DANGER time.

It’s the time some can lose control. They tell people the truth about how they feel about them, for example. Telling their boss how  all laugh at him behind his back (as I have been told many a time), or telling a client they hate their brand, product or people on the client team. This is somewhat unhelpful. (Remember- a client is ALWAYS a client, even after a few drinks on a Friday night when all is fun and goodwill abounds). Or when a young colleague leaves a client ‘thank you’ event late at night, walks out into the street in bad shape ( think ‘tired and emotional’)and not sure how to get home.

We have to step up NOW and ensure we do all we can to prevent these circumstances evolving.

So- What To Do?

First, give yourself a good talking to and ensure you set the right example.

Secondly, take action NOW to ensure your teams are reminded to be very cautious- make sure they understand that work ‘end of year’ celebrations- whether with clients or just colleagues- are not the place to let your hair down (this is no risk for me by the way) and not the place to go that step too far. Communicate hard, and regularly on this. Set guidelines. And stick to them. Ensure your senior team is alert and ever watchful, and intervene early and with great care if you see anyone shaping to go that step too far.

I know I might come across as a bit old fashioned. But actually, it’s not. It’s about doing the right thing, and caring- that talented, hard working, high potential people in our industry do not stuff it up during this high risk time. Please- spread the word. Let’s take care of each other.

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8 Responses to Read This If You Want To Keep Your Job This Christmas

  1. Richard November 27, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Thanks for the warning. I was planning a whole heap of stuff that I’ll now have to shelve. Richard 🙂

    • Chris Savage November 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Good to hear!

  2. Bryce W November 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    I’ve just shared this with my team.
    Thank you for your wise words yet again!

    • Chris Savage November 28, 2013 at 10:16 am #


  3. Joan Young November 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks for the timely reminder Chris. After the excellent anti-sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying training we had from Stephen Bell in Melbourne yesterday this reinforces the message that our Christmas Parties, client functions and their after-math are still workplaces, we need to take care of our people at them and set the example with our own behaviour.

    • Chris Savage November 28, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      Thanks Joan!

  4. Glenn November 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Once again, the Possum speaks the truth

    • Chris Savage December 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Thanks Glenn!

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