Early on in my career, my project was sabotaged. I will spare you the details but, in the end, after a setback and delay, the project was completed, and it was profitable. Looking back after decades, I find it interesting how senior professionals and even management can sometimes scuttle a project due to self-interest or spite.
If you find yourself in such a situation, look for the nearest exit, get on a lifeboat, and rescue yourself.
Not only is the project going down, in that kind of culture, most likely the organization will decline too.
There are good organizations with positive cultures out there. You owe it to yourself to find them. What are some signs?
- Don’t just look at the financials. Revenue and profits are lagging indicators of performance i.e. past performance was good.
- When reviewing job postings, look for leading HR policies. Does the company have a People vs. Human Resources department? Do they have a Diversity and Inclusion policy? How do they support learning and professional development?
- Ask some probing questions at the interview: How long to people stay at the company? What do they like about the company? If you don’t hear culture, people, or team mentioned, that’s a red flag.
- Best of all, if you know someone in the company, ask them what the work environment there is like.
Thankfully, that was the only time my project was sabotaged. It was the exception, not the norm. Having been through that experience though, I don’t wish it on anyone. That’s why I am now helping people recognize bad situations and supporting them to move to better situations.