But My Boss Won't Let Me

Sometimes blog posts write themselves. This is one of those times and it happened because a real-life event dovetailed with a post by Seth Godin that caught my eye. 

A school marketer connected with me a few months ago, asking for advice on how to deal with a boss who was blocking almost every marketing effort she was attempting to institute. The Catch 22 was that she was still responsible for the result. 


Dr. Arnaud Prevot, school marketing specialist and InspirED guest blogger, would label this school marketer's head as "The Boss (Low Empathy)" in his grid of principals who lead private schools. He's the "my way or the highway" kind of guy.  

I tried to help her find ways to convince him that her ideas were good (because they were) and would garner the results he wanted (because they would). 

Lead the people who are in charge to make better decisions.
— Seth Godin

This school marketer is a smart cookie. She had already thought of many of the ideas I also had to help her "lead up" and get her boss to see not only the value of marketing, but also the specific efforts she knew would work to help the school achieve its goals. 

Armed with the confidence she needed, this school marketer got back into the ring to fight the good fight, knowing she was on the right track, and hoping perserverence was going to do the trick.

A few months later, she let me know she was resigning. 

While I was dismayed at this news, I knew it was the right thing for her to do. She had marketing talent, great instincts and an excellent work ethic that was wasted on this school. It was time for her to move onto a place where she would be responsible for the results and be in control of her work....where she would be respected as the marketing professional she is.

I'm hoping she contacts me in a few months to let me know she's landed in just such a place.

In the meantime, other school marketers may take a lesson from Seth Godin and learn how to "lead up" or, in the worst case scenario, fish and cut bait on a "boss who won't let me." 

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