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consultant that is family friend

By rlindstrom ·
I work for a family run business (2nd generation - enough said). We outsource some programming to a consultant that has become a family friend over the years. I was promoted to IT Mgr. a few years ago and much to my disdain, he was basically untouchable even though we are way overpaying him. Recently, he found out that we are replacing all of his sub-systems with some new BI tools from Cognos. He offered to helo with the conversion and we declined. He then threatened me by saying "We'll have to see what "...." says this afternoon. I'm at a loss on how to handle this. Has anyone else run into this??

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What kind of a friend?

by yanipen In reply to consultant that is family ...

It depends on what kind of a friend he is.

You see, on everything you do, it all comes down to the family's decision. No more, no less. I was in a similar situation a few months ago.

What I did was to document everything. I have explained to the family what will be the pros and cons. Even the familys decision. You know what? I lost that time. At the start, the favor is with him. Because he is untouchable.

Until they saw the bill. And felt the effects afterwards. And surprisingly, they compared it NOW to what I have been showing them all along.

Patience is what you need now. Alertness and awareness can always overcome working hard. Let them have their way first. Then show them what they have been missing afterwards. its kinda, "I told you so" thing. By then, hopefully, they will listen to you.

I hope this helps.

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re. What kind of a friend?

by leoforward In reply to What kind of a friend?

Of the all the advice, this is the best one. Your dilemma is based on the assumption that your boss will automatically side with this friend, which might be true, but using this approach puts the onus on your boss.

If you lose, don't let it bother you but be patient. Once the boss sees the bills, especially if the boss has something against which to compare, the boss has an opportunity to see this friend as the bloodsucking parasite that he is. Let your boss come to this revelation by simply presenting the facts including acknowledging this consultants powerplay without rubbing your boss's face in it or appearing to be challenged. Take the Vulcan approach and keep your emotional responses out of it.

This isn't so much a threat to your authority as a chance to strengthen your position by attempting to do the right thing for your employer in such a way that it is clear but not in your boss's face. Bosses often have large egos and larger insecurities.

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Time to move on!

by rascal2be In reply to consultant that is family ...

It's obvious that this "Power Struggle" has become an untenable and it's always nice to have another door open in your situation. However, my advice in any event, is to swallow your pride and enlist this friend?s help. He'll have to know how to support the infrastructure when you post your vacancy and your employer will appreciate your efforts in a way that may be beneficial to you in the future. That is, be bigger than all of this and bend over backwards to try to accommodate them. Look past this to your long-term career goals and try and turn every negative into a positive. Turn this rival into a friend and an asset.

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Proper procedure

by wrlang In reply to consultant that is family ...

Your other replies are good.
You took a deceitful position and everyone knows it, trying to get rid of a person without talking to them. Especially bad when the person is a family friend of the boss. Like it or not, the CEO has the right to make any decision he/she wants, and that includes wasting money on a friend.

Sit down together with them and iron it out using the financial methods described in other posts. If the company is doing well financially, you probably wont get rid of the friend, but at least everyone will understand you were doing it for the company (if that's really the case).

Next time be up front and talk to them both before you make a decision to try and cut the friend. Talk with the CEO first if you want to cut the friend outright, the friend first if you want to retool them into a useful resource.

Also, understand the scope of your powers when taking a job.

Good luck.

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Not deceitful

by Choppit In reply to Proper procedure

I'd disagree that this is a deceitful position to take. The family friend is a consultant, and consultants are hired or fired on the basis of current requirements (no requirement = no contract). I'd be far more concerned about a manager who puts his 'easy life' ahead of the needs of the business.

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Does this friend of the boss know of this discussion board?

by g_tilghman In reply to Proper procedure

Some of the replies I am seeing sound as if they are coming from "the friend ofthe boss".

Is this guy a subscriber and making multiple posts to try to steer your decision?

If you are a family member, ur blood will probably run thicker than water. After showing the boss the benifits of the new program and how cost efficient getting rid of the friend would be, he may or may not listen. But, If you want this guy gone, are you willing to sacrifice it all and say "It's either me or him"? If so, be prepared to find another job. But you just might win.

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Why are you fighting?

by rldillonma In reply to consultant that is family ...

I understand that the consultant does not meet your standards but I question the reason for your battle.

What is your "win"? Do you get more money or power or less hassle and rework if this consultant is gone? Can you really get rid of him?

Are you fighting for something that is real and tangible or do you just like to fight?

You should only be battling this situation if there is a clear "win" for you AND you know you will win.

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Why are you fighting?--Integrity

by pedwards17 In reply to Why are you fighting?

I was in a similar situation years ago--I was trying to make business decisions that, in the end, would result in severing the ties to a contractor who had been providing services for years. He made so much money from our company, in fact, that he was able to leave his gov't job and establish his own consulting company. The steps I was taking were pushing him out. In the end, he got his way and I got another job.

I had nothing to gain by phasing the contractor out except that it was right for the company. I hate to see waste, even if it's not really my money. I take a sense of ownership in any job I have, and I suspect that's the case here.

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Consultant Friend

by noortech In reply to consultant that is family ...

Many Tears ago, I was in the same situation. Let the consultant talk to the BOss. If you have knowledge of the systems then you have nothing to worry abot. Point out to the Boss Long term Financial gain if it is done Inhouse. In the end, it depends on what the Boss wants, His Company's benefits or his friend. Don't be afraid. Tackle it professionally. This friend is using the old school bullying tactics. I talked with my Boss explaining to him the Long Term Benefits and also poited out to him, his friend's threatening behaviour. My boss accepted my explanation. Best of Luck to You.

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by g_tilghman In reply to Consultant Friend

I agree, let the boss know about the friend's bully tactics.

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