To fix a problem caused by my client last week, I have to present again a project that has already been approved, adding in details and timelines we were not required to provide the first time.
That is okay. It’s not great, but it’s okay. I know I can present it and, with some intensive preparation, provide the details that they need.
Problem 1: I am doing this meeting solo — well, without the benefit of BP. (I will probably make some staff come with me.)
Problem 2: BP is not calling me back and I need his help to frame what I need to do.
Problem 3: I have 2 days to prepare.
My heart is actually pounding. I am anxious and excited. This will be the single highest stakes thing I’ve ever done solo. It will be a higher stakes thing than 99.94% of all the people who do what I do have ever done.
I feel the creeping terror: There is more money and more jobs on the line than I can reasonably calculate . I have to convey a delicate blend of competence, authority, strength, without being too aggressive or assertive. I have to do it all without my partner. Yes, he could conceivably join us, but he has been grooming me to do this for years.
(BP called to say, well, I guess I have to fly back and I [perhaps foolishly] said: “you don’t have to; I can handle it.”)
I am still terrified. I mean, I will be okay, but for now, I am terrified. I know that the fear will make me more focused, better prepared. I will use the nervous energy to strengthen the presentation.
He is flying back, and I moved the meeting to accommodate his schedule. He’s pissed about it, though it’s exactly what he wanted, so wtf, dude. I am glad I will have the extra days to prepare.
It’s different having BP around for a meeting like this. He’s older than I am and he’s gregarious and charasmatic (and handsome), so when we are together, people tend to look to him or defer to him. I can hold my own with him there, but it’s a different dynamic. It’s easier when we’re in the same physical space. We’ve often discussed and agreed on a specific strategy — him being good cop, me bad — only to have him abandon it on a conference call. In general, we position me as softer and slightly more accommodating, with him as quick to anger and walk away. In real life, it’s sometime that way, and sometimes the reverse.
I am just as apprehensive as before, but I am glad I will have him there . . . and that I will have the extra time to prepare.