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My Colleague is Taking All the Credit: A Mini Case Study - Part

Some background: Elena and Jacklyn have been working together on a fairly complex process improvement initiative for the last two months. At the same time that they have been working on this project, Jacklyn has been planning an upcoming surprise party for her husband’s 40th birthday party. Because of this, Jacklyn has not done as much work as she has needed to on the project. To keep the project on track, Elena has taken on significant additional work which has required her to work late into the evenings and over many weekends. Elena hasn’t complained because she is hoping that once the party happens, Jacklyn will begin to pitch in on the initiative.

Let’s skip ahead. The 40th birthday party has taken place and Jacklyn comes in to work the next day excited about how well the party went. She gives Elena all the details, and during their Elena reminds her that they need to work late this evening to prepare a presentation for delivery to the project stakeholders tomorrow. Jacklyn tells her that she can’t work late as she has plans for the evening. Elena works late yet again; this time to get the presentation completed.

The situation: It is the day of the presentation to the project stakeholders. Jacklyn told Elena she would be happy to take the lead on presenting the information. Elena hesitates but decides that since Jacklyn has not done much else, it would be nice for her to be involved in something. During the presentation, however, Jacklyn talks about all of her efforts on the project and makes it sound as if Elena has had little to no contribution. A number of major issues had cropped up on the project which Elena had worked hard with key stakeholders to resolve; only to have Jacklyn talk about how she had developed solutions to resolve problems to ensure the project could keep moving forward. Not once did Jacklyn even mention Elena, it was as if Jacklyn alone had been driving this initiative.

Elena knew she had to address the situation; but how? What might you advise Elena to do?

In Part 2, we’ll share some ideas on what Elena might do to ensure she gets credit for the work on this project.