Hayzlett’s Gauntlet and My Microsoft Mistake

Principles mean something only when they are inconvenient.  Prepare to live your brand promise in bad times and good.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, Author

Running the Gauntlet

Chapter 5


I am emotionally invested in my clients and the programs we work on together.

A must read, Jeffrey Hayzlett's latest book.

At Strategic Communications Group (Strategic), we only take on a handful of client engagements at any one time.  I strive for intimacy in each relationship and will represent a client’s interests with passion.

Plus, I pride myself on loyalty to anyone who hires Strategic.  I promote their interests and successes.  I provide counsel and guidance, and, when appropriate, I serve as a professional mentor.

A few years back I reacted harshly in a meeting to a client contact at Microsoft who made poor decisions about the direction of a program we had concepted and developed called FutureFed.

I was frozen out by the client for nearly three years, even though my predicted outcomes proved correct.  FutureFed is a shell of what it could have been.

After the Microsoft incident, I concluded my reaction was a mistake.  I should have been more gracious and accepted the client’s decisions, even though I believed them to be flawed.  And it was an error in judgment to call her out in front of others at a meeting.

Now I’m not so sure I was off-base.

This past week I was fortunate to attend Jeffrey Hayzlett’s keynote presentation at the Eloqua Experience.  I then tore through his book entitled Running the Gauntlet in a day.

Jeffrey’s premise is that success and longevity in business (and in life) is about tackling obstacles with creativity and innovation, and embracing the tension that comes with demanding excellence.

If you piss off some people along the way, so be it.  It’s more important to adhere to your core principles.

With me, Hayzlett achieved his goal and got me thinking.  Perhaps it’s OK to say that “FutureFed sucks.  And I told them it would.”


Repeat after me:  no one is going to die from the changes you make in business.  Say it:  “No. One. Is. Going. To.  Die.”

Jeffrey Hayzlett, Author

Running the Gauntlet

Chapter 1

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