Hang on or let go? When you are outvoted.

What does an organization’s payment strategy have in common with the current U.S. presidential election and, earlier, the UK vote on whether to leave the European Union? In the simplest terms, there are winner and losers. One side gets what they want. The other side has to figure out how to react. We have all been part of the latter group at some point in our careers. Card program buy-in—something I have written about before (see related blog post)—is a prime example of what can polarize an organization. What if you have exhausted all avenues to improving program buy-in and nothing has worked? What do you do? Following are four possible reactions. Only one can benefit your career, so read on to learn what it is and what actions go along with it.

When You Do Not Get Your Way

You believe card payments are a no-brainer. Management does not agree or they have different priorities, even though you have tried everything to convince them otherwise. Common reactions include becoming:

  1. Hostile: U.S. news headlines have indicated some Trump supporters plan to revolt if Clinton wins the election. Such strong reactions generally do not lead to anything good. On the job, hostility could mean threatening to quit or roadblock any initiative for which you do not agree.
  2. Disinterested: You lose motivation. Your productivity drops. Sloppiness can set in. This reaction, like hostility, often means poor job performance reviews and a hit to your reputation.  
  3. Annoying: Perseverance is one thing. Being annoying is another. Management could perceive you as difficult when you push too hard. As a passionate card program manager, I admit to being in this category a time or two. The good news is, passion can transition to #4.
  4. Resilient: This is what will benefit your career. You are defeated, but not beaten down. You resolve to make the best of a situation. New Britain Prime Minister Theresa May did not support Brexit, but she is trying to support the people (the “winners” of the vote) and move the country forward. 
Resiliency often requires a combination of hanging on while also letting go. Success is determined by knowing what to put in each category.

Resiliency often requires a combination of hanging on while also letting go. Success is determined by knowing what to put in each category.

Resilient Actions: What You Can Do

Besides looking for a new job, you can still shine in your current one:

  • Ensure you know the goals of your organization or department and determine how you can contribute, which might require a conversation with your manager.
  • Expand your knowledge, whether it is Commercial Cards or a related topic like eInvoicing.
  • Engage with your card provider to acquire more best practices and tips for strengthening your program within the realm of your control.
  • Provide excellent customer service to cardholders.
  • Address any control gaps.

Finally, do not completely abandon your program buy-in efforts. A future change in management can reignite organization interest in card payments. If/when this happens, be ready with actions to expand the card program.

About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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