I'm a minority owner in a small business that's doing ok but negatively affected by the markets. I overheard the other two owners discussing all the reasons I need to be removed from the company - things like I haven't brought in enough new business (I run operations) and that I waste time networking (one of my job duties). They said extremely hurtful things questioning my integrity and skills -they don't know that I heard them they haven't said anything to me directly. What would you do?

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As a PM, I understand and value Operations. It seems that your partners mutually do not see or understand what you bring to the table. It’s not easy to work in an environment where you do not feel safe or appreciated, and I don’t recommend you continue there without resolving your concerns. But, you have a few of steps you could take 1.) elevate what you do and the value those actions add through a well documented presentation 2.) call a meeting to define everyone’s current roles in order to suggest improvements (actions to start, stop or continue) 3.) start looking into navigating out of the business if you don’t feel either of the other options would lead to a resolution. Good luck! 🤍

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If you have a contract/written agreement that says you are an owner, I would reach out to your attorney. You need to be prepared should they decide to move forward with the plans you overheard. Chances are that they knew you were listening and hope you will simply give up and leave.

likehelpful

Oof. You know them best, but as an outsider I’d say bring it up directly—but neutrally, with a goal of collaborating and finding a solution. Get the hurt you feel out of your system before you talk to them. If you act out accusingly or defensively, they’ll close themselves off too and be less likely to listen.

Something like: Hey, I have to be honest. I happened to overhear you two the other day and was surprised you feel that way. Could we talk about those issues and see if we can figure out a better way to move forward?

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