Many years ago, I delivered a keynote for the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI). I was a big hit, and we remained in infrequent contact. In late 2008, they approached me again and asked if I could keynote the November, 2009 conference.
They told me that I was beyond their usual budget, but that they knew I was worth the higher fee. In return, I promised to charge my 2008 keynote fee rather than the higher 2009 fee IF they confirmed and booked me before the end of 2008. On December 1 it was confirmed, in writing, that we had a deal and they were proceeding full speed ahead.
We had phone discussions, I prepared the catalog write-up, and they provided me with insights about their theme, the audience, and key learning objectives. I turned down another piece of work that would have overlapped.
In late December, somebody by the name of Stella Sytnik sends me an email which says, “I’m the new executive director, and we don’t need your services. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Their board chair seems unphased by this unethical and illegal behavior, I suppose since he brought in this new director who doesn’t care about the law or ethics. Those are great traits for an executive director, of course, especially in this economy. She should do really well. I can tell you this: She wouldn’t be cleaning my yard.
My only question would be this, to any and every consultant belonging to and paying dues to FCSI or considering FCSI: Why on earth would you want to be involved in a society with this kind of leadership? Do you really expect it can enhance your professional standing and your business results? If you do, then perhaps you’d support parole for Bernie Madoff….
© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.