Dear Vicki: Almost five years ago, my good friend Lanny and I started a business helping local restaurants get leftover food to homeless people. Lanny did most of the planning and was definitely the energy behind making it happen. I did the analysis and created the process necessary to get the food where it needed to go. I also managed our books. It was a small operation, just the two of us, but we felt good about it. Two years ago, my son became seriously ill. I had to leave our business, but Lanny kept it going. Several months ago, there was an article in our newspaper about the business with a quote from one of the people we had helped together thanking Lanny for all she’d done to make such a difference. She was quoted as thanking him, but she never mentioned me. I’m sure this seems petty, but I don’t understand why she didn’t acknowledge all I’d done to help start and run the business. How could a friend do that? Signed: Left Out
Dear Left Out: It’s difficult to feel ignored when praise is passed out, especially when you were half of the team that created the company. And since you’ve only been out of the company for two years, Lanny clearly can’t have forgotten all you contributed. Also, you don’t mention it in your letter, but you might be wondering if Lanny purposely left out any mention of your contributions. Let’s look at the likely dynamic between you and Lanny and see if we can’t bring some understanding to this situation.
It’s no surprise that you and Lanny were able to start and successfully run a company. If you contributed analysis and process to the founding of the company, it is likely you are a primary Metal personality. And the fact that Lanny contributed planning and motive energy makes me suspect that she is a primary Wood personality. Also, given the nature of the company you created, I suspect you both have strong secondary Earth personalities. Earth people are usually the ones who care about the less fortunate ones in society. It is a beautiful company you created, but with her Wood and your Metal, you probably could have done absolutely anything! But maybe not smoothly.