You are the new executive director of the Colorado Registrar of Contractors (CROC). In this capacity, you are charged with issuing contractor licenses to the state’s builders, contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. (basically anyone involved in the construction industry). You also investigate complaints by consumers against contractors and work to protect consumers against fraud.
Things are going well for the first few months. Then, one day, something unexpected happens. You get a call from a state senator telling you that you’re suddenly on his bad side and you had better watch your back. Apparently, this senator has a friend who is a contractor who recently had his license suspended for failure to submit his annual renewal paperwork on time. Everyone in your office knows this particular contractor and he has been a problem in the past, but he apparently has friends in high places.
The senator tells you he’s now got a group of fellow legislators together who are going to get you fired for what your department has done to his friend. You’re obviously concerned for your job and need to develop a strategy to deal with the situation. What are some potential actions and communication approaches you might take to turn the scenario around before it gets out of hand?