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In recent weeks, we watched Pluto get demoted and Tom Cruise get snubbed....


With reality shows all over the place (featuring people getting eliminated from too many contests to track), getting kicked out is almost becoming de rigeur.
And now this week comes news of the latest in the revolving door at Hewlett Packard, whose board kicked out Carly Fiorina in 2005. HP's board chairwoman is getting the boot ("[Chairman Patricia Dunn]'s resignation follows a tidal wave of criticism . . .").
This spate of Getting Kicked Out spurs me on to a bunch of questions:
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Why can't we do a better job of kicking out clients that are not strategically appropriate for our professional service businesses? Is it because we haven't done a good enough job of determining what our best competitive trajectories are and should be?
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Why don't more of our professional leaders -- management and marketing -- outline the leadership goals that they intend to pursue, and why don't we give them at least some support for achieving those goals, or credit for the steps they have taken? Is it because they have no idea what their leadership goals could be, and no one else does either?
Perhaps I'm being too harsh. There is something perversely good about these public downfalls; if nothing else, they have given us all permission to pick up and move on, rather than hiding in shame and degradation. It's as if losing has lost its sting. Say hallelujah.
But clearly, there is something afoot regarding the cyclical nature of achieving personal and professional heights and the too-often precipitous plunges that we witness from there. And don't get me started on the shrinking tenure of professional service firm managing partners and senior marketers!
In the coming days, I plan to take a look at a new book called "Your Leadership Legacy," by my friends Rob Galford and Regina Maruca. Their key point, "why looking toward the future will make you a better leader today," offers some grounding to the whole phenomenon of "getting kicked out."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne Lowe is founder of Expertise Marketing, LLC and author of The Integration Imperative: Erasing Marketing and Business Development Silos – Once and For All – in Professional Service Firms and Marketplace Masters: How Professional Services Firms Compete to Win. She blogs at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix and her own blog, the Expertise Marketplace.

Before founding Expertise Marketing in 1996, Ms. Lowe spent more than a decade leading the marketing programs for top-tier management consulting and business-to-business organizations. Before that, she spent more than a decade managing and implementing strategies for political candidates and organizations.

She spearheads the only widely disseminated research initiative on strategic marketing perceptions, practices and performance of professional service firms around the globe.

In addition, Suzanne Lowe has written or been quoted in nearly 100 articles on the topic of professional services marketing strategy. Her work has appeared in the a rel="nofollow" href="http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b01/en/hbr/hbr_home.jhtml">Harvard
Business Review, BusinessWeek.com, CMO Magazine, Harvard
Management Update
, and scores of profession-specific magazines and journals, including MarketTrends, Marketer, Marketing the Law Firm, Accounting Today, Engineering, Consultants News, Structure, Journal of Law Office Economics and Management, The Practicing CPA, Environmental Design and Construction, Massachusetts High Tech, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and the Legal Marketing Association’s Strategy. She is a contributor to the second edition of the book Marketing
Professional Services
, by Kotler, Hayes and Bloom. She has also been instrumental in the development, writing and publication of five books and nearly 50 articles and book chapters for her consulting clients.

Suzanne speaks regularly around the world to leading trade associations, industry groups and in-house firm audiences. Her work has also been presented internationally, most recently at the American Marketing Association's annual Frontiers in Services conference. She facilitates a Roundtable of Chief Marketing Officers from some of the world's largest and most prestigious professional service firms. She has guest-lectured at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and designs and delivers customized executive education programs in marketing for professional service executives.

She advises the leaders of professional service firms, from small start-up practices to large global organizations.

Ms. Lowe received a B.A. from Duke University.