Q: I discovered that I was excluded in an important meeting of senior executives, wherein top management discussed strategic plans for next year. Prior to this, I enjoyed the privilege of being an active participant in past meetings of this kind. What shall I do?

– Tomahawk, Pasay City

A: You can respond to this problem in any of the following options: First, try to find out through your allies how you were excluded from the meeting. It’s possible that you were simply overlooked when a memo was handed out.

If this isn’t the case, follow through by calling the secretary of the top man to determine why you were excluded. Make it clear that your department can’t be responsive to the overall organizational objectives unless they include you in the planning session.

If the secretary responds with a nervous “I’ll double check with the Boss,” then take a hint: this may indicate your political standing in the organization. Explore the reasons behind this with the boss. On the other hand, ignoring the situation by pretending that there’s nothing wrong going on here may give your superiors cause to doubt your intellectual capacity to perform your job.

Finally, start thinking about tendering your irrevocable resignation. This option may not be as extreme as it sounds. After all, your department is simply too important to be ignored by everybody.

R.A.H. Elbo is the managing advisor of Kairos Management Technologies and acting president of Kaizen Institute of the Philippines, both consulting and training companies.