Friend of mine was assigned a task to explore commercial possibilities in a completely new market for the company. There was no real in-house expertise in this market and he was the only guy who had critical mass of knowledge to move forward with it at that moment. He agreed with the management that should business cases justification be found, the market activities will be separated into a project office.
He proposed me to join him, since I’m kinda expert in this market. In fact it was me who influenced him to gain expertise in that field in the first place, so I guess he felt obliged in some way. I agreed to this proposal, so he passed my CV to HR and I was able to convince her I’m the guy company needs to move forward in this new market.
My task was to "provide expertise", whatever that means, and it was my mistake to agree to such a vague terms.
I noticed that he is considered (although, unofficially) as a chief in this new uncreated project office because he just works there longer than I do and it was he who was assigned to the task in the first place.
However, for a friend of mine, this project is just a side activity with high risk/reward ratio, and he has serious safe haven in other mission critical projects in the company. Should our activities fail, he always has back-up, should we succeed, office will be created and he will be assigned as a director of projects. However, he is not committed to this project at all, and devotes to it maybe 1/4 of his time, since it’s basically a gamble.
And I’m stuck there, full-time committed, "providing expertise" in a high risk project. And even if it succeeds, basically all laurels go to my friend anyway. I’m too soft to step up and start confronting my friend: he’s my friend in the end, and he basically offered me to join him. However, I started to see that he does not shun to consolidate his supremacy as a project director should any chance occur.
It’s becoming really psychologically uncomfortable for me, and our relations are beginning to crack.
Is quitting my only option, or is there something else I can do?