How did 25 really smart people pay $15,000 for a pizza? By losing sight of corporate mission, values, and goals-- along with a few other things!
Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to observe a surprising interaction between a team of leaders. Each leader had invested heart, soul, and a lot of money into a wildly successful endeavor. With the group’s quarterly meeting approaching, each individual would recommit to the same mission, values, and business goals they followed for years. No less than twenty-five leaders (new and old) were reminded of the meeting’s logistics via email which included a small, yet explosive detail regarding lunch.
According to an unknown corporate policy change, the organizer was no longer obligated to pick up the tab, forcing the group itself to pay for lunch. This tiny revelation released a huge flurry of angry emails putting the leader on the spot and airing concerns very publicly. As the events unfolded, I was reminded of the following:
At the quarterly meeting, all 25 people ate about $95 worth of pizza. But, the cost of lunch was much more than that. If you add up the hours spent composing, reading, discussing, and replying to all emails multiplied by 25 people (assuming each was making only $50K/yr) – you get almost $15,000. And that doesn’t count damages to the leader’s perceived character and the team’s spirit. Policy changes, regardless of initial and apparent impact, must be addressed quickly and completely through thoughtful and respectful communication. In addition to investing heart and soul in this venture, perhaps the additional investment of $95 would have been warranted.
by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved
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