Here’s a flashback from the late winter of 2015 in a winning environment: Starting a team meeting with a mass scolding isn’t that great of an idea. But it seems to have become the modus operandi of Fearless Leader at Mega-Corp.
He chose to start the new year something like this: Why is everyone late? This is important and everyone should be on time. (Never mind that the last three scheduled meetings had been cancelled at the last instant)
The room was usually quiet. Today was no exception, but it was extra ordinary. After hearing that our group was merely a rounding error in the grand scheme of Mega-Corp’s global budget, the room was shocked.
I stood agape. My consultant brethren looked instantly puzzled as well. Did we really hear Fearless Leader say what we thought we heard? Surely, we misinterpreted the words he had just uttered.
Eyes darted about the room looking for confirmation. Yep, everyone looks stunned. If didn’t intend to demoralize the entire room, he misjudged his remarks by a considerable margin.
Fearless Leader droned on. Mumble-mumble upside revenue. Mumble-mumble billions of something from this. Mumble-mumble teamwork and succeed.
I quit paying attention when he told me that I was as inconsequential as a gnat on an elephant’s bum. I’m sure half of the room checked out at that point as well. Eighty people just disengaged and flicked the switch to off.
Fast-forward two weeks to the next installment of Very Important Meeting. Everyone mostly shuffles into the grand hall on time. Heads down, shoulders drooped. Ho-hum.
Fearless Leader wastes little time in getting things cranked up. It seems that now he has a crew of lazy people who aren’t all pulling their own weight. A few people are working extremely hard and the rest of us are slacker minions.
After fifteen minutes of scolding the group, tell about tight budgets, and hiring freezes, he gives us great news: The local job market for developers is phenomenal right now. If we’re going to be slackers and not give 110% to his dystopian culture and dream we’re invited to raise our hands and he’ll gladly walk us out of the building, now free to go pursue our dream job.
Going out on a short, stout limb, I’m predicting that during the next two-week interval, nothing much is going to get accomplished. I’m almost certain that the number of people leaving team rooms to take phone calls will increase exponentially and the number of “Doctors appointments” will skyrocket.