Ralph (LA, USA) met with his entire 14 man global project team in Toronto for a 2 day “crisis management” session.
Due to a change in customer deadlines, delivery of a key project needs to happen 2 weeks earlier than planned, and the schedule is very “aggressive” even before this recent 2 week change.
To make matters worse, Ralph’s team has many Chinese, Russians, Indians and Israelis who will now be forced to work weekends for 4 months.
Ralph decided to make his motivational “pitch” based on three elements:
+a fat bonus for success
+painting a gloomy scenario in case of failure
+becoming a winning team
This motivational pitch aggravated almost everyone in the room.
1) The Israelis felt that “waving a bonus under our nose to get hard work makes the staff into whores”.
2) The doomsday scenario appeared to the Chinese team as “meaningless propaganda” and Ralph lost their trust.
3) The winning team flag waving appeared “too American” to the Indian team. Folks expected to hear a firm demand “to put aside your differences” to make this happen. A demand like this would have put the Israelis and Chinese in a more cooperative mode, since they are always trying to cannibalize work given to India. Paresh mumbled: ”Ralph is weak, naive and detached from reality”.
The Russian team saw Ralph’s “winning team flag waving” as weakness, and concluded he was desperate, which made Ralph look pathetic.
EVP HR manager Gloria Ramsbottom-Lemieux sent Ralph a text after his session: “Gr8 leadership-Glo”.