Morale Killer or Career Limiting Move? Part Two

1 Jun

Reader comments for my original post of “Morale Killer or Career Limiting Move” were the highest to date. The post must have struck a nerve with others, as it did for me. Ironically, I did not even write it!

I intentionally did not share who I thought was the problem in this email exchange because I was very interested in the reader comments. The early comments centered the blame squarely on the VP for sending the first email but the later comments shifted the blame to the rep.

My opinion – The rep did the bigger damage. Whether the company has traditionally held sales meetings over the weekend is not the issue, IMHO. And yes, the VP could have “sold” the meeting. But if the rep was upset and wanted to change the dates, he should have called the VP and expressed his concerns and alternatives The rep could have shared the rest of the team’s feelings and worked out a new date that the VP could announce. But by replying-all to senior management, he forced management to close ranks and support the VP. Even if the rest of management thought the VP was wrong, they had no choice but to support him and save face. The rest of the sales team should be angry with the rep that slammed the door shut on them getting out of a weekend sales meeting.

I went back to my source for these emails to get a bit more information. It turns out that this company never had a weekend sales meeting before. The VP is new from the beginning of the year and hand-picked by the CEO. Half the sales team has 3-6 years of tenure with the company and the rep that replied-all is one of the reps with the longest tenure.

Does this additional information change your opinion? It does not change mine.


4 Responses to “Morale Killer or Career Limiting Move? Part Two”

  1. Sue Massey June 1, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    Great post. I will read your posts frequently. Added you to the RSS reader.

  2. Brian Duke June 3, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Thanks for the additional information Michael!

    I agree with you on your thoughts as well. Never having a weekend meeting before makes me side with the rep a bit more, even though he/she is still wrong in sending a reply-all email. Given the VP was hand picked by the CEO and the rep who sent the reply all had the longest tenure, it makes me think that he/she could be harboring some ill feelings towards management for not being considered for the VP position?

    This still does not change my opinion though. I still think both are at fault in their own ways. I would place blame on the lack of a relationship between the new VP and sales reps and possibly a touch of resentment.

  3. Renee June 6, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    Both were great posts.

    My opinion remained the same, even after you gave additional information. IMO they are both at fault. However, the rep definitely took the wrong approach in his response. Being in the “X Y” generation, I can agree that we are more sensitive about our personal time. I don’t know the age of this rep, but by his actions you would think he’s new. Come to find out he’s been there the longest. He should have known the consequences of his “reply all” email. Even if the VP would have agreed with him after thought, the rep gave himself no chance of this happening. Not smart, not smart at all…
    Makes me wonder how good of a sales rep he is.

  4. Michael Kreppein June 6, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    Stay tuned – my source of these interesting emails says that the VP did a reply-all response after the push-back on a weekend sales conference. I can’t wait to see what the VP says.

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