A few years ago our team visited Texas to interview some potential partners for a line of business we were trying to increase. Our first meeting was with a business in the Dallas area. The facilities were large, clean, had a high-volume of inventory, and every worker seemed to be hustling to get their work done. We were impressed until we met their leadership. We were greeted by two very nice gentlemen who were part of the company’s sales team. They gave us the tour and then led us to a conference room. Shortly after, the President of the company joined us. About midway into our conversation he asked us if we had any other meetings while we were in Texas. I said, “Yes we do, we have a very large RFP that we responded to and we are a finalist.” He asked who it was and when he found out it was a very large government agency in the Dallas area, he turned to the two sales guys that had been so nice to us. He asked them why they did not know about the opportunity (both of our companies sold the same type of software), and he was visbly frustrated. We were turned off by the event and did not end up partnering with them. That was 4-5 years ago when they had over 400 employees. Today they are no longer in business. What was most ironic was that the sales guys (who we could tell were high producers) were directed by him to focus on the Healthcare sector and the company was busting at the seams with that type of work. So what he did was embarrass his highest performers in front of total strangers, for reasons neither they, nor we could understand.
Getting mad at the hardest working people on the team when bad things happen, creates a double negative. These are the people that both we and they know are the best. They are known as the best through their actions and their heart. They are fully engaged and don’t view their role as just a job. They care, they make things happen, they motivate others, they work long hours, and in short, they are our leaders and potential leaders. The right approach is to first understand if the particular event should upset us. If the answer is yes, we should then figure out what went wrong and address it so that it can be avoided in the future. If we have the right people, the occurrence of a bad event upsets them just as much as it does us, and it should be a team approach in correcting the issue.