You won’t believe what this CEO said…

February 15, 2022

I hear a lot of things. 

And I’m not easily shocked.

But last week a member shocked me.

Here’s what happened.

We have a member – we’ll call her Sarah – who is an SVP at a leading software company in the valley.

The company was sold last year and the CEO, we’ll call him Narcisso, was working with Sarah to retain her and give her a new job vital to the business.

Last Monday he told Sarah that her retention package and new role would be finalized by Friday.

So, at the end of the week Sarah went to meet with HR and they said, “Here’s your severance and exit package.”

Sarah was stunned. 

“What do you mean, ‘exit’ – we were supposed to speak about my ‘retention’ package?”, said Sarah.

“Things have changed,” said the hapless head of HR.

“But Narcisso told me only a few days ago that you’d be giving me a retention package,” responded Sarah.

The HR leader paused, put Sarah on hold, and then returned a few minutes later with Narcisso in tow.

Here’s what Narcisso said:

Sarah you heard it right. You’re fired.

“Why?”, asked Sarah.

It’s simple. I saw that you ‘liked’ a new job post on LinkedIn about one of our former employees who is joining a competitor. To make it worse, you didn’t just ‘like’ the post, but you added ‘Good luck!’ 

“OK. So, what’s the problem?”, Sarah asked.

I can’t have someone working for me who would do what you did. I’m a competitor and I only want competitors on my team. So, you’re fired. 

You heard it right.

My next next book will have a chapter on bad bosses. So if you have a story like this send it my way.

And, of course, if something happens to you, make sure you do what Sarah did: call us so you don’t walk alone through moments like this.


Happy Belated Valentine’s Day

I wanted to share this wonderful photo (below) of a longtime member, Sam Taylor, who was the CEO of one of Warren Buffett’s companies – and a longtime dear friend of mine.

Sam died several years ago from glioblastoma  – at way too young an age – and those of us who knew him miss him dearly. 

If you want to wash away the bad taste from the story above, then go watch this fun and delightful Undercover Boss episode featuring Sam Taylor (you need a Paramount+ account).

Let’s just say Sam is the opposite of Narcisso in just about every way.

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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