Saturday, 21 April 2007

The School of Hard Knocks

Watch out for our 'Gullible' logo, this will signify personal examples.

In an earlier post we explained how we started looking back at personal examples of our own gullibilty and how we began to try and make sense of what had happened. What do you think was going off in the following examples? Have you got any examples of your own that you are willing to share?

The purpose of these examples will be to draw out similarities and differences over time with a view to identifying helpful 'pattern's that we could benefit from.

I worked in a company as Sales and Marketing Director with a direct report (marketing services executive) who was looking to improve her renumeration package. The two of us went to lunch with the Managing Director (very charming and likeable guy). Over lunch he asked the executive the following question.

"So, if you had a company car, what car would you like?" to which, of course she replied with an example of make and model.

After the meal we were chatting and I sensed that something bad was looming and tried to gently explain that the meeting was 'off the record' and that nothing too firm should be taken from it.

3 months later the executive came into my office, frustrated, angry and upset that no car had been forthcoming. I wa 'bothered' about this too, so went to see what was happening with the boss, and his reply was...

"All I did was ask her was IF she had a company car, what would she like, I wasn't offering her a car!" OUCH!

OK so who do you think was Gullible here? How did it happen? Was any of it intentional or preventable? Comments appreciated.

The next example:

Working for the same company, I was a shareholder (10%) of a management buyout team. The key phrase was "We just need to work hard for 4 years, and when we sell the company and you'll be a millionaire' Guess who uttered this little gem? On the basis of that prospect the directors drew down very modest salaries, and took minimal pay increases, and no dividends. 8 years later, and even after making good profits, the lending bank sold the company from under us and we walked away with nothing. OUCH! What should be learned form this experience?

No comments:

Post a Comment