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Bad Leader/Good Leader

Many years ago when I was working at

an Information Technology call center
for the United States postal service
I was a team lead and the call
center was sub-contracted with
Hewlett Packard
• Hewlett Packard ran into a problem
• Came up with a solution
• Problem was not enough profitability
• Solution had to be creative, effective, and
work without detriment to the current work
force or at least minimize damage as
much as possible to remain a employee
friendly company.
The reputation of the company
• At that time: no lay off’s policy
• Every persons dream job
• Lot’s of benefits
• Family like attitude
• Long standing relationship with the
• Highly trained workforce that kept the
company competitive.
When the problem became worse
Hewlett Packard was forced to
make further cuts/Call Centers
• Gloria • After working under
• Appearance/outside Gloria for a time it began
– Funny to seem that the loyalty
– Definite in Directive Gloria demanded and
– Charismatic the buy in that managers
– Great sense of Goal had seemed more for
– Had a Reason For… the sake of Gloria and
– Logical not for the sake of the
– Fortitude companies needs.
– Demanded Loyalty
Gloria’s Assets as a Leader
• Had a way of reframing actions she made
in order to give reason for everything she
• Kept the managers interested in what she
was doing.
• Was able to get a complete buy in to her
The Strategy!
• She decided the call center was to be the
• The employee’s were at the bottom of the
company as far as skilled workforce.
• There were so many lay off’s from other
company’s that replacing these
employee's was easy…
Plan into Action
• Anyone that had been there for years
knew the good life and were gone.
• People that stayed were the silent
agreeable type.
-Loss of all benefits effective immediately
-Pat cuts across the board
-No promotions
– The coffee centers disappeared.
– The security staff changed.
– All current rules became strictly enforced to
the point of detriment to the everyone.
– Lots of new rules were created.
– Level promotions became nearly impossible to
achieve even over time and effort.
– Communication ended between all
– The management staff changed to fit what she
was doing.
How she did these things and make
it look good
• She was a master of framing actions.
– She framed anyone that quit as cowards
– She framed anyone that disagreed an non-
understanding of the big picture.
– She framed her actions as logical.
– She could frame a person to look bad.
– She could frame a bad situation as good.
She mastered the art of perspective.
The immediate impact
• Her ideas worked; the company saved
money and nobody over the call center
was laid off.
• There was money for management
• Buy in personnel was rewarded with
keeping their jobs giving a sense of
The long term impact…
• After three years the talent that left from
above the call center had to depend on
the employee market for replacement so
advancement to that upper echelon
ceased and the two areas fought.
• Moral went to an all time low.
• Extremely high turnover because people
felt unimportant; then one day she was
Coming into the picture as
the new Operations President
Andrew: Big, White, Bald, Ugly,
Silverback looking- according to him
and not us; we always wondered if his
appearance gave him an edge.
Andrews Assets as a Leader.
• Obviously had a sense of humor.
• Treated people as equals.
• Re-arranged the entire promotion scheme.
• Promotion stopped working on being a yes
• Really easy to approach, communicated
well, and inserted an open door policy; he
gave attention to all that came.
The immediate impact.
• For the company • For the employee
– High moral – Happy joy, joy
– People stayed – Advancement avail.
– Less Turnover means- – A feeling of apprec.
– Happier atmosphere – Coffee centers return
– People were happy – Felt genuine gain
with less now although the gain they
– All communication felt was nothing more
channels open than what they had
before the crisis
Who do you think I personally
respected more? I respecter them
both but….
• Gloria who clearly was looking for
methods for firing people, removing
expenses at the cost of moral, and
bringing a sense of dread to the job.
• Andrew who was everyone’s new hero
and raised the hope and profits for the
company by treating people like people.