Think again before clicking send

In 2001 the Wall St Journal reported on Neal Patterson, the CEO of Cerner Corporations who sent this email to his firm’s 400 managers.

“We are getting less than 40 hours of work from a large number of our ‘employees.’ The parking lot is sparsely used at 8:00 a.m.; likewise at 5:00 p.m. … Hell will freeze over before this CEO implements another employee benefit in this culture.  … If you are the problem, pack your bags … I am giving you two weeks to fix this. My measurement will be the parking lot. It should be substantially full at 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m … You have two weeks. Tick-tock.”

Within hours this email was on the net & the stock plummeted 22%!

Chose your communication medium carefully.

  • DM

    Hi John

    I think that guy needs to choose his whole approach to the issue more carefully, not just his communication medium!

    That's also a good segue into this blog I read recently that I think you will find interesting.

    – DM

  • John Finkelde

    Yes he does!

    Interesting article – reminded me of some similar learnings from my recent Org Beh unit at Curtin

    The workplace will demand more new school leadership elements from managers & leaders – it will get more complex for older dudes like me, a lot of us will just give up & retire!

  • Seth Brooks

    I have often written an email and had to not send it on the basis of inability to communicate tone. In short what I had to say could be read harshly when in fact that was not my intention.

    Also I have received emails that are clearly someone venting and I usually assume the worst tone when reading them, when perhaps that is not their feeling.

    Also some things I guess you just don't want people waving back at you under your nose so best not to send it virtually. :)