A 6th Way to Demoralize Your Tech Employees

Experiences - Joe Campbell - October 25, 2017

I wrote about 5 ways to demotivate your employees a few weeks ago. But today I’ve found a 6th.

I’ve never seen this before – but LinkedIn inserted an article into my feed because it was trending at our top competitor, Lionbridge.

Given what’s occurred at Lionbridge over the past year, I can see why this article struck a chord.

It’s interesting information and I’d love to see more of this. But it also makes me anxious about what of my data is being used for. (This is the eternal dilemma with the new tech world we live in…it gives us more interesting things, but it exploits us at the same time.)

In this case, it gave me a 6th way a CEO can demotivate their tech employees…so, this time, it’s worth the bargain.

With Uber in an uncertain time, Justin Bariso,¬†an expert on emotional intelligence in business, explains, they need someone at the helm who is empathetic, self-aware, and can understand other’s perspectives. While these are sometimes seems as touchy-feely soft skills, they are essential in guiding a business going through a rough patch. Especially in the face of uncertainty, people are often guided more by emotions than by reason.

Bariso praises Uber’s new CEO for his first email in the post-Travis era, praising his a sense of maturity and wisdom.”

Just a short time later though, Dara Khosrowshahi sent out a new email as he grew frustrated with attempts by Travis Kalanick to increase his influence.

Bariso calls this out as disruptive to the company because:

  1. It shows disrespect to someone who helped build it. No one acts alone. No fortune can be self-made. Travis Kalanick, for all his faults, was a driving force at Uber. For the new CEO to publicly (if mildly) disparage him undermines everyone’s faith in Uber.
  2. It promotes disunity. As Bariso explains:

It’s like if your dad says your family needs to improve their ability to work together, and then calls out your mom’s actions as “disappointing” and “highly unusual.”

Now, Khosrowshahi’s email was fairly mild in it’s tone – but Bariso still sees it as disruptive to an organization in crisis as it shows an alarming lack of emotional intelligence.

One can only imagine what more inflammatory comments do.

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1 Comment

  • Steve Hill October 25, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Great post Joe! I knew Uber was having a difficult time, but I had no idea about the in-fighting happening within its c-suite. Can’t imagine working in an environment where the CEO and the founder are jawing through email like that. Your assessment of the situation is spot on.

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