May 23, 2006

Put the Lebanese guy in charge of the Israeli office!

What happens when you combine your company's Lebanese office with its Israeli office and put the Lebanese head in charge? Find out here. It's one of the most beautiful things I've read. Excerpt:

The Israeli cluster was never profitable. So my western HQ decided to get rid of the manager. That's fine. Instead of bringing in a new Israeli manager, a unique idea arose. Hey, that guy responsible for the Middle East is a (fantastic) performer. Why not add this market to his? Unique. The guy is Lebanese. And a fucking naive idiot.

The next morning the staff were to be informed. They didn't know who I was. They thought I was a Westerner coming in from the west. I could imagine the look on their faces. The horror.

Revenge. How sweet.


We continued. The day went by fast. Very fast. We went through background data. Financials. Forecasts. They started getting pissed. They didn't know the financials were so bad. They were furious. Shocked. They felt betrayed by their previous management for not bringing this to their attention. This was my chance to get that reaction I've dreamt of.

"You know, in Lebanon we never had these problems". Hint, hint. I finally released their curiosity.

I told them. The shock, the horror, the awe. The smiles? No sonic boom in this room.

"Oh my God, my parents were in Beirut in the '60s. I've seen pictures. It was so beautiful. Don't they call it the Paris of the Middle East", she said. What? (Switzerland actually, but that's not the point)

Nobody cared where I was from. Nobody was angry at the decision to bring me in. Nobody gave me any bad attitude. They were angry with the previous Israeli manager for not performing. They were horrified by the financials. And they looked to me for guidance. The Lebo from the north. The 'enemy'.

Posted by David Boxenhorn at May 23, 2006 10:27 AM | TrackBacks
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