I received the following story in an email a couple weeks ago, and it had me asking several questions, not the least of which was, “Is this true? Did this really happen?” Regardless of whether it did happen or not, there are certainly lessons to be learned here.

Have a read, and then I’ll pose my thoughts and questions below. I’d love to hear yours; please leave a comment.

The New CEOIf you’ve ever worked for a boss who reacts before getting the facts and thinking things through, you will love this!

Arcelor-Mittal Steel, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired a new CEO. The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers.

On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall. The room was full of workers, and he wanted to let them know that he meant business. He asked the guy, “How much money do you make a week?”

A little surprised, the young man looked at him and said, “I make $400 a week. Why?”

The CEO said, “Wait right here.” He walked back to his office, came back in two minutes, and handed the guy $1,600 in cash and said, “Here’s four weeks’ pay. Now GET OUT and don’t come back.”

Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, “Does anyone want to tell me what that goofball did here?”

From across the room a voice said, “Pizza delivery guy from Domino’s.”


Sounds like a case of Ready. Fire. Aim.

Some of my questions for you…

1. How do you make decisions? Do you move forward with an initiative and ask questions later? Or do you get all the details, think it through, and then proceed?

2. Do you think you can make organizational changes (including your culture) by making snap judgments? Without thinking through the implications to your employees? To your customers?

3. How do you treat your employees?

4. What motivates your employees? What inspires them?

5. Where would you start if you were a new CEO at your company (especially if you think the company needs a “shake-up”)?

6. How are you communicating with your people?

7. Do you trust your employees to always do the right thing, so that you’re not on a hunt for “slackers?” Does this type of reaction build trust?

8. Executives/leaders set the tone for the organization. Is this the type of culture any company wants? Is this the kind of place you would want to work?

9. How do you define “slackers?” And what feedback loops/performance plans do you have in place to avoid the slacker syndrome?

“Once I started to value and respect my employees more, I realized their ideas could be better than mine.” – Jay Steinfeld, founder and CEO of