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‘We’re on track to disaster – enjoy Xmas’

I know plenty of great people at TelstraClear in NZ. Their comms team must be spinning in circles this morning after the CEO’s Christmas email to employees leaked to the media. Full of motivational beauties like:

“Oh yes, we lack the killer instinct – we are too tame, too lame, and too timid to call ourselves a challenger.

“A challenger winds their opposition, kicks them down to the ground, and then makes them bleed like something from a Quentin Tarantino movie and then finishes them off – fast.

“In comparison, we are like a Walt Disney Bambi character. We are not Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, we are more like Captain Feathersword in The Wiggles, all bluster and no action.”


Right now, we are on a trajectory to disaster … we are being out-marketed, out-smarted and out-gunned in the marketplace. We are too slow in reacting and we lack the killer instinct,” Freeth said in the message, first published by Australia’s Communications Day.

Freeth said their parent, Australia’s Telstra, was expecting the $14.8 million profit and that at some point in the next few weeks he would have to inform chief executive Sol Trujillo TelstraClear would not hit the target.

“Two weeks ago, Sol’s parting comments to me were he feeds those who feed themselves. Well, based on our current forecast, we will be anorexic and starving by the end of this financial year,” said Freeth.

There will be a few employees that this actually does motivate. But one of the key communications rules for any CEO is that when broadcasting, you are communicating to all employees. There is a fine line between straight-talk and inflamatory negativity. And, context is everything – did they forget Christmas all together?

Link to ‘We’re on track to disaster – enjoy Xmas’, says Freeth – 22 Dec 2006 – Business

3 Responses

  1. By xi on December 26th, 2006 at 6:45 am

    i personally found it quite inspirational for some reason.

  2. By Steven Kempton on December 27th, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    What employees? Their turnover is astronomical and those who do work for them are embarassed to tell anyone they do. People have got to want to work for you before they’ll fight for you.

  3. By Steven Kempton on December 27th, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    What employees? Their turnover is astronomical and those who do work for them are embarassed to tell anyone they do. People have got to want to work for you before they’ll fight for you.

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