Our goal at Crossroads is to encourage real conversation in messaging. There are times, though, when real conversations can go too far.
David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts, sent a now infamous email to all 7,000 of his employees. I encourage you to read Robert Frank’s piece on CNBC.com which includes the original email from Mr. Siegel to his staff. In it, Siegel explains his take on how to grow the U.S. economy and how he views government as an obstacle to growth.
In the last two years I have read many viewpoints on this topic. I enjoy reading different takes on the topic and even participate in the debate myself. However, I have never seen a conversation turn so bleak, so fast.
Imagine going into work and reading a message from your employer in which she or he states:
If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.
So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job.
I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
Signed, your boss,
How would you react if you received this message from your boss? I see this message as manipulative and very shady. While I can concede that Mr. Siegel has some valid economic arguments in the rest of his message, all of them are lost by his closing promise to his staff. To an outsider, it looks like a classic example of, ‘if I don’t get my way then I will take my ball and go home.’
We are, once again, in a very politicized climate in our national conversation. We all get wrapped up in it, one way or another. However, in my opinion, it is wrong for an employer to hold an election over the heads of his or her employees. It is a failure in leadership to purposefully frighten a staff of 7,000 employees over the fate of their jobs a month before any perceived outcome. It is unethical to twist the arms of your entire staff to bend to your will over any matter that is not directly related to your business.
How can the workers of Westgate Resorts vote their conscience now? Do you think it is justified for your boss to put your job security into question over an event so large that no one person could possibly control it? What would you say or do if you received this email and it was signed by your boss?