Sacrifice the Plum Tree In Place of the Peach

Strategy 11

There are circumstances in which you must sacrifice short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal. This is the scapegoat strategy whereby someone else suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.

Modern Example

At a telecom company where I used to work, there was a salesman who joined the group from another company. He had a lot of contacts and potential. However, selling the kind of services they did, it took a while to "get into the pipeline" and build up sales. The other sales staff had been there for a while, or else had been acquired when this telecom company purchased their previous company. At any rate, he was the only one not bringing in actual contracts yet. Just about the time when this salesperson would have been starting to convert leads into lucrative deals, he was forced to quit. The official story was that he was taking too long to produce, but the "ramp up" period for other sales staff had been even longer, although nobody dared mention that. Productivity went up drastically in the months that followed.