Which Boss Do You Prefer?

It was the 1st day of the new quarter. Some were celebrating. Some were licking their wounds. All “sales meters” reset to $0.

One manager, Mason, used the team’s weekly meeting to marinate in the “stellar” performance of the past quarter.

Mason opens the Zoom meeting: “Nice job. We crushed it – 125% quota. We’re tied with one other sales team in North America. Congrats!”


As Mason waxed poetically about the superior performance, most sales reps wore confused looks on their faces. Private chat messages were exchanged:

– “Crushed it. what is he talking about?”
– “I tanked last quarter. How’d you do?”

In parallel, the only two reps on the team who hit quota chimed in on the chat with “Wohoo!” and “Nice work Mason and team!” They were each 200%+.

Eventually, some poor soul sends a chat message intended to be “private” to “everyone.”

“Mason is clueless or only cares about himself.”

Mason either missed the rogue chat or pretended not to see it. He began speaking about the new quarter. Awkwardly, his wi-fi disconnected, abruptly ending the meeting.

It was 10am. Nobody would classify the rest of the day as productive for this team.

Leading another Zoom call within the same company, the sales manager, Kayla, was conflicted. She was ecstatic that the team achieved 125% quota; but, was concerned only 2 of 8 reps exceeded their number.

Kayla addressed her team: “Thank you for the effort & sacrifice these past 3 months. I know it wasn’t easy.”

The entire team leaned in & listened attentively.

Kayla continued. “The good news is that, as a team, we finished 125%. This keeps us out of senior management’s crosshairs. That’s a good thing for all of us, right?”

Nobody disagreed.

Kayla added. “However, I know it’s not all sunshine & rainbows out there. The bad news. Only 2 members of our team hit quota. My job is to help each one of you get there. That’s my obligation to the business and each one of you. Now, huge congratulations to Tina and Tony for blowing it out!”

The Zoom chat blows up with kudos.

Kayla quickly addressed Tony & Tina again: “We look forward to you sharing some best practices with us in next week’s team meeting. Are you up for that?”

Tony & Tina respond with 👍. The others responded with 🙏.

Kayla added….

“Tina & Tony know they can’t take their foot off the gas. For the rest of us, the next step is to update our plans, reflecting upon what went well & areas to improve. We’ll review these together in our scheduled 1:1’s this week. I’ll provide feedback and we can discuss where I can support you. Sound fair?

As the call ended, chat responses included “100%”, “Absolutely” & “Thanks Kayla!”

It was 10am. Each rep began working on updating their go-to-market plan. Kayla, too.

Two similar teams. Two identical performances. Two different vibes. Two questions.

Would you rather work for Mason or Kayla? Why?