What did you expect? You’re leading by example—and a poor one at that.” Chester Franklin was surprised at his friend’s harsh bluntness, but he was right. Franklin, VP of marketing for Dormier Products Group, had created a bad situation among his team, and now he was at a loss of how to correct it and save face; not to mention, save his job.
Franklin was, from his perspective, “relaxed” with his expense account. Anything he could write off as a business expense, as tenuous as the connection might be, he did. For example, if he met a friend for lunch and discussed work at all (which, of course, they did) he’d turn it in as entertaining a prospective client. “Team-building” pizza lunches for his group because it was raining and he didn’t feel like walking to get lunch—expensed it. Purchase an extra item for himself when buying holiday gifts for clients, why not?
Unfortunately for Franklin, his team picked up on and began to emulate his bad behavior—and the increase in expenses was showing. He knew that Dormier’s president, Letitia White, would ask him about the increase at their quarterly budget meeting. Franklin’s transgressions were about to cost him big time, unless he could turn things around quickly.