There was a business that had two cultures, one for sales and one for service. The salespeople said to the VP of Sales and Service, “Give me the freedom and flexibility to do whatever it takes to get new customers.” And they were given that ability. Not many days later, the salespeople gathered most of company’s resources and took a journey into the marketplace, and there they squandered those resources on reckless practices. And when they had spent everything, a severe recession arose in the marketplace, and they began to be in need. And so they were desperate to hit their sales goals and longed to sell anything, but no one bought anything from them.
But when they came to their senses, they said, “How many of our service teammates have more customers than they can handle, but we’re perishing here with nothing! We will go back to our office and say to the VP of Sales and Service, ‘We have sinned against you and our company and have spent precious resources on foolish things. Treat us as hired servants, as we are no longer worthy to be part of this company.‘” And they arose and went back to their office.
But while they were still a long way off, the VP of Sales and Service saw them and felt compassion, and ran and embraced them. And the salespeople said to him, “We have sinned against you and our company and have spent precious resources on foolish things. Treat us as hired servants, as we are no longer worthy to be part of this company.” But the VP of Sales and Service said to the service teammates, “Bring quickly the best clothes, and put them on them, and put rings on their hands, and the best shoes on their feet. And order lunch from the best restaurant, and let us eat and celebrate. For our salespeople were dead, and are alive again; they were lost, and now are found.” And they began to celebrate.
Now some service teammates were still at their desks and heard the celebration in the main conference room. They approached some service teammates already in the conference room and asked what the celebration meant. They said to them, “Our sales teammates have returned, and our VP of Sales and Service has ordered the best lunch, because he has received them back safe, humble and contrite.“
But they were angry and refused to go in to the conference room. The VP of Sales and Service came out and entreated them, but they answered, “Look, these many years we have served you and this company, and we have always been prudent, never disobeying your command, yet you never gave us a celebration. But when these salespeople of yours came back, who have prostituted our company’s resources, you host a celebration fit for a king!” And he said to them, “Dear service team, you are always with me and this company, and all that is ours is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for our salespeople were dead, and are alive; they were lost, and are found.”
He added, “We must forgive them, as they have learned from their mistakes. We mustn’t harbor bitterness, envy and jealousy, for our organizational health and future success is at stake.“