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Boss put up for auction

Find out why I put my boss up for auction on eBay without his knowledge and what consequences this had…

It was Friday just before noon. The managing director’s assistant came to me all upset. “The newsletter is due, but our boss hasn’t saved it and I can’t find or reach him.”

You need to know that “the newsletter” was our company’s sacred cow. Every Friday at 2 pm sharp, our newsletter was sent to over 13,000 active subscribers. Our newsletter had achieved cult status and heaven help us if we sent it one hour too late! We would soon be invaded by dozens of readers asking why they haven’t yet received their copy of the newsletter. Since the boss was nowhere to be reached and nothing was stored in the system, I as a marketing manager had to come up with something very quickly. I thought to myself: Copy his writing style? No chance. Do nothing? Not an option.

I must say, I have always been interested in knowing the true value of my boss. So, I decided to put him up for auction on eBay, for two days, free of charge. In a short profile, I briefly described his strengths and then added all the things for which he is no good. I also mentioned that this newsletter was probably going to be my first and last, because I feared this experiment would cost me my job!

Then what happened?

Besides the 45 e-mails congratuling me for my idea, I received three concrete job offers that sounded like this… “Dear Mr. Hubacher, If you lose your job, please contact us. We need people like you in our company…”. My boss was sold off the shelf for EUR 3,501.00. He was quite thrilled about my action and said he expected more like that in the future.

Personally, I have learned a lot from that experience:

  • Basically, I learned to tackle problems and hurdles in a creative manner which leads to completely new ideas.
    Einstein once said that problems can never be solved by the same thinking patterns that created them.
  • To try out new things, be daring, break new ground. Copy/Paste Marketing is a thing of the past.
  • Good marketing doesn’t need to be expensive. In my case, my action was not only free of charge, but even generated cash.

Just one more thing to conclude. I did not lose my job following that episode, but continued to work in the company for several years.

By the way, what crazy actions are you planning this week?

All the best!

Ralph Hubacher

The best tool is the right method

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