The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place“. – George Bernard Shaw

The building of the new Amazon Headquarter in Long Island should have been one of the most successful business deals in 2019.

It would have meant that 25-40,000 new jobs for the people of Long Island. WIN
It would have provided Amazon with Tax Abatements and Incentives. WIN
It would have given elected official Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio a huge boost as they did a great service to their constituents. WIN
So how did a slam dunk Win Win Win end up with Amazon pulling out of the deal with a result of LOSE, LOSE LOSE?

They missed two important issues.

  1. The conviction of the opposition. New York is a resilient workforce. The union mentality runs deep. Amazon’s refusal to even come to the table on the issue fueled a smoldering fire.
  2. Fears of local residents. Building the headquarters in Long Island would mean significant changes for people who live there. Adding 25,000 jobs would add more cars, more noise, more students in the classrooms. Life as they knew it, would change forever.

Here’s what we can take away:

No matter how passionate we feel about our own point of view, not everyone shares it. Failing to recognize that means everyone loses. 

A single goal shared by all stakeholders (hint, a thriving community with jobs for everyone) shifts the energy to the common outcome. They’ll work together to resolve the differences because they want the same result and feel a sense of purpose. 

And finally, power isn’t always stronger than force. Fancy titles and giant bank accounts aren’t always going to win over determination and grit. 

The sad part is that it didn’t have to be a fight. All they needed was more clarity on everyone’s desired outcomes. Clarity equals success. Lack of it, equals Amazon pulling out of the deal. 

Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive Coach and Speaker. If you’d like to learn more on how her C.A.R.E. to Engage system can help you create an engaged workforce in your organization, you can email her at: cynthia@cynthiacorsetti.com