6 Motivational Exercises That Went Horribly Wrong

#3. Ericsson Stages a Kidnapping

Ericsson, the telecommunications company from Sweden, decided that in addition to computer skills, communication skills and a working knowledge of the telecommunications industry, it would be aces if their sales team also had some armed kidnapping preparation skills under their belt.

Can you hear me now?

Like setting an entire building on fire to teach your staff fire safety, they decided the best way to teach their staff how to behave under the pressure of a kidnapping was to actually kidnap a staff member on a team-building bus trip to Athens. To be fair, the kidnappers, the kidnapped staff member and the bus driver were all in on the plan. However, the rest of the 25 staff members were not.

Most of the staff had likely been expecting obstacle courses, sing-alongs or any other team-building exercise that usually results in the entire team hating each other more than they already did. Instead, they were greeted with armed, masked men who boarded the bus, waved shotguns around and took one of their fellow colleagues hostage.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

For all they knew, Bjorn from accounts receivable was well on his way to sleep deprivation and forceable fingernail removal.

How did that turn out for them?

If there's one thing Ericsson executives should have thought about in advance, it's that with the exception of most areas of Detroit, two armed motivational speakers taking over a bus on a highway is bound to get the attention of passing motorists. One of those motorists decided to call the police.

We're not sure how things work in Sweden, but the police in Greece kind of had this thing against kidnapping, possibly because of the fact that three people in that past year had died during hostage situations. So it's fair to say that when they turned up, rifles out, ready to blow some bus bandit shit up, they were more than a little pissed off to find that they had stumbled across a "team building" exercise.

Not pictured: a team player.

Ericsson ended up apologizing by saying it was "regrettable" (that's executive speak for "we fucked up, but we also have a ton of cash, so fuck you"), and the entire sales team had to spend some time in custody. Now let's go sell some motherfucking Ericsson phones, everyone!

#2. Cheuvreux Employees Reenact Borat, Inaccurately

On the list of movies a company might use to motivate their employees, one would assume that a mockumentary about an anti-Semite with a penchant for public masturbation would be right near the bottom of the list. For the record, First Blood and Busty Cops occupy the top two spots on that list.

But the people in charge at Cheuvreux, a bank in England, clearly don't think like the rest of us. When it came time to motivate their employees, somehow, re-enacting the movie Borat was deemed the most plausible way to make it happen. Very nice!

How did that turn out for them?

Employees were invited to attend a team bonding event in Monaco where they participated in the usual team bonding activities until they were told to dress up for the production of an advertisement for the bank's services. They were probably expecting some typical corporate nightmare like this...

So imagine the employees' surprise when they were told to dress up in a variety of costumes, including one sexy bunny outfit, to represent "Borat's bitch." You remember all of those bunnies in Borat, right? And his harem? Have they not seen this fucking movie before, or was the whole thing just a framing device to act out some creepy old dude's sexual fantasy?

"Here's an illustration of what I'm looking for. Note the donkey and the Smuckers."

We should probably ask Rosemarie Corscadden, the one who wound up in the bunny costume and who has since sued organizer Jerry Lees for sexual harassment. Really, the company probably should have seen it coming, since Lees once referred to the company as a brothel. We checked. It's not.


#1. The Bosnia-Herzegovina Soccer Team Gays Their Way to Victory

Here's a quandary for you: How do you provide additional motivation to a group of men that already consist of some of the strongest, fittest, most motivated males in Europe? Congratulatory slaps on the ass? Group showers? Nay. These are men. Real men. In situations like this, you have to pull out the big guns. You're going to have to ask them to kiss.


In what could have been a sex offense had he been coaching a junior team, Bosnia-Herzegovina Coach Miroslav Ciro Blazevic decided that there needed to be more love and cooperation amongst his team, and nothing says "cooperation" like non-consensual make out sessions. In his very own words "I take two of my players and tell them, 'Love him! Kiss him!' and he kisses him."

Oh, Europe. You're so charmingly gay!

You're like Neil Patrick Harris.

How did that turn out for them?

According to Blazevic, the unity of his team is the secret to its success, and the secret to that unity is hot man-on-man action. Don't get us wrong, we're all for sticking with a winning formula, obviously, but we doubt our office make out sessions play any role in our success. **Editor's note: please remove references to our office make out sessions before this goes live**


It's like saying your favorite football team is winning because of the secret handshake the players use, or the towel whippings they participate in, or the drunken, blind-folded sex they occasionally have in the showers. It's as preposterous as it is sexy.

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