Skip to comments.A Few Moments with the Board
Posted on 10/06/2004 11:30:55 AM PDT by ThanksForListening
As Chairman of the Board of Directors, I asked the Applicant to come into the Conference Room.
After the introductions, I said, "Tell us why you should become our next CEO."
"I can do better," the Applicant quickly responded.
It was easy to believe him as he spoke. He was handsome, polished, articulate, and seemed intelligent. He would look great on television representing our company.
"Tell us about your accomplishments," another Director inquired.
"I was an Officer during Vietnam. Some might even say I was a hero. I received three Purple Hearts and two medals."
"Congratulations," several of us said spontaneously.
"Have you ever run a company before?" one of the other Directors asked.
"No," he said. "But I've had a very important support position at another company for the past twenty years."
"What do you do for your company," the Director followed up.
"Revenue generation and increasing the budget were my specialties," the Applicant said.
"Did you have any particular programs that you were in charge of?" another Director said.
"I can't really point to many that would have my name on them," the Applicant said. "Up 'til now I have been mostly involved in team projects. But don't let my past confuse you. I have a plan to do better."
"We're not doing that badly now, especially with 9/11 and the current cost of oil and the War on Terror. But tell us about your plan to 'do better'," another Director asked.
All of us leaned a little closer to hear what he had to say.
"We'll obviously I can't tell you all the specifics until I become the CEO," he said. "But I think that the way for us to do better is to form alliances with more companies to get done what we want to accomplish."
"What about the alliances we already have?" several Directors said almost simultaneously.
"Those really aren't taking this company where it needs to go," he said. "I want to form alliances with several other large companies. We can do better."
"I think we know who you are talking about," one of the Directors said. "We've done everything we can to work together with them. But the bottom line is that they don't want to work together with us. And besides, we think that some of those companies may have worked together with some of our biggest competitors in the past."
The initial sparkle was leaving our eyes as quickly as it came.
One of the Directors spoke up, "Those alliances may happen in the future if it is also advantageous to our company, but we don't think that's possible now. We gave them the opportunity, but they weren't interested."
"Well, I think I can make that happen. I'm a team-builder," the Applicant said.
"By the way, I often forget to mention that one of my first accomplishments after I returned from Vietnam was to help a company with a hostile takeover," he added.
Sensing that this interview was going nowhere, I asked, "Does anyone else have any questions?"
After a pause of silence, I said, "Since I don't hear any other questions, we'd like to thank you for your interest in our CEO position. We'll get back with you if we want to follow up."
The applicant shook hands with us and left the Conference Room.
"That was a waste of time," one of the Directors said.
"He's clueless," another said.
Everyone else nodded in agreement.
"And the sad part is that he doesn't realize that his present employer is overpaying him for not doing much of anything," another Director said.
"Yeah," another said. "Revenue Generation. Budget Increases. No projects that he could attach his name to. He sounds like he's a Senator!"
We all laughed.
"Yeah," another said. "But he'd sure look good on tv!"
Smiling, I responded, "Maybe for someone else - but not for us."
And we all shook our heads and left the Conference Room.
good perspective on the current debate! :)
Me. Thanks for reading. And ThanksForListening.