Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Speculation and Confession


I had received several phone calls and many emails from people who were worried about the course of action taken by a chief executive. In each case, I'd recommended that they remain thoroughly professional, outline the reasons why his decision would be harmful, and try to persuade him to take another course.

That didn't work. He disregarded and in some cases derided his associates.

People began to wonder about his motives. [In many circumstances, such speculation can be hard to resist.] I advised that trying to guess the motives of people is frequently a waste of time. The individual in question may not have had a firm grasp on his own motives. Others would have greater difficulty sorting them out.

What was clear, however, was that the board of directors would not support the chief executive. That would be the safety net. When a dispassionate survey of the pros and cons was made, the board would come to the rescue.

Despite having given the noble-sounding advice cited above, let me make a confession. In the quiet of my office I asked, "What the hell was he thinking?"

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