Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Hard Path To Walk

Blue Path, Brighton Seafront

Recently, a great sales guy, known to a number of my team, contacted us regarding whether or not we had any vacancies. He was already out looking, had made the first move towards us and we knew he’d been thinking about a change for almost a year. Long story short: we made him an offer which was accepted. So far, so good.

However, there was one twist to this story: the CEO of the company he was leaving and I have been friends for years. I slept not at all the night before the salesman in question was going to tell the CEO he was leaving – and where he was going! Fortunately, I think we handled it professionally and my friend took it very well indeed and understood that we hadn’t been at all predatory, striving hard to “so the right thing” throughout.

This very professional attitude is in strict contrast to another situation where the same thing happened late last year, resulting in another CEO I knew (though not anything like so well) basically blowing-up and causing a gulf between our companies that took months to heal.

Moral of the story? There are as many kinds of CEOs, with as many different areas of sensitivity or blind-spots, as there are companies to be run!

Why anyone ever wants this CEO job is beyond me, especially in a start-up. At least in a larger company when, at 3 am, you find yourself once again unable to sleep because of stress, you can lay there and take solace in your huge pay packet and likely even bigger severance deal!

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