#293 from Innovative
Leader Volume 6, Number 8
FORUM—from our readers
Go! Trust Us!
I’m one of nine
directors who report directly to the company president.
Our company has no vice presidents (as you’ll see,
that’s a symptom of our problem).
The president founded this company about eight years ago,
and is (or, at least, was) one of the world’s experts in the
technology underlying this rapidly-developing field.
We have approximately 200 employees, and the president gets
intimately involved in just about everything
that goes on here.
customers and tells them to call him
directly if there’s any problem.
Of course, problems occur all the time.
That keeps him on the phone with these customers much of
the day. When he’s
not on the phone, he becomes involved with development, finance,
administration, manufacturing, and our other departments.
enough time for him to listen to an explanation of our problems or
before we can finish two sentences, he makes a decision and walks
off. We have no
recourse to further discuss the issue because he’s on the phone
again or dealing with a problem in some other department.
The company is
doing well in spite of this.
But I’m afraid that our success will all come crashing
down soon. With the
president’s day taken up with customers and micro-managing,
he’s unable to concentrate on the company’s future.
We need to plan our next generation of products, and we
need to try out some new marketing opportunities.
But the president just doesn’t have the time or energy to
see beyond current crises. We
have yet to discuss long-term (two years?) strategies.
The president somehow has confidence that our products, and
our success, will naturally evolve.
He’s “up to
his ears” in work. The
directors are quite skilled and would like to take on more
responsibility—including contacting our important customers.
This would free up time and energy so that the president
can sculpt a plan to direct our future.
Many of us have told him this, and he nods in agreement.
But his agreements have yet to be implemented into action.
He is unable to lose even a small degree of control.
I think that he would act the same even if we were the
world’s most capable directors.
Anyway all of the
directors have signed a letter expressing our concerns.
I just delivered the letter to his mailbox.
Perhaps he will realize that there’s a time when one just
has to let go and trust
the staff. Perhaps he
will realize that his leadership is essential for directing us to
future success. Perhaps
he will realize that his directors need to take on more
responsibilities for their own career growth.
Perhaps he will even become more insecure as some of us
leave the company to be replaced with people he will trust even