Sunday, September 14, 2008

Who is more important to you: your CEO or your boss ?

Just ask yourself 1 question:
Whose name do your kids know? The name of your boss or the name of the CEO ?
There is your answer.

About your kids and your company:
This is a perfect litmus test. Your children probably do not know the name of the CEO of your company. But they probably know your boss's name. When current (2008) General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt grew up, his father worked on the line at GE. Immelt says he never knew the name of the CEO of GE, but he always knew who his father worked for. Today Immelt reminds his first line supervisors and middle managers that they are the company for the people who work for them.

(Picture: CEO General Electric, Jeff Immelt)
Or ask yourself the following questions:
- Who has more impact on your workday ? Your boss or the CEO ?
- Who parcels out the rewards ? Your boss or the CEO ?
- Who gives you your annual performance appraisal ? Your boss or the CEO ?
- Who helps you succeed ? Your boss or the CEO ?
- Who helps you achieve your personal goals ? Your boss or the CEO ?
- Who makes a direct difference to the bottom line ? Your boss or the CEO ?

- Who's got the biggest impact on profits and revenue ? Your boss or the CEO ?
At first sight most people might think it is the CEO. But when you think this through, it becomes clear that before making profits you need to establish revenue, and revenue is coming from ...your customers. And who makes a difference to your customers ? The hundreds or thousands of employees going out every day selling and delivering services that make a difference to these customers. It is as simple as that. The C-suite of a multinational is most of the time responsible for laying out a strategy, molded by fashionable management theories from 'hot' highly paid management gurus, always printed in full color on glossy paper. However I know multiple multinationals where official strategy hardly ever makes it beyond the executive suite, while the company is thriving on an army of people lead by first line and middle-managers applying common sense and simple sales tactics.