I’ve written a few times about leadership, about being a CEO and about excellence. Arguably, InsideSpin is mostly about these three topics. As I reflect on all that I have learned, i am amazed again to see someone go through that awful cycle of clawing back the role of CEO — because! Blinders on to what it takes to build a real business, one that can scale and operate with long term success in mind. No concern for how their personal desires affect the people around them.
This one is a bit closer to me as it is impacting a handful of the key people we had at PlateSpin. It makes me want to jump in and shake someone by the collar, but all that would do is likely entrench the person even more in feeling they can do a better job than the professional they had not long ago hired.
The first step is to call the team together and roll out the new operating mandate — by tradition, these types of wannabe CEO’s start by undoing all the good work their predecessor has done so they can make everything be like it was before the ‘bad chapter’ in their professional lives started. It’s so predictable — i wish I could turn it into a reality show where the audience rates the performance of the main characters and offers predictions of where it will be in season 2 or is it season catch-22.
It’s not all one-sided — when stepping into a situation with founders who have the ‘I wanna be the CEO — because’ syndrome, the new CEO has to define the operating parameters right away. If they fail to establish who is in charge, who makes decisions and fall back to consensus as the way to rule, they play right into the hands of the founder. In my book, CEO’s have to be leaders, be seen as leaders and this case brought in as a leader.
I’ll keep an eye on this one, help anyone looking to escape and hopefully not have too many more reasons to write about how predictable these situations are. I’m sad for the Company, its products, its hard working team and the other founders who are caught in the hard place, not likely able to influence it in the right way. I saw it, i said it and now I’m seeing it — this was so predictable.