The Blog

Feb 5, 2008

The Gap Between CEO and Employee 

by Maxim Porges @ 8:59 PM | Link | Feedback (2)

I'm always amazed by the massive differences in the way different chief executives communicate with their employees.

There's clearly two extremes.

On the one hand, you have those that don't speak to the employees actually doing the work at all, and surround themselves with many layers of management. They appear periodically for ceremonial functions and make speeches. For obvious reasons, employees are intimidated by these chief executives, and act as they believe they "should" around them to avoid being fired or making severely career-limiting moves. Chief executives who operate like this can expect to be fed pleasantries and rose-tinted misinformation by their employees as opposed to being given candid, meaningful feedback that will help them steer their business the way they need to.

And then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum - the every-man, the friend, the companion. The guy employees feel that they know, somebody they feel comfortable talking to openly. A leader who encourages, inspires, and earns trust. A real person who rubs shoulders with the troops and gets down and dirty to see what's happening rather than relying on being told by the SVPs and other C-level executives. These are the guys who can get in and see the business for what it is, and make educated decisions based on feedback from employees; employees who become all the more loyal for seeing their suggestions being put into action.

Read this, and tell me which type you think Howard Shultz is. Then tell me which one you work for in your organization, or if they are somewhere in-between.

I strongly intend to run my own company at least once before I die. If I have my way, I'll be a Howard Shultz.