Once upon a time not very long ago the MD of a company (who had never been in a sales function) was making a presentation. At this presentation he would put the Customer on top….and tell the world that the whole organization existed for the customer. Obviously in this diagram of hierarchy he would be at the bottom.

I found it amusing – and said the person below you is the board, and even further below is the shareholder! This is so true today that there are senior executives – whose commitment to the organization is about 36 months!

If a customer were to walk in exactly at the same time the Managing Director into their branches, check out who gets RECOGNIZED, and who gets attended to first. It would be amusing to try this in many companies. Any guesses? To say the shareholder is king is nice, but difficult to believe.

Last week at a function I had a chance meeting with a board member of a big specialized metal product manufacturer. He was telling me about a person who was SACKED by his organization – about 13 years back, and was currently a very senior executive in another company! Shareholder value destruction is nowadays a guaranteed result of  the inaction of many executives.

In this scenario where the MD’s CV is floating in the market – I knew of a Head of Sales and Marketing making statements like ‘We are here to build the company’ kind of talk. All this was fantastic for everybody on the Board, colleagues, etc. EXCEPT FOR ME. I was in conversation with a Head Hunter – and I knew the negotiations that were going on :). As expected he made the job move.

Read this article on the Goldman Sachs episode. It chills.


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