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Why I Only Work with Owners or CEOs

Why I Only Work with Owners or CEOs

It’s not an ego thing, although most people might see it as one. I can advise and relate to workers on the line and enjoy that as well. But there’s a crucial difference. Those below the top seldom have the permissions for actual change at the level that would affect a company culture.

Throughout most of my business career, the expected level of entry was with a manager of one kind or another. It was always a tough slog, because the success of my intervention in the company often put their jobs at risk. Managers are more insecure than you might think. They’re risk-averse and married, for the most part, to not rocking the boat and keeping things as they are.

I’m a change-oriented guy

It’s been my experience that fifteen minutes with an owner or CEO is worth six weeks working my way up through a corporate hierarchy, facing possible fear-based rejection at every step. And now, I’m too old to bother with climbing that ladder.

A favorite designer of mine from the 18th century was Lancelot Brown. He changed the face of the English landscape under his nickname, Capability Brown. He would tour a property, sometimes for days, then sit down with the owner, saying, “your estate has capability.”

If I see a business has ‘capability’ beyond its present circumstances, I better be talking to the man or woman who has the final say to make a decision.

That’s what I do

If you share my interest in discussing capabilities, perhaps we should talk.