Primed at the Top

All five companies I have worked in disappeared. What I learnt from this was that companies can easily go under. The causal factor usually lies in the character of those at the top. If they cannot be respected, the company will not continue. There is nothing for the workers to aspire to and justice is no longer appreciated. In the end, the internal structure of the company collapses. Deficits and market competition do not lead to bankruptcy; the cause is always internal conflict.

If a firm wants to continue to exist, and its importance and mission is valued as a company as whole, it will not perish. If the firm’s continued existence benefits its patrons, there will be support from them for the firm to carry on. The power at the top cannot single-handedly save the company. When all can work together with the same devotion to the customer, this is enough to move the hearts of the people.

Those at the top are always under observation by others. One must remember that their eyes cannot be deceived. Thinking that you can get away with something, thinking it won’t be noticed, is a fatal error in judgement. Those in senior positions must realize that they are always judged and evaluated by those at the bottom, who work hard with the ambition of getting to the top. This has been true for all five companies that I have worked in.

When someone is suddenly given senior responsibility without experience such as mine, they will not notice the importance of the experiences that they have missed. They will attend seminars and read books, wrongly believing that they have mastered all they have to master. They do not realize that ‘to comprehend’ and ‘to translate into action’ are two completely different things.

A CEO must always be braced and ready. Ready for the toughest, most difficult times to come. Only those at the top can be ready to confront such an eventuality. And so it is only wise for those at the top to keep their opinions to themselves in making decisions where they are not needed. If senior staff waste time by meddling in matters that can be dealt with by others, and enjoy some gratification from such actions, they need to realize that they have reached their ‘position of incompetence’.