THE CEO WHO LOVED TO FISH
I have a very good friend who happened to be a business owner.
He was remarkably successful in business as he himself was an excellent manager.
For thirty years, he had been brooding on the establishment of a new business model.
He wanted to establish a novel business in which he hired people and trained them to manage the business while he himself went on a long trip.
After thirty years he was ready to establish his long-awaited business.
He looked around the city where we both lived for candidates to train for his business.
After a brief search, he found and hired twelve people.
Not much could be said about the qualifications of the twelve managers my friend hired to run his business.
What went through his mind as he selected his candidates is a mystery only he can explain.
To put it mildly, the twelve managers were quite dysfunctional.
They had very little prior managerial experience.
A few of them had on their resume, the ‘grand experience’ of fishing as their only prior experience.
Others had prior experience in collecting taxes from fellow citizens.
“You spent thirty years planning for this business, and these are the people you hire to run your business while you travel? Is this some kind of a joke?”
I quietly asked myself as I observed my friend in silence.
It was not a joke.
He was serious.
He even appointed one of the fishermen he hired as the CEO of the new company.
Good for him.
I wished my friend well as he set out to train his new employees over the next three years prior to traveling out of town.
Over the course of the three years my friend worked very hard to train his twelve managers.
Training them was no easy task as was to be expected.
The guys were just not cut out for the business.
They asked foolish questions, behaved immaturely, and were sometimes completely out of order.
How my friend kept his demeanor and composure as he labored to train these men was beyond my comprehension.
Shortly before the three years were up, one of the twelve managers quit, leaving him with eleven.
It did not look good.
I asked my friend again, “what type of business are you trying to get these men to manage? A small local operation?”
“No! not a local operation,” he replied emphatically. "I am training them to manage a multi-national corporation,” he concluded.
I could not help but laugh at my friend.
A global corporation indeed.
Good luck with the men you have chosen to run your global corporation while you travel out of town for a few years.
About the same time one of the twelve managers quit, my friend found himself in a little legal trouble with the government.
For a few days, my friend left the eleven managers to run the business while he sorted out his legal troubles.
The business was left in the care of the fisherman turned CEO while my friend took care of his legal matters.
A few weeks later my friend had all his legal problems taken care of, so he headed back to check on his business to see how his managers were running it in his brief absence.
When he got to the office, none of his managers was available.
“Where is everybody?” my friend asked the office clerk. “They are supposed to be here working, where did they go?” he enquired surprisingly.
The office clerk replied, “While you were gone, the CEO you appointed to run your business called the other managers together and told them to come along with him to go fishing at the lake. If you need to see them, I am sure you will find them at the lake with their boat and fishing nets trying to catch some fish.”
Sure enough, when my friend got to the lake, there his managers were together with the CEO happily casting their nets in search of fish.
Now, this happened a few days before my friend was scheduled to hand over the entire business to them and go on his long trip.
“Are you still going to leave for your trip and hand over your ‘global business’ to these guys?” I asked my friend with a sarcastic grin.
“Yes,” my friend replied with a serious tone.
“They will be fine. The business will be fine,” he concluded confidently.
I could not believe he had so much faith in these guys.
I had heard of people with a lot of faith but the faith my friend had in these eleven men to run his global operation was beyond my comprehension.
I kept thinking my friend would cancel his trip and reorganize his business using more 'serious minded' men with better experience and background.
He did not cancel his trip.
He went along as planned and took off on his journey while handing over the entire business to the eleven.
Many years later, the business which I thought would be decimated as soon as my friend went on his trip did indeed become a global and multi national operation with branches in all countries of the world just as my friend had predicted.
What did he see in those men to believe they could go on to accomplish such an incredible feat?
Only my friend knows what he saw in them.
One thing I can say about my friend is he sure had lots of faith.
More faith than I have ever seen in any other person.