Getting down with the kid’s – Why do CEO’s try this?

I know my place – If only CEO’s did too

There’s a bit of a trend right now. Getting down with the kid’s. Please don’t do it!

A long time ago when attitudes were very different, our sixth form were given the privilege of leaving school in the mid-morning break! Officially this was to get some air. But as everyone knew it was really to rush down to the coffee bar and have a cuppa and a fag!

The coffee bar was acknowledged by all parties to be sacrosanct and off limits to all school staff.  But one day, an enthusiastic young master joined the staff and thought it would be ‘cool’ to get to know the ‘guys’ and duly appeared full of bonhomie. Death could have walked in and the atmosphere would have been more jolly. A miserable quiet descended and quite quickly everyone found a need to be somewhere else. This scenario repeated itself over the next few days and by the end of the week it was empty at the mid-morning break.

Keep The Gossip Flowing

Now there are reports of CEO’s thinking it’s a good idea to repeat this sort of exercise. But it’s not just a case of trying to sit next to people as they have their coffee or lunch but also randomly turning up and sitting at the next desk for the morning whilst they are trying to work!  I guess they call it hot desking today. I wonder who they think such behaviour will benefit?  I am sure it makes them feel good – they have reached out to their staff and shown what ‘regular guys’ they are. But I suspect all it has done for the employees is made them feel uncomfortable and ruined their lunch!

Of course, CEO’s should be civil but they are there to lead the company to success and be deserving of respect and loyalty from their staff. They are not there to be their mate.  Most people who work in large organisations like structure and a sense of place. The classic ‘I look up to him but down on him’ is not dead yet even if the driver is no longer the ‘class system’. So, on behalf of employees everywhere, can I implore CEO’s to stay ‘upstairs’. Leave people to enjoy their lunch break and a good gossip!

Oh, and the coffee shop situation.  Well the Head Boy had a quiet word with the Deputy Headmaster who had a slightly less quiet word with the enthusiastic new master about how the world worked.  By Monday all had returned to normal. Maybe it’s time for a few Chairmen to tell their CEO’s the same!

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