I was never a king. But I have walked with kings. So I know a few things about how these senior executives (Vice Presidents and above) behave. I am not talking about the new companies like Google or Facebook. I am talking about name brand conservative companies that are more than almost 100 years old. Easily recognized around the world.
I enjoyed them very much because I was not the affected party. I was only a spectator in their meetings.
There was one Vice President. In his monthly meetings, there will be present 8 General Managers reporting to him, and the VP’s personal staff. Personal staff included one Staff Director (division level), 2 district managers, and 4 second levels. So his audience will be 15 people. 12 men and 3 women.
Meeting will start at 8 am. The VP will come and everyone will say “Good Morning”. He will look around the table. Make eye contact with all the 15 individuals. And then say ”Good Morning Ladies”. It is their thalai ezhuthu (fate) to laugh.
Another Senior VP. In one of his staff meetings, one General Manger would not stop talking about a particular subject. The SVP told him the discussion is over and we should move on to the next subject. The General Manager wanted to continue. The SVP said I will give you one minute to say whatever you want to say. He said “and that one minute starts now”. He then closed his eyes, closed his ears tightly with both hands, and at the end of one minute he said: The discussion is over. We will move to the next subject.
The following one I liked very much. I think about this incident once in a while and smile. I have told this to my relatives and friends several times.
There was a young Senior Vice President. At that time he was only 32 years old. His subordinates, several general managers were in their 50s. One day he was explaining why we should undertake a particular project. One General Manager said that was not a convincing reason. The SVP said he will explain in a different way and explained. The GM said I am not convinced. The SVP took a different approach and explained. The GM said I am still not convinced.
I could see the anger in the young SVP’s face. He said: OK, I will give you another reason and that will convince you. He raised his right hand up above his head and said “in the company’s organization chart, my name is here”. He lowered his left hand around his knee and said “in the company’s organization chart, your name is here”. Are you convinced now?