Situation: A CEO feels overworked, fatigued and ready to retire! The core problem is a long-term employee who is constantly resisting the CEO’s the company’s strategic direction. How can the CEO alleviate this situation? How do you work with a resistant employee?
Advice from the CEOs:
- If this individual is valuable, try to work with him first.
- Can you give him a different focus – another role within the company for which his talents are suited and where he will make a significant contribution?
- For a change like this to be effective it must be offered and accepted with the condition that this becomes his focus and not your strategic leadership of the company.
- How is it best to have this conversation?
- First, clearly state the direction of the company.
- Then ask a question: What do you want to be doing for the next 5 years?
- You may be surprised by the response to the question. It may lead you to a win-win solution; or it may become clear that this individual needs to be doing something else.
- Conduct the discussion in two stages – but without a lot of time between these two discussions.
- “You are valuable but things have to change. I prefer that you remain as part of the team, but on the strategic front you have a choice – are you on board or not?”
- If after consideration the answer is that he is not on-board then you must let him go.
- Don’t blindside this person. Think of a Resurrection versus a Come to Jesus Meeting.
- If it turns out that you must get rid of this person you will wonder: why you didn’t do this 6 months ago.