Want to be an effective CEO? Don’t let people wait at the reception…

When I was working in a bank way back in 2002, I often made people wanting to meet me wait for hours at the

When I was working in a bank way back in 2002, I often made people wanting to meet me wait for hours at the reception as I completed my desk tasks or internal meetings. After twenty or so minutes, I would come to meet them.

Of course I would find them so bored and unhappy about the mistreatment for the long wait. Those close to me would advise me never to keep them waiting again. Others would just get to business.

Fast forward to today, people are poor time keepers. And it is so annoying.

If you are a CEO or a public servant, and you give me an appoint at 10 am. Why not come out and see me at 10am? It so disturbing for someone to forget the appointment they made. And it is killing the business.

As a CEO, it is my business to meet new people. If someone takes time to visit my office, I must have time to see them. In fact they have done me a favor.  I know I am able to see this because this is my own business.

Unfortunately, many a CEO, run businesses with already existing structures and capital. They can make mistakes and losses for two or three years and still keep in business and hold their jobs. They are able to survive because the impact of their incompetence is not quickly felt on the bottom-line as the business is already big. That is their advantage. Such a CEO will make you wait at the reception for ten to thirty minutes and not apologize for doing so. Sometimes I wonder how such people get the jobs they abuse.

Below are my lessons for you:

As a CEO, your work is not to do operational or day to day stuff. Yours is business development and leadership. If you have to make prospects wait for long to meet you because you are writing a report or playing solitaire, then you are missing the point, Mr. CEO. Your priority should be to meet new people. If they are on appointment, then you cannot be excused for making them wait 15 minutes past the agreed time. It reflects on you as a damn disorganized folk. Let operational people do operational stuff. Focus on strategy and business development. This will free up your time.

Take it easy. Where you can, give opportunities to young folks. They have a point to prove and you won’t get disappointed.

Have two or three people you are mentoring at least rotated on a monthly basis. Let them report to you directly and share their career story. That way you give opportunities and remain in everyone’s heart. It is the best gift you can give.

Make it easy for others so that they may make it easy on you. This is a rule of nature. If you help people, they will want to return the favor. Usually they give back more.

Above all, not everyone has to be on appointment to meet with you. As they say, “what took you there, won’t keep you there.” It takes new approaches and ways to keep your level of status.

Your best bet is having a team of people behind your back.



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