In my dream, my dad wasn’t a youth minister and ceramicist but was actually the founder and CEO of some company that manufactured something. He was still Jim Bjork, he just had a different job. Anyway, he retired so I took over the company.
I had never had any interest in the Bjork Foundation (that was the name of the company) and I wasn’t even sure what they did but I stepped into the CEO role anyway. All I knew was the Bjork Foundation’s main competitor was a company called Stage 3 and the rumor was that Stage 3 was going to make a move against the Bjork Foundation during this transitional period.
The night before I took over, I was doing research and had a really great idea that would help my company and predict what Stage 3′s next moves were. I came up with a brilliant strategy. I wish I remembered it because I think it was brilliant. It involved two approaches I think.
Anyway, I held a day-long company-wide meeting for my first day to introduce myself and present my plan for dealing with Stage 3. I was met with some resistance. Half the crowd was young people fresh out of college who didn’t have the attention span to follow my plan. I could tell they wanted flashy stuff and icebreakers and stuff. The other half was the “old guard” – people who helped my dad start the company way back in the olden days. I could see them thinking, “I remember when Nate was a little kid running around here, and now he thinks he can be the boss?” I knew I had to win over the people I could and I would need to start giving promotions and raises to the best people to keep them with the company and prevent them from going to Stage 3.
“Mr. Bjork,” one person began when the floor was given to him. “Mr. Bjork is my fathers-,” I began, then stopped. I remembered that these people had actually worked with my father. “How many of you actually called Jim ‘Mr. Bjork’?” I asked. They all laughed. I said, “if you called my dad Jim then you can call me Nate.” I was starting to win them over.
We broke for lunch.
After lunch, only half the people came back to the meeting on time. The rest of the company was over 15 minutes late. While I was waiting for everyone to reconvene I considered firing all the late-returners so I could set a precedent that I was to be taken seriously. I decided against that but I did give everyone who came back on time a 10% raise on the spot.
The next day I had a smaller meeting with just the management team. I realized I didn’t know a single person’s name and so to hide that fact I said, “let’s all go around and introduce ourselves and talk about what we do here at B3.” Oh yeah, forgot to mention – at some point I renamed the Bjork Foundation to B3.