Promote Everybody to CEO of Something

[do_widget text Update: The Happy Manifesto shortlisted for CMI award. And now you can get 25% off!]

I would like to thank Lissy Thornquist, of Holiday Inn London-Gatwick Airport, for this great idea – which she shared while feeding back on my book, The Happy Manifesto:

I read an interview in the New York Time- the Corner Office, with Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga. His reply to the question, how has your leadership style evolved?, was:

“I’d turn people into C.E.O.’s. One thing I did at my second company was to put white sticky sheets on the wall, and I put everyone’s name on one of the sheets, and I said, ‘By the end of the week, everybody needs to write what you’re C.E.O. of, and it needs to be something really meaningful.’

And that way, everyone knows who’s C.E.O. of what and they know whom to ask instead of me. And it was really effective. People liked it. And there was nowhere to hide.

Lissy tells me she has had great results promoting her staff (most of whom are unskilled and largely on the minimum wage) to CEO of something, to give them clear responsibility. I’m going to try it at Happy. Its a great idea.

3 responses to “Promote Everybody to CEO of Something”

  1. I’m not convinced that making your staff CEO will get them to take ownership (especially not unskilled people on minimum wage). Surely it’s about how interesting the work is and incentives. But hey, as in the title of Richard Branson’s book ” Screw It Let’s Do It” I’ll try it and see how we get on.

  2. Diye, thanks for contributing. I have to admit we don’t have any staff on minimum wage at Happy. But this approach is one we’ve used with some of our newest and most junior staff – making them absolutely responsible for one area of Happy. They have thrived on it.

  3. I once promoted a particularly nasty piece of work to manager, gave him a team to look after and significant pay rises, as a method of changing his poor attitude to work just to have him walk off the job after several incidents all self generated and take me and the company to tribunal with a pack of ‘racist’ based lies.

    People dont change regardless of what you do for them, they either have it in them to be good honest reliable employees or they don’t.

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