Parable #1: Please read PART 1 First: Under New Management
Parable #1 Part 2: Conclusion: Quintessential Success
In part 1, we met John, CEO of United Company, and his son, James. When we last saw John, he retired in despair and left his son James behind to go down with the sinking ship or do something to save it.
James could have left the company quite easily and established his own start-up. He had the capital, the brains, and the experience. But it would have broken his dad’s heart to see his son go off and become another United Company competitor. James had a better plan.
In United Company, now James functioned more like a “floater,” moving from department to department to shore up areas that were lacking in support. The new infiltrator executives didn’t notice what James was doing because their own plan of destruction was working so well. James operated “under the radar,” for the most part, and he did not report to anyone but the over-confident CEO, who ignored him most of the time. This worked to James’ advantage. He laid low for a while.
Then in the fall of 1985, the economy was strong with Ronald Reagan as President. But the United Company continued to fail anyway and James knew he had to pick up the pace. It was time to form his own team of loyalists. James’ father’s birthday was coming up in October, and James figured this was an ideal opportunity to find out who was loyal to his father so that he could build a coalition.
Every Friday night, a tight group of infiltrator executives had the habit of playing poker at a local tavern. James decided to plan a surprise party for his dad on a Friday night at a local Knights of Columbus Hall. He knew that most of the infiltrators would not attend. And those who did, James planned to flush out in casual conversation. The party went off without a hitch. The people who attended were from all departments and dad’s loyalists were many. There were a few suspicious employees who attended, but they were easy to recognize and filter out. To each of the loyalists, James gave an invitation to join a social “club” run by his dad. They were asked to call a special number to RSVP. As each person called, James provided secret information about the time and place of their first meeting.
In the meantime, like rats deserting a sinking ship, the infiltrators began to resign because United Company stock was losing value and their options were becoming worthless. They weren’t making any money, which was their primary motivation in life. As most of them figured the demise of the company was imminent, it was time to leave, laughing. One by one, they were quickly absorbed by The Diabolical Company, which was doing much better with its toughest competitor under water.
James met with his loyalist group every two weeks, in private and in secret. James assigned each person an area of responsibility, research and development, marketing, sales, service, etc. As a result, new products were developed and introduced to market under a new company brand: “Quintessential.”
Slowly, the market recognized this brand as having all of the quality characteristics of the original United Company products. Things began to improve.
Soon, the loyalists rose to power in the company and took over the positions formerly held by the infiltrators. The ship began to turn with the wind and a gust of success propelled them forward!
John couldn’t be prouder of his son, James. The two shared an even closer relationship now, grounded in their mutual love and respect for one another. In the day-to-day operations of the company, James rewarded all the loyalists with lucrative benefits and options packages, which ensured they would stick around at least until the ship sailed safely into port. He promoted those who served best and they served even better.
The virtues that this duo possessed: loyalty, fortitude, courage, honesty, patience, love, respect, quality, determination, are winning virtues. The Diabolical Company eventually floundered, but gained steam with other diabolical strategies and the fiercely competitive environment continued unabated. But James and John viewed competition as a sharpening stone. It kept them honest and ready.
Did you guess this conclusion? Would you have done differently?