John Grubbs - When Training Matters

Helping Companies Rethink, Recover & Refocus on the Future

linked in



When it comes to organizational energy, someone is always in the proverbial driver's seat.  Whether it's functional or departmental, someone has control of the accelerator.  A human is required to generate movement for different parts of a business.   Yet, it has become common to see people in one function pressing the accelerator for people with other functional duties.  Why is this occurring?  More importantly, why is this tolerated?

Why does a CEO hire someone to drive a particular organizational function and then feel the need to reach her leg over the console and press the accelerator for that employee?  You hired someone to manage human resources, yet you go to conferences, read the blogs, watch YouTube videos, and develop a company's talent strategy.  You hired someone to manage marketing, yet you attend meetings to learn digital marketing strategy and guide the company effort in this area. You hired someone to manage your warehouse, yet your research and discover better ways to be more profitable with your space. What gives?

Are CEOs expected to be omnipotent in all functional areas in a business?  Must the CEO be the internal expert in every function he hires and manages?  If not, why do I see CEOs and business owners pressing the accelerator for others managing essential functions? The pandemic has lowered the water level and surfaced remarkable opportunities. The problem is not "what" people get paid to do.  The issue is who is in the driver's seat.

We hire capable people to manage business functions.  We fail to hire people who drive business functions.  The problem is who, not what.  For whatever reason, companies tend to hire competent managers and avoid hiring drivers.  This strategy gets tolerated when the business is not experiencing pressure to perform.  You hire a mediocre sales manager, and results are acceptable until the market declines.  You hire a mediocre operations manager, and productivity is sufficient until market pressure is applied.

Why does a CEO avoid drivers and hire managers? That's a more beautiful question.  Following are reasons CEOs avoid driver employees:

  • Drivers challenge the status quo and make the CEO develop new skills and knowledge. The CEO must research to understand the new direction for digital prospecting and sales.
  • The CEO enjoys being an internal expert. Your ego gets stroked when you are the smartest person in the room.  You earn validation about your intelligence, and it feels good.
  • Drivers insist on change. They force the CEO out of her comfort zone.
  • CEOs are afraid to make complicated decisions in functional areas without familiarity.
  • CEOs are afraid to let someone else drive the business. He started the company (in the driver's seat) and feared letting go of control.
  • CEOs must trust a driver employee. It would be best if you trust someone before you allow them to have the controls.
  • Drivers are more challenging to manage. They make you work faster, and you are too lazy to maintain the velocity for change.

CEOs are influential in cascading organizational energy. That's the job of the leader. Wrong!  It is a common misconception.  Or worse, it is a great deception.  Many leaders fail because they become surrounded by sycophants, who follow cascaded energy and direction.

Authentic leadership creates bottoms up organizational energy.  CEOs must...

Finish reading to learn what leaders should be


Crazy enough to win

Discover My Podcast