64. The Corporate Pickle
There's a situation that happened and I want your opinion.
I’ve got a friend, let’s call him Mark. Mark is not one of my imaginary friends, or one of the voices in my head (though, coincidentally, there is a voice in my head also named Mark). This Mark I’m discussing is a real person.
Mark is very good at his job. His job is a service provider for a large, $1 billion publicly traded corporation. In the scope of the company, he’s very junior - just one of 20,000 employees that work their respective butts off to better themselves and better the company. Mark is smart - he’s an expert in his position - but he probably won’t rise high up the corporate ladder at this company. Frankly, he’s passionate about his particular service area so I highly doubt he even wants to be a corporate leader.
That said, Mark is a person who is driven and determined to succeed in his role. He’s very well liked, highly regarded and is comfortable striking up a conversation with anybody at anytime. Solid guy, this Mark. A much more likable person than that voice in my head who bares the same name.
The Networking Circle
Mark’s company has a periodic webinar in which the CEO and other corporate leaders provide updates to the 20,000 employees. On one of these calls, the CEO of the company introduced the idea of the Networking Circle.
The urging from the CEO was for everybody to expand their Network within the company of 20,000 people. Employees were encouraged to connect with three people in the company they don’t know but would have a mutual benefit of knowing, and to set up a 30 minute call with each of those people.
Truthfully, I think it’s a really good idea for a large company like that. It’s not easy to get people out of their comfort zone, so a clear directive from the CEO is huge.
Mark heard the calling and, he too, thought it was a good idea. So he did what only Mark would think of doing. He selected and contacted his three people: the company President, the Chief Strategic Officer and the CEO.
Think of the corporate structure for this organization as the great pyramid in Egypt. At the very tippy top, closer to the heavens, sits the CEO. He is being propped up by his small leadership team around him. Way way down the slope of the pyramid, at the bottom, in the dirt, sweating in the hot sun, are the thousands of indistinguishable stones - some big, some tiny - that support the great pyramid.
Mark is one of those stones, buried in the masses.
He is so far removed from the CEO, that when he stretches his neck to gaze up to the top of the pyramid, it’s too far away to even get a clear view without a strong pair of binoculars, which hadn’t even been invented at the time this analogy was built.
In terms of structure, the President is Mark’s bosses bosses boss and the $1b public company CEO is his bosses bosses bosses boss. As for the CSO, well he isn’t even in Mark’s chain of command.
These three executives don’t know Mark, never heard his name and, aside from this outreach, they probably would never have heard of him.
So the question is, between the President, CSO and CEO, which of them should take the meeting with Mark and who shouldn’t?
I want your opinion.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments. I will fill you in with the results and the reasoning after.