A manager is an employee. However, strictly speaking, the president is not an employee: it is he who employs. The role of the president is to put to use the commitment of employees, shareholders, and customers.
To understand fully the implications of what is being said, a distinction must be drawn between the role of the president and the person filling that role. The role of the president is independent of the board of directors; it is not something that is created, but arises out of the total field. This role is necessary in order that the three forces, one of which is represented by the board, may stay in equilibrium and so allow the whole field to grow. These three forces have equal status within the total field. Growth will be accomplished provided that the appropriate action is taken to meet the situations that arise. However, a distortion in the field is created because the role is filled by someone appointed by the board of directors–by one of the forces within the field. As well as being appointed by the board, he is also conditioned to respond to the needs of the board by bonuses, stock options, and other profit-oriented rewards. This means that the primary allegiance of the president-as-person will be to the board of directors, while the present-as-role requires equal allegiance to all three forces.
Because the president is appointed and can be dismissed by the board of directors, and because his attention is conditioned to the needs of the stockholder, a fundamental distortion is introduced into the field. Instead of being completely free within the options and as a consequence being able to adapt action perfectly to the requirements of the situation, most presidents are fixed, their strategy inflexible, their responses preconditioned. From the viewpoint of good organization–that is, the viewpoint on which company survival, effectiveness, and growth is based–different alternatives must be balanced and traded off, and these alternatives include, but are not equivalent to, profit maximization. But from the point of view of the president-as-person, only one strategy is acceptable: that which will maximize profit.
March 16th, 2020 ~The role of the president is a fascinating one. As the author mentions, most appointed presidents are conditioned. Most everyone is conditioned–the president is a very important role in the company, however. The author mentions separating the role of the president and the person filling that role. It really takes an exceptional individual to be appointed by one group but to focus on the three distinct entities as a whole. Th author talks about roles in a company a few times in this book. He mentions how companies hire not based on role, often times, but on individuals. But it is the role that is more important. Individuals in roles can be replaced because the focus is on the role. You are not focusing on an individual which is often unique. You see this often with companies. Apple couldn’t exist without Steve Jobs. The company was wildly successful after his return to the company. The new CEO has done a tremendous job keeping the momentum going, but have they created any new technology? Have they made the move of focusing on the role of the CEO? Time will tell.
One place in sports where you see a franchise hire based on role–the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since 1968, they have had only 3 coaches: Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin. Prior to that, there were 13 coaches.
More will come about roles in a company.
As in most posts on Zentrepreneurial.com, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low. The website writer’s words are in regular text.