‘Okay, so I get what you tried to do before. Sounds quite interesting actually, maybe there’s still room for that. For now, though, we drastically need to redefine leadership in this organisation. As you clearly know…’
We were in Mark Temple’s office.
‘So I get all that, and I get you get it too, although I don’t quite get why you’ve brought a pot plant to this meeting…’
Sally Gulliver shrugged. ‘He gets lonely.’ Which was true, I did.
Mark Temple stared. And then laughed, a great booming laugh that made my tendrils shake. ‘Well, I suppose I’m the last person to question a little eccentricity.’ Given that Mr Temple was sporting diasporas of marmalade on his jacket collar (suggesting a certain lack of detail in his breakfast strategy) and a pair of glasses held together by an elastoplast, personally I thought his admission demonstrated commendable self-awareness.
‘I want leadership in this organisation to have a distinctive taste. Strong, unmistakeable. And I want our leaders to ask brilliant questions, to shake things up a bit, to spice the culture up a bit, to up the pace a bit! I want leadership as strong as chilli peppers!’
‘That all sounds great, Mark, but where do we want to be leading people? Where do we want the organisation to go?’
Mark Temple grinned. ‘Well, that’s the biscuit base in the banoffee pie of our strategy, isn’t it? Today, at least, the four-point plan I have tattooed on the inside of my head is…’ He punched four bullet points into the air:
- Become genuinely global, not just in name only- Encourage and develop a genuinely engaged group of colleagues- Become genuinely innovative with products and markets- Murder all fat on the cost base.’
Sally nodded, her eyes sparkling. ‘Okay; sounds good. Interested you use the word ‘genuine’ a lot.’
‘Yep. This organisation needs to be the same outside as in, treating its people and its consumers with a whole lot more respect, and a whole lot more curiosity.’
Sally Gulliver was cheering inside: I could almost hear it.
Next week: Why Have You Recruited This Deranged Fop?
Bingleby was confiding in Richard Goff
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