It had been a very difficult day. And now with the people gone, he sat and wondered why he had started the company in the first place. The fact of the matter was he loved his company, but somehow he wished he could own some great big computer that could do all the thinking and all the doing - then he would not have to deal with people. All their folly, all the nonsense and all the things that he considered distracting.
He was the type of entrepreneur that didn’t really go with the notion that change was an event. For him change was something that should be a continuous loop - thus even though his people always seemed to want a plan, he was far more comfortable with an on going process - think, search, find and deliver. How hard was that to understand?
The office was quiet. Finally! Only the distant churn of the early evening traffic now.
He wanted to go home and yet the meeting with his five closest advisers kept on coming back to him.
He liked to think that he was always in control and yet he knew that right now they would be huddled up in some pub and the conversation would be all about him. And there was nothing he could do about that. Thoughtless outbursts, did not get you invited to the pub.
To and fro they had gone for nearly two hours and then suddenly Jim had said “Just listen to you Charlie, you talk to us as if we were just servants-don’t you see we want the best too?. We are your partners.“ And with that he could take it no longer ”Listen you, I don’t have partners I have employees. You work for me. You have not put any money into this business. Your only risk is that I bloody fire you!”
No sooner had he said it, he wished he had not. The earnestness in all their faces suddenly washed away. And for the first time, he saw something he had never seen before – not just the fear, but their contempt, there hiding beneath the thin veil of their need.
Soon thereafter they have shuffled out the door.
As he sat there, he knew for sure for a while they would do what he asked of them, after all they needed their jobs. That was of course until they found new ones. And meanwhile the things that needed to happen would sort of happen, but there would be no great enthusiasm and for the most part they would just be going through the motions. He had upset and threatened them once too often.
He had never thought about it much until now yet suddenly it was so clear: his people remained close to him because they feared him, but he knew that when the opportunity for freedom came they would abscond.
And all the changes that needed to be done, somehow, he would have to just do it all by himself. And now with them gone into the night, he wished he could call them back.