Monday, January 26, 2015

How not to reach your CEO

I read a statistic the other day that claimed 65% of millennials want to be CEO. I certainly want to be CEO and have been working an unconventional path to get there. The corporate ladder is broken. Many of my coworkers have been at the same company for 30+ years and they are doing the same job I’m doing. I would expect that after 30 years my coworkers would be doing better than someone who just started.

In my effort to crack the code, I am trying many things. My latest attempt is to pitch an idea to my CEO. This is proving difficult. So far I haven’t been able to get the idea in front of him. My most recent attempt was brilliant, or so I thought.

At one of the recent corporate communications the CEO mentioned an area the company could improve. This is my opportunity! I know what needs to be improved and how to make it happen. This is my chance, I’ll share my plan with the CEO and he’ll recognize my brilliance. Carpe Diem!!

To increase the effectiveness of my message, I thought it'd be best to sell the idea. I would use sales tactics to create excitement and eagerness. I wouldn't just say my plan, I would create an engaging message that would appeal to the heart. This was going to work, my solution is perfect and the delivery will be delightful and unique.

The current state of online marketing is to create a 3 part pitch. Three emails with progressively more detail are sent out a few days apart. Over the course of a week or two the emails are delivered and the recipients get more excited. I thought it would be brilliant to sell my idea using the 3 part email method. This method is so successful in mass, it should be even better when tailored to a specific person.

I spent several days perfecting the first email and making sure it was well written and compelling. The usual method of selling with an email blast is to send the first email out on a Thursday, the second on Monday and the final on Wednesday. Last Thursday I proudly sent off my well crafted email. This is going to be epic! I am going to sell to my own CEO!

Within half an hour of sending my email I received a response! WooHoo! I was so excited, he read it and he was so moved that he immediately responded. I was nervous and excited, this is it, I’m going to make a difference!

Then I read the response. It was short and generic. The gist of it was that we think we are doing a great job and you are a nobody, but to be nice you can send us your idea. That’s when I connected the dots. Of course the CEO wouldn't respond, his executive assistant just copied and pasted a response she keeps on hand.

Back to the drawing board.

I am frustrated that we can’t fully utilize the expertise and knowledge of our workforce. Great ideas can come from every employee. The company that can figure out how to listen to everyone’s voice will win. I believe that with the technologies that support the internet we can hear what we need to hear and make more informed decisions.

Until then, I'll keep shooting for the moon. The thing is when you shoot for the moon, you eventually hit it.

What moon shots have you made?

Please leave a comment… I’d love to hear from you.

-Do something you've never done before.