Interview at Son Corporation
Joshua was an aspiring young CEO. He was truly brilliant and any corporation who was fortunate enough to bring him on board was sure to experience a powerful surge forward in their business success and could expect to sustain that growth for years to come. The following is an interview between Joshua and the board chairman of a promising new corporation. The purpose of this interview is to try and determine if Joshua and the Son Corporation is a match.
Son Corporation Chairman (Adam): “Joshua, it is a delight to meet with you today. Thank you for taking the time to visit with me.”
Joshua, “You are more than welcome Adam. I’ve been looking forward to this visit!”
Adam, “I assume that you have had an opportunity to view the materials about Son Corporation and all our possibilities?”
“Yes Adam, I’ve taken a very careful look and am actually quite impressed with the opportunities that are in front of the Son Corporation.”
“Well Joshua, what are some things you would like to ask about Son Corporation?”
“Are you willing to be very candid with me Adam?”
“Well, yes, of course Sir!”
“Ok then, I would like to ask two things. First simply list for me again the positive outlook for Son Corporation, then list for me what you see as negatives or hindrances in the business principles of Son.
“I’d be delighted. I think you will find that here at Son Corporation, we follow only the best business principles. Allow me to simply list the positives.
1. We have a product that literally every human on the planet NEEDS in order to have a healthy and useful life! Therefore, our actual customer base is over six billion people!
2. Our product is priced in such a way that every single human alive can afford our product!
3. We have the best state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to produce our product on the planet!
4. We have the most effective advertising method ever developed!
5. Our distribution apparatus to get our product out is unequaled!
“That sounds great Adam, and I know that every word you have said is true without question. Now, how about listing the hindrances for me?”
“Well, there are some unfortunate hindrances you should be aware of Joshua. Allow me to attempt to make a similar list.
1. Although we do have all the money required for Son’s operations…our resources are handled a little differently than other corporations. You see, our operating capital is held in the hands of our board members.
2. At times our board members, for various reasons, are not willing or able to give to Son the funds necessary to carry out our work at full capacity."
Joshua, “Wait a minute Adam…let me get this straight…your board members hold Son’s resources in trust and at their discretion they withhold Son’s money for their own purposes?”
Adam, “Yes Sir, I am afraid that is one hindrance here at Son.”
“Well Adam, let me ask how much of Son’s money is available at any given time?”
“Sir, it kind of fluctuates, but I would say that we will have about 25% of what we need actually given by our board members.”
“So you are saying that the board members keep some 75% of Son’s capital resources for their own use? Isn’t that called embezzlement?”
“Please Sir…that is a very harsh word!”
“Well Adam, let me follow this a little, and I do appreciate your honesty in this critical area! Now, as the members are withholding the necessary resources doesn’t that put pressure on the day to day operations at Son? Doesn’t that cause pressure on your staff and really the whole system from top to bottom? Do you limit your staff, do you limit providing for the necessary materials to do their jobs, and do they ever get discouraged at the lack of resources necessary to do their work? What do your board members do with their expectations of your staff?”
“Well, honestly, the reality is not very encouraging. Our board members still maintain maximum expectations of our staff. You can imagine by expecting 100% productivity with only 25% available resources things get pretty tight around here at times. Therefore, what we do is set up committees of our board members to carefully scrutinize everything our staff does…all their purchases and expenditures...but still expecting that maximum return for our investments. That also has a very negative impact on our accounting department as they are always trying to meet the financial requests of our staff and our working board members and usually the money is simply not there.”
“Oh, so you have working board members?”
“Oh yes Sir. They serve as volunteers in a wide host of applications! We have some of the greatest volunteers anywhere. Unfortunately, they often have to make purchases out of their own pockets to do their volunteer service because of the lack of available funds due to the others keeping their funds for themselves.”
“Goodness Adam, this sounds just a little discouraging! Well, what about taking your product to the world and all of that? If you have such a difficult time just keeping your home based operations going well, what of your wider efforts of expansion and development?”
“Well, Joshua, that is more than just a little discouraging for you see the funds necessary to carry our product to the world comes out of that 75% that is withheld from us and not available to us. If our board members were willing to release all of our funds instead of using them on themselves we would be able to send up to 50% of all those moneys to our world expansion efforts!”
(There is a long pause now in the conversation.)
“Joshua…Joshua…why are you weeping?”
“Adam, didn’t you say that every person in the world NEEDS your product for a healthy life and well being? If Son Corporation isn’t able to reach this need…who will?”
“No one will Sir, we own the patent and are the only ones able to meet this need.”
“Adam…is this what you call good business principles?”
[End of interview.]
Joshua, Jesus Christ.
Adam, the senior pastor of a local church.
Board Members, the members of a local church.
Staff, the vocational staff of a local church.