I am so disenchanted!!! Now I have worked for many CEOs….actually only two…one pretty crazy the other one not. So I have been watching the new TV show “Undercover Boss” and after four weeks of one hour segments on the CEOs of Waste Management, Hooters, 7-Eleven, and now White Castle, I have four hours lost in my life I can never get back.

Brilliant revelations from some of the leaders of their industry listed below.

Large Organizations have employees that love their job and give it everything they have every day. Shocker number one. You mean you had no idea there were great people working in your Company. So why do you think you have a company to begin with…great people doing great things. They are everywhere and if you spent more time looking for them, supporting them, recognizing them, and cultivating them, who knows where your Company would be.

Large Organizations have employees that aren’t very good at their jobs. Brilliant revelation number two. Come on….you didn’t really know this was going on….missing accountability, poor training, bad hires. Thank god there is a lot less of them than there are great employees or you would be frankly screwed.

Large Organizations have breakdowns in systems and support to the field. Light bulbs out, unkept promises from the corporate support team. Come on CEO’s, don’t you know how easy it is to not do something if there isn’t a guest or customer in front of you. There are no cash registers in the Home Office.

Large Organizations have hardworking single moms, employees with major medical issues, and hardship cases that make you want to cry and reach out to help. So Mr. CEO, feels good to walk in and realize what tough situations your staff is in and help them through it. Don’t get me wrong, but hey, savior role while you have legions of other employees and managers that have been supporting them since they began working for you, why did you leave them out of the process?

Large Organizations have CEOs that can fix things with a phone call AND have systems that will continue to be broken. Please stop showing up, realizing something terrible is going on, and then waving your magic wand to fix it at that moment. How about you fix the root cause of the system so the problem doesn’t happen anymore. Now that would be a true, Chief Executive Officer.

Waste Management – Women can’t pee without stopping the truck?
Hooters – women exploited both by management and you didn’t think some of the world saw you as exploiting women yourselves?
7-Eleven – you are shocked some people didn’t think they could move up in the Company
White Castle – you were surprised when some folks were concerned about being fired because there was a camera watching them

CEO’s…here’s a tip for you. Turn off the camera, stop hiding undercover, just walk into your business and talk to your people. They will tell you everything you want to know, no extra limelight required.

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Tags: 7-eleven, Swingley, castle, hooters, management, revelation, shocker, waste, white


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Comment by Barbara Kleyman on March 19, 2010 at 6:15am
I've only watched one of these shows with the CEO of Churchill downs. Also just came back from a seminar on “Making a Difference in the Patient Experience.” Being a CEO, a manager, treating people like humans, being pleasant, considering what your employees go through/need, understanding the jobs that make your business work and give you PROFITS...must all be "rocket science" because no one gets it. We need seminars and reality shows to tell CEO's to: visit your sites, talk to your employees, send a condolence card when a family member dies? Four employees at Churchill Downs received "special" consideration...what about the thousands of others who weren't fortunate enough to be on the show...oh well.

Comment by Stephen J Serva Dei on March 14, 2010 at 12:06pm
It's free to use! Spread it around! ;-)
Comment by Andy Swingley on March 14, 2010 at 11:24am
Thank Michelle!
@James - so true.....
@Patrick - out of touch is a a company killer!
@Stephen - I love that acronym!
@Anette - thanks for joining the conversation. I appreciate it.

Comment by Annette Aaron on March 13, 2010 at 9:38pm
Ditto to Michelle

Comment by Stephen J Serva Dei on March 13, 2010 at 2:44am
Having not seen the 'show' I cannot comment on that - but for me CEO MEANS:

Creating Efficient Organization

And if the CEO does not know and strive to do that, then they are not a CEO!
Comment by Patrick O on March 3, 2010 at 7:31am
In my professional opinion, it shouldn't take a reality show to 'show' everyone that these CEO's, or owners in general, are quickly becoming 'out of touch' with reality and otherwise known as a version of 'an absentee owner'.
Maybe this show is a wake up call to all owners to take more control of the companies they have, to step outside of that office and see just what their people are actually doing and how they are doing it. It shouldn't always be about the dollar, but unfortunately, at the end of the day, it ultimately is.
Comment by Michelle on March 2, 2010 at 1:19pm
I just want to say that there's nothing more I could say. You all said it all. Yup. Yup. Yup.
Comment by Andy Swingley on March 2, 2010 at 8:13am
@Rod - thanks for the comment!
@Jeff - Amen to the head in the sand
@Sean - we are in a people business..and CEOs are people too! Wish I knew how to understand when people get away from understanding it...might be a book in that one!
@Mark - I think you have to be right!
@Michael - I hope you are right that are at least trying..I'm skeptical though
@Mel - couldn't have said it any better!
@Paul - you mean wrestling isn't real...crap...back to my drawing board! :)
@Paul P - embarassing to say the least!

There are so many ambassadors of the industry just look at this network for example!!
Thanks everyone for your engagement today!


Comment by Paul Paz on March 2, 2010 at 12:46am
What's most embarassing is it was our industry CEO's who agreed to the images and perceptions crafted for entertainment purposes. It affirms the many stereoptyes that give our industry a black-eye. The restaurant examples do not so much to promote our industry and jobs a legitimate careers of choice. Very sad.

Comment by Paul Green on March 2, 2010 at 12:08am
My bubble has been burst. No reality in reality TV?

How can you say that?

Next you'll be saying that professional wrestling is scripted.

My favorite reality is Larry King soliciting commentary from Dog the Bounty Hunter on CNN.

Color me - disillusioned.




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