The CEO was stepping down from his position and met with the fellow who had just been hired as the successor of the corporation. The new fellow was a little nervous, being his first time in the big chair but the old timer gave hima few words of encouragement and then handed him three numbered envelopes.
“Hold onto these,” the first CEO said, “if you run up against any problems you don’t think you can solve, open an envelope,”
For the six months, things ran pretty smoothly, but then sales took a downturn, share prices dropped and the new CEO began catching a lot of heat. Remembering the envelopes, he ran to his drawer and took out the first envelope.
The message read, “Blame your predecessor”
The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Remarkably, share prices recovered and sales began to pick up. The board was happy and the problem was soon behind him.
A year later, serious product malfunctions arose, sales dropped, bad press reigned and stock prices crashed. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO immediately opened the second envelope.
The message read, “Restructure”
Within days a massive restructure programme was announced and activated. The share market regained confidence and soon the company quickly rebounded.
Though several profitable quarters followed, it wasn’t long before the company once again faced hard times. Without even waiting for the board or the share market to react, he immediately went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope.
The message said, “Prepare three envelopes.”