Man about town

Shock, frustration as CEO rejects my work

I had to endure the talk because I did not want
I had to endure the talk because I did not want to appear disrespectful. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

I am feeling frustrated with things at the office for I dislike doublespeak and innuendo.

So, a few weeks ago, I handed over some communication to the CEO regarding the various cost-cutting initiatives that will help us deliver results.

Since the work was confidential, I did not share the information with any of my manager colleagues for feedback like is the norm.

A few days ago, the Finance manager came to me, saying we needed to have a chat.

I really do not like Joe, the Finance manager, since he likes to think he is as important as the CEO.


He closed the door indicating that the was about to launch into a serious conversation.

He said: “My guy, since we are buddies, I felt I needed to give you some feedback.”

The Finance Manager is not my friend, but I was willing to listen to him.

He then went on to tell me how the “the other day in my chat with the CEO regarding the figures and numbers you shared with him and he shared some reservations.”

I was not aware of the reservations since the boss said he liked my presentation and thought that it ticked all the boxes.

The Finance manager seemed to have a different view.

He said that the boss said my ideas were “very rudimentary and would not deliver value.”

I was seriously annoyed about this, especially when the Finance manager went on to say how he had been asked to reassess the numbers and presentation to improve it.

I was really galled by this and said: “Oh well, I am sure that since you are the finance guru, you will work your magic.”

I went back to my work though I was feeling upset. I decided to call my life coach and ask for his guidance on how to deal with the issue.

Amisi was clear and said: “You cannot let this pass, you need to get more tangible feedback from the CEO.”

I told him: “I do not believe in peddling gossip and hearsay” but he responded swiftly, saying “it seems that the CEO has some concerns regarding your output and you need to get on top of it.”

Amisi suggested that “you face the CEO and ask him to give you specific feedback so that he does not bring it later at the wrong forum during your annual review.” It could be lethal, he warned.

So, a few days later, I decided to ‘accost’ the CEO.

I started: “I hear you have some reservations about my presentation, and wanted to get more specifics so that I can improve.”

To be honest, I was somewhat disappointed with his feedback for it was very general and all over the place.

He said that my suggestions were not “aggressive or bold enough.”

He said, for example, that “I am surprised you did not bring up suggestions about outsourcing some of our support staff or changing from owning to leasing cars.”

Frankly, I was surprised by his views because we already lease all our cars and except for two of our staff — who work in his office — all our support staff are outsourced

I have since learnt not to fight too hard with the boss, so I thanked him for the feedback, promising to incorporate his thoughts next time.

He then went on to talk for half an hour about the importance of feedback and how he deals with it in his life.”

I had to endure the talk because I did not want to appear disrespectful.

So, imagine my shock when he said: “I think you and the Finance manager should work together on this next phase.”