Letter to the CEO

Dear Mr/Ms CEO

I have been thinking a lot about the company that you are the leader of.  I have been wondering if you know what a leader should do.  Do you know how important your role is in our modern 21st century economy?

I would like to share my experience and belief with you in this letter:
Your main priority as CEO of your company is not to make money.  If this was true you would be able to run your company with only robots.  But as Henry Ford lamented, you have to work with a whole person and not just a pair of hands.  So I suggest you reconsider your main purpose based on the fact that you have been blessed with an opportunity to work with whole human beings (colleagues that think, love, dream and have a desire to grow) in order to serve the needs of a society made up of whole human beings.

Your business is your opportunity to better society and it starts with your colleagues (please note that I do not use the word employee, human resources or human capital – people cannot be reduced to a part of a machine that are rated on their performance.  We are not things).  We work together and serve a greater purpose; we do not serve to maximise the profit of the business.  Yes, you either started the business as an entrepreneur or you are managing the business for the shareholders but if this is what governs your heart, people will have a difficult time to connect with you.  For it is firstly about heart – heart for your colleagues and heart for society.  I am sorry to say that if you do not lead from a heart for people you are serving yourself and your desires after money, recognition or power.  These desires you have to sort out with your Creator.

Being colleagues means that we are partners in the office and we work with each other.  The minute you forget this and try and make all the decisions by yourself you have started the journey towards the loss of yourself.  For you see I have worked with many CEO’s and many of them have told themselves that through their actions they are really contributing to society – they have justified the neglect of themselves and their fellow man.  You might be aware of this justification: ‘It’s not personal, it’s business’.  It is all personal.  It is persons you are working with and your big goal is not more important than the people you work with.

Know that your actions have an impact on the formation of society’s hopes, dreams and desires.  Will you help shape it according to your hopes, dreams and desires?  Do you desire to see our people and planet prosper or do you desire to see only profit maximised?


Jan-Derick Nel