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I report to the second in command.  Today the CEO approached me and tells me he wants to spend some time with me.  I handle the financial aspects of the organization.  As such, I know where the bodies are buried.  Nothing shady, just interpretive spin on how much the organization can afford etc..  I hope he just wants to get better acquainted with me, size me up for capability.  On the other hand I worry he may be on a fishing expedition.  How do I make a good impression and remain loyal to my boss.  Any advise? 

jhbchina's picture

J,

First thing you can do is prepare for the meeting. Ask his admin if the meeting will be in his office, or if it will be a lunch meeting.

Second, ask the CEO for an agenda. When asking set the stage that you want to make the meeting as valuable as possible for him, and would like to know the agenda so you can be prepared. If you don't get an agenda, move to plan B.

Plan B

Fish around to find out if this is something the CEO does with top talent. Is this something the CEO does regularly or is this a new program. Ask his admin. Check with your internal mentors or associates if this has happened before. Talk to your boss, ask what the CEO is like, and if this is something that the CEO does.

Ask your boss for advise. Ask him for a game plan.

Plan C

During the meeting with the CEO, if he asks you a question you are uncomfortable with answering, reply with " I don't know" or "Gee, I had not thought of that, or I am not prepared since we did not have an agenda, can I get back to you". Playing dumb can be an advantage some time.

Keep us posted.

JHB  "00"

js_brewington's picture

maybe the CEO has been listening to manager tools ;-)

Without knowing the relationship that your boss has with his, I'd say that this sounds okay.  It's not uncommon for an executive to ask his skips for information - especially if it's budget season and it sounds like you could have some insight.

Is he sizing you up for capabilities?  You bet.

And I agree with JHB - buying his admin a coffee and having a quick conversation couldn't hurt.  If you're a high-I, I'm surprised you haven't done this already :-)  Also, the best way to stay loyal to your boss - talk to him/her.

--J

js_brewington's picture

maybe the CEO has been listening to manager tools ;-)

Without knowing the relationship that your boss has with his, I'd say that this sounds okay.  It's not uncommon for an executive to ask his skips for information - especially if it's budget season and it sounds like you could have some insight.

Is he sizing you up for capabilities?  You bet.

And I agree with JHB - buying his admin a coffee and having a quick conversation couldn't hurt.  If you're a high-I, I'm surprised you haven't done this already :-)  Also, the best way to stay loyal to your boss - talk to him/her.

--J

jtrad's picture

Thx!  Meeting is scheduled for next Monday - I'll keep you posted.

jhbchina's picture

JTRAD

Great, now if the CEO does not give an agenda, then what will you talk about?

Make an agenda of the top 3 things you think he would be interested in. As an MT listener, you do know what is important to your boss, and that might lead you to understand what is important to the CEO in regards to your position.

JHB  "00"

jhbchina's picture

JTRAD

JHB  "00"

jtrad's picture

Had the meeting with the CEO - thx for the advise to have 3 things in mind to talk about, it came in handy.  The meeting was pleasant, no fishing for dirt, just a chat about my career history, things on my mind, and a complement for a job well done. 

jhbchina's picture

Great to hear things went well. Now build the relationship by learning more about him. Don't forget to send a hand written thank you note, thanking him for recognizing your contributions and what you learned you can do to help the company meet it's goals.

Try to have a professional update with him every quarter. Drop by his office once every 6 weeks and say hello. (find out from his admin when he is usually free)

JHB  "00"