Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

Q: We often entertain clients in our boardroom, but the catering is now so bad I'm ashamed to invite them. It was fine until our boss decided to replace the expensive caterers with his brother's company They are cheaper, but the food isn't up to scratch. How do I raise the issue without offending my boss?

A: I bet your company is privately owned and that your boss is a majority shareholder. Owner-bosses often behave differently from appointed chief executives; it seems so natural for them to identify completely with their business that any distinction between family and company gets increasingly blurred.

I'm not approving your boss's action; just trying to understand it. And it means, I'm pretty sure, that he's not going to go back on it unless he can see that it's hitting his pocket.

On its own, your personal opinion of the boardroom catering won't carry much weight. And even without the family connection, it's hardly the ideal moment in the economic cycle to recommend reverting to the more expensive caterer without a hard-nosed case behind it. …

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