Read D.F.'s bio and previous columns
October 8, 2007
It’s Time for CEO
baseball fantasy camp is aptly named. This is where old, fat men with no
baseball skills whatsoever pay thousands of dollars to put on major
league uniforms and actually play ball with ex-big leaguers.
love baseball. But why would I want to attend a fantasy camp?
Does it do your ego a lot of good to spend a day doing something for
which you are completely incompetent – alongside those who are the best
in the world at this very avocation?
When I go to a ballpark, I know my place. In the stands. I know the
players’ place. On the field. They play. I watch. Everyone is doing what
they do well. No one needs to indulge any fantasies this way.
See, if I’m going to be involved in a fantasy camp, I want it to be one
in which I am in my element, and the poor dumb bastards paying the money
have to fantasize to convince themselves they can keep up with me.
We’re going to have CEO fantasy camp.
It will cost you $2,000 for three days. You get to wear a
double-breasted suit, cufflinks, a buttoned-down shirt and a red power
tie. You get to carry around a briefcase. I don’t care what’s in it.
Actually some chicken for me would be a good idea. But whatever.
Who comes to this thing? Hell if I know. Blue collar workers.
Professional athletes. Teachers. Doctors. Some of them might have a hard
time scraping together $2,000, but what do you think those credit card
offers in the mail are for?
The first day, I’ll bring together a bunch of famous retired CEOs to go
through business drills with you. Lee Iacocca will teach you how to
whine about unfair competition from the Japanese. Jack Welch will show
you how to motivate some of the employees, fire others and get dates
with the really pretty ones. Roger Smith will show you how to run from a
fat guy chasing you with a movie camera. One of our campers can play the
Then we’ll go over lingo. Do you know that “ballpark” is a verb? So is
“dovetail.” You didn’t know that? Would you know enough to emit an
amused chuckle when someone compares a task to “herding cats”? How are
you going to understand anything that’s going on around here?
Once you know the lingo, we’ll spend some time on corporate politics.
See that guy over there? He’s mastering the art of getting placed on
every high-priority project team without ever getting assigned any
tasks. It’s not easy. His ultimate goal is to be at least CC’d on every
e-mail in the company. A BCC is worth triple points.
What does he actually do? What makes you think he does anything?
Corporate politics is a full-time avocation if you’re really taking it
On the last day, you get to run your own corporate board meeting. You
get to make an agenda, approve minutes, gather input and even allocate
money. That’s right! I’ll give you a budget! You can approve the
spending of up to $500,000 on corporate initiatives. It doesn’t get any
more real than that.
Of course, since I’m the real CEO, I’ll nod condescendingly and never
spend the money, but that’s why I call it a fantasy camp.
What have you learned since you’ve been here? That you’re hopelessly out
of your element, completely incompetent and at risk of everyone here
making fun of you behind your back.
Well, before you become hopelessly disillusioned, understand that this
is actually about as close to the real CEO experience as you’re going to
get. Everyone is saying all the same stuff about me every day. Of
course, I could squash their nuts into oblivion. You just have to sit
there and take it.
Thanks for attending the camp! It’s been a pleasure taking your money.
© 2007 North Star
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