1 µ Promotion
Martin Bremer, better known as Marty around the office and the company where he worked, had looked forward to this day since entering business school many years ago. He had worked hard, putting in long hours, even sacrificing many weekends and much personal time to get to this point in his career. Now Marty was about to become the youngest chief executive officer in Wiser Care, Inc.’s history. Though this really came as no surprise to anyone who had been with the organization for very long because of his impressive track record, what was surprising was the health care facility he was chosen to lead.
2 µ Problem
For Marty, the promotion was an exciting step in his already very successful young career; however there was one problem that dampened his enthusiasm just a little bit. Actually, it was starting to seem like a big problem to Marty. He was about to replace a Wiser Care, Inc. legend, and though he was confident he would be successful in his new role, he had to admit that his colleagues’ jeers and jests about having to follow the “great” Daniel Rosier did make him a bit uneasy. Daniel Rosier, or Dan the Man as most knew him, a name his direct reports had affectionately given him many years ago and still called him to this day, had run the most successful facility in the company for two decades. From top awards to record numbers, Dan was seemingly on top of the world when it came to his success as a CEO at Wiser Care. He was revered and respected by his colleagues, loved and admired by his staff, and well known as one of the company’s top talents and legendary heroes. Indeed, the lore of Dan Rosier was one of self-sacrifice, legendary leadership, and doing what he personally felt was best for the company in order to achieve the highest results.
After many years of service and unprecedented success, Dan was finally retiring, and Marty had been chosen as his replacement. Marty knew he had big shoes to fill. For the first time in his career, he began to feel a little uneasy, wondering whether hard work, loyalty, wit, confidence, and undeniable dedication—all things that had helped him to this point in his career—would be enough. After all, Marty had never really managed an entire health care facility before. Sure, he had run teams on special projects, filled in during transitions of leadership, and supervised different departments at Wiser Care’s health care facilities, but those opportunities were very different from this one. Marty was now becoming the ultimate decision maker as the CEO at a health care facility. A thought that was both exciting and intimidating. And not everyone became a CEO at Wiser Care, Inc. The fact that Marty was given this promotion at such a young age spoke volumes about how the company viewed his worth and contribution thus far. Marty had been successful, he knew it, and now he was about to become the boss of one of the most prosperous health care facilities in the entire company.
3 µ Relieved
Marty immediately felt better after hanging up the phone with Dan early Thursday morning. Dan was supposed to be leaving Friday and starting his retirement. Due to some last-minute projects and what Marty felt were unreasonable requests from his current boss, he had never had the chance to take the two-hour drive north to meet with Dan, despite the fact that he’d been promised he’d have plenty of time to spend with him before he left for retirement. Such was the case at Wiser Care. Operational needs and customer demands were always present. The chance to slow down and actually think was rare.
Though Marty felt he should have known better than to believe his current boss after two years of hearing false promises, he really had hoped to spend some uninterrupted time with Dan. Ever since the announcement that he was the chosen heir apparent to Dan, his hope of spending time with him had slowly grown into a salacious desire to learn all he could from him before he left. Now Marty felt angry. And why wouldn’t the company want me to shadow Dan before he was gone? Marty thought to himself disgustedly as he analyzed his current situation. In the end he concluded this was just another example of how little his immediate boss valued and respected him and his success. This was a big reason Marty was so ready to go.
Although he had planned to leave Friday, Dan had called Marty back that afternoon, stating he had successfully convinced the company to allow him to stick around as a “volunteer” for an extra week or so in order to introduce Marty to the team and help guide him in his new role. Marty knew Dan was kidding as he had heard the reverse was true: that the company had tried to convince Dan to put off retirement for a few more years and wanted to keep him around as long as they possibly could. Nonetheless, Marty enjoyed Dan’s lightheartedness, humility, and dedication to the company. More than anything, he was relieved he’d have time to spend with him.
On the phone the two leaders agreed to block out each morning of the following week so that they could spend uninterrupted time together. On the one hand, this made Marty really nervous because he knew how busy a new CEO at a health care facility could be, but on the other, uninterrupted time was exactly what he had hoped for with Dan. Marty felt even better when Dan promised him he would rearrange essential meetings and talk to the team about how important it was for the two of them to have some time alone. Dan also reassured Marty by reminding him that the leadership team at the facility was strong and very capable of handling concerns while they spent this time together. He then teased Marty by commenting he would be thrown into the frying pan soon enough.
On the phone Dan had also joked that Marty probably didn’t need or want extra attention from an old geezer, but Marty assured him that he did. Marty could tell Dan was sincere in his desire to stick around and help him succeed, which brought a lot of relief. Truth be told, Marty wasn’t typically one to ask for help or even feel like he needed it under most circumstances. After having spoken with Dan now on two separate occasions, even if it had only been for a few minutes, he could tell there was something different about him, something genuine and intriguing that he needed to learn. Marty knew the value Dan could add to his career, and the more Marty thought about the opportunity to spend time with him, the more excited he became. Combined with his excitement, however, was some anxiety about how Dan would judge and accept him as his replacement. Would he think Marty was suitable? Would he think he was too young and inexperienced? Marty decided he couldn’t worry about that. He wanted nothing more than to succeed in his new role, and he felt certain Dan could help him do just that.