A headhunter approached me today for a C-Level position at a large advertising agency.

I have been self-employed for the last 19 years and have doubts whether I would even be capable of working at a large organization, but my curiosity got the better of me and I clicked to learn more.

 

They had a job description all right — a very thorough one.  I learned that the candidate has to execute 47 unique roles in the company. If you can’t do all these at a high level – don’t apply.

 

Accountability for everything

I wonder if this Ad agency expects their Delivery Chief to do 47 distinct things well? This is superhuman.  They will not find a single honest executive to apply for such a position. Unless the candidate is desperate and this is the last thing they do before jumping off that bridge.

 

When I embark with my clients on their Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) journey we start with the essentials. One of them is to define the five roles of each major function in the business. Not 25, 35 or 47, just five.  There are always only five roles that take care of 80-90% of the result. We want the function owner to focus on these, and delegate, outsource, technologize, or stop doing the small stuff.  It is way more valuable doing five things superbly than delivering mediocrity on 25 roles.

 

Micro-managing the boss

My bet is that this Agency lost their previous Delivery Chief because she refused to be micro-managed. When you get to that level and manage a major function at a big Ad Agency, you want to own your function and figure it out yourself how to best deliver the goods.

 

To learn more, check out Gino Wickman’s video on Accountability Charts, or register for one of my upcoming webinars here where I talk about the five roles concept.