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He can get up at the company Christmas party and say, "I've had a good year". No one in the room agrees or can even follow the logic that would get him there. But it doesn't matter. He lives in a bubble which just reflects back to him his beauty, wisdom and general likability in the softest and kindest of lights. So year round he can move from place to place and meeting to meeting with a blissful peace where he is un-bothered by the harsh reality and sharp edges of real problems. Tell him bad news or present a vexing problem and he'll look at you as if you're speaking in some kind of code. He'll look off into space as if he's piecing together the real meaning of your cryptographic communication. He is convinced you're speaking in some kind of code since he can't discern how he'll look good as a result of the story you're telling. So, there must be something he doesn't understand. It is downright illogical, if what you're saying is true, he could look bad. Clearly, you are not a good communicator.
Ms. Faux Mentum
Real company momentum is difficult to create and maintain for a CEO. And it takes a lot of work, smart decisions and real leadership. So, lacking those things -- why not faux mentum instead !! Faux Mentum is the appearance of progress and implication of success without any of the messy and hard earned elements of real momentum. The joy! The creative freedom! Press mentions, favorable sales meetings, cold calls from investors, magazine awards can all be leveraged in the production of faux mentum. Creation of faux mentum usually relies on having "happy ears" which enable the listener to "hear" good news even none is truly present. With happy ears, the customer not only says they're going to buy, but they're going to buy a lot. Which is good news, or can be described as such, even if the customer was positive but non-commital.
Good news is pieced together and arranged to create the impression of great news in the aggregate. Later, when none of these things really appear to be panning out. There are always new faux mentum elements to be created, promoted and celebrated by Ms. FM. Yes, it is extensive effort and ultimately the creation of real momentum might be less work. But don't tell this CEO as it isn't effort that is the problem here, it is the results.
The Philosopher King
There's no strategy like the new strategy as they say. Especially when you haven't done anything to implement the last strategy. So it isn't so much that the last strategy failed, it is that he thought of a better one prior to the completion of the last strategy. And who would pursue an old strategy, when a new, better one is at hand? Certainly not this guy. He always ready to wax philosophic about the new strategy. And there is always, always, always, a new strategy.
The old strategy "wouldn't have worked anyway", he'll later say, which is something you'll never really know for sure. Though it is difficult to argue this thought or any other thoughts related to this succession of strategies as there is no implementation data or feedback. It is all a philosophical, theoretical discussion.
You'll never know of the actual viability of the old strategy, the current strategy or the future strategy. You won't know about these strategies because this CEO won't implement any of them. Not at all. To implement the strategy would involve the usage of tactics. And where strategy is interesting and fun to talk about, tactics are measurable and tedious are comparision.