Is the thing I want REALLY what I want? In transferred meaning….. Do business owners know what they really want?


A few months ago, actually it has been more than a year and a half, I left the corporate sector. After almost 15 years. The corporation had been everything to me – my home, wife and friend. I was a typical ideal employee – a workaholic, willing to give the company my last breath. Yet the moment has come when I had to decide. Although my departure had been planned, expected and, prepared, at the time when I was free again, I began wondering what to do next. Primarily, I was thinking about which of those large institutions, I should choose to give me yet another “temporary” shelter. And I realized that I can choose none of those. The least I had to do was to find a different relationship to work than I’d had before.

In my body and soul, I am an HR. Unfortunately, in my perspective, this area had become a “people factory” of sorts in the recent years and many empty phrases had domesticated there. Especially those associated with motivation. It is no wonder though. Managers and leaders of these companies had mainly required to have everything immediately. They had not required quality, long-term effectiveness and bilateral satisfaction (perhaps even multilateral if I take into account the internal relations in companies). Even the relationship of employee-employer is a classic trade where the principle of win-win should be the most important and where bilateral customer satisfaction and respect is fundamental to long-term cooperation.

A thought formed in my head and I stress the word “thought” because at that time and even quite a long period of time after it still was not a decision. It was not even a self understanding. I started to address the question of “What do I really want”? I was lucky and I have met a lot of inspiring people and at the same time I got the opportunity to take advantage of the CA method. It is not the only kind of diagnostics I have come across in the course of my practice but it is definitely the one that surprised me the most and it appealed to me by virtue of its depth and complexity. My discussions, the output from diagnostics, research of the market and other activities have gradually showed me my future path that was not clear at all.

For a long time I had been wondering what I am going to achieve and I had determined my journey only through the amount of earned money. I found out that at first it is necessary to learn to distinguish between causes and consequences. Failure to distinguish those shook my confidence. In fact it was I who had always been able to see behind two corners ahead and was able to identify the core of the problem and suggest and successfully implement a solution. My questions pointed to a single thing – How is it possible that I am not able to do the same with myself?

And where am I now? Well, I have become the sole owner of my skills, knowledge, experience, charm and tact and certainly some more exciting skills. I have become the owner of myself – an entrepreneur.

And as such I set out among new challenges and customers. With the offer of strategic guidance, the ability to lead, mentor and manage “leaders”, motivate, coach and otherwise develop people around me and provide counselling in human capital, I began to meet clients from Czech companies. In fact, I began meeting my colleagues, business owners – my customers. And I began to discover that the world is a much bigger jungle than the corporate one.

But on the other hand, it has one important different characteristic. Business owners, who are really serious about their business, dog things in person in order for their company to become the best in the market. More often than not they lack experience. Experience is a great advantage in the corporate world. Of course, it is an advantage even in their own world but situations, problems and projects that they had managed usually had not required a more complex comprehensive solution that would have often been better and would have helped them a great deal. Some people are of mild nature and they let the company become too much for them. Other people like to control every single detail of each individual person and their activities. And in this area, it is much more useful to move in the gray scale than only between the black and white poles.Milan Pilous

On the basis of the obtained experience I have come to the conclusion that like me, the other business owners need to define what they want. If they can achieve that then anyone who cooperates with them, will have a clearly stated aim to which they may aim. Until then the others are confused and the owner keeps on disappointing them.

Gradually, I have found out that their wishes and dreams are similar. They want their companies to be successful. They want the people who work for them to be content and happy but they also require a great level of expertise and professionalism. And they also want not to be overloaded. To let yourself be overloaded is an issue that needs to be researched in depth. We can look into that next time because it is definitely a very interesting and wide area.

And what conclusion have I reached? It is not easy to work with a business owner. In fact, I have no more allies “over them” who would help me to “adjust” their colleague (the owner) in case I chose an appropriate strategy. With owners you always have to reach the marrow. By marrow I mean your own marrow. At first you need to reach that and only than you might be able to get to theirs. You must help them to understand themselves. The owner needs to know what he himself wants and what role his company plays in the scenario. Only then he could start working on the vision of his company. The commitment he makes he makes only to himself. And I also found out that in many respects I am very similar to them.

What about you? What is your experience?