Marissa Mayer, “No Margin No Mission”
The journey of Yahoo has been sad to watch…because it was preventable.
Sometimes our human frailty leads us to get enraptured with our company’s 30,000 feet vision. During the consulting engagement to assist the Saint Joseph of Orange’s Board of Directors with their hospital system’s five year growth plan; we in the suits were pitching that the system needed to generate a profit, yet the Sisters on the other side of the board table were certain their purpose in life was service to the poor. The talk grew heated, neither side backing down.
Sister Peggy, the Chairwomen of the Board stands up suddenly and announces, “No Margin, No Mission!” We knew instantly that she nailed the primary need of any organization is survival and that requires after-tax profit, or as it is called in not-for-profit accounting a surplus. What Sister Peggy knew without a speck of business school education, that Marissa apparently has not learned in her career, is that the top boss exhibiting servant leadership needs to ask herself and her team is she running a hobby or a business?
Everyone has advice on Yahoo, but I suggest follow Sister Peggy’s wisdom. Why doesn’t Marissa just make a huge amount of after-tax profit and keep it simple? This would delight shareholders, stop executive flight, and align the leadership team.
Am I missing something?
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Author: Chas Klivans, President, The CEO’s Navigator.