Answer: Just when Greg thought he had found the ideal balance and his company was producing revenue, one of his consulting clients came to him with an offer he could not refuse.
Greg had a particularly close relationship with a client that began in 2002 when he purchased a custom-made product from the company. Greg thought the workmanship and quality were excellent, so it was a real pleasure to help market the company.
That is how Greg came to know the owner. It was a complete surprise to Greg when he received a proposal to have him join the company as head of marketing on track to assume leadership of the corporation.
The offer was in recognition of Greg’s talents as a leader and business executive. There were issues to resolve in order for the company to grow. The current founder/owner felt that Greg would have the vision to take the organization through a period of expansion while retaining its core values. It was those values that led to the company’s success.
I do not believe that Greg thought he had the potential to run a multi-million-dollar company, but the CEO recognized how Greg’s values and talents were an excellent match to do just that.
From Greg’s standpoint and for anyone considering a non-traditional situation, what are the very real risks involved in accepting an offer? In Greg’s case, being promised a role when the leader plans on leaving, is based on trust (not locked into a contract. Will the leader actually be able to relinquish the reins? Or, how much decision-making will be delegated? In some cases, an offer is made in good faith and then the reality is that the founder/owner just can’t let go. Also, Greg had created a viable business, how would he keep that running?