Thursday, April 08, 2010

Undercover Boss: when CEOs find out what is going on

I just this week discovered the relatively new show, “Undercover Boss”. The premise is that a company CEO goes undercover and gets involved in his own company at a lower or entry level position. Today I spoke with someone who has seen every episode and as he described the prior shows I quickly saw a pattern.

The boss will discover how much he doesn’t know, he’ll discover that he’s got some employees with a lot of heart, he’ll discover someone who is inspiring because he has overcome a significant problem or addiction, and he will make some on the job mistake and probably hear someone say in jest, “Heck, you may be my boss someday.”

Near the end of the show the boss calls in the employees and wearing his business suit and sitting at his CEO desk he reveals his true identity. Video clips are played back for the employee where he is reminded how his encounter with the boss transpired.

I actually found the one episode I saw entertaining and touching.

I’ve also just finished a special week of experiences and reflections about Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The juxtaposition of God and Fortune 100 CEOs is leaping out at me.

I listened curiously as the CEO of Roto Rooter saw a system that he designed at work on the ground level for the first time. He wondered out loud if the system he created for a department he’s never visited, much less worked in, would operate as envisioned. In the moment I was incredulous that someone would design an operational system for a department with which he’d never had significant experience. (I’m sure many of you will tell me that you’ve had to implement such systems.)

In the end the boss has a newfound empathy, appreciation and plan for making everything better for his employees and the company.

Do I even need to say that all of this is a light year away from the personal engagement of the CEO of the universe? God knows my name. God knows the minutia of every challenge in my life. God knows my frustrations and joys. God designed all the plans and systems by which life operates and has fully experienced them all. God not only knows who the overcomers are, He gave them the power and inspiration to overcome.

But there is one major point of commonality between the reality TV show and the reality of life; God is often unrecognized as He is with us in the midst of daily routines.

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