Like I said I went to a networking event last week for the first time in ages and got into conversation with a couple of interesting people. I followed up with them a few days later by email. Both responded within a few minutes, but it was the response of the second that really surprised me.
He owns an IT services company, and is pretty well established. When we were having a chat he mentioned that some of his clients could do with someone like me – someone analytical and strategic. Then on Monday instead of that he put an offer to. How would you feel about setting up and running a new … arm of my business? He went on to mention – as he had the previous week – that he, with his wife, were hoping to step back from the business at some point. The clear inference was that come on board in one role and there’s the direct possibility of assuming a much more central role down the track.
He went to say he’s got a bunch of very talented people working for him who are all pretty well introverts. They need guidance and leadership. Once more the inference was that I was the man for the job.
I was quite astounded. On reflection I figured that he had thought on this for a long time and then I turn up and he thinks, bingo!
So I responded to him, of course I’m interested, but I’ve got a lot of questions…
Long story short he basically asks me to put a proposal to him, which is tough because I have scant information and I figure in this circumstance there is a right answer and a wrong answer. I have to figure them out, and then whether the ‘right’ answer for him is also right for me. And do I address the succession? And what about the money…?
I said I’d get back to him. Haven’t yet. I reckon what I’ll do is just put the situation back to him as I understand it, without a specific proposal. Of course he wants things tilted in his favour, but ultimately we’re better off mapping out the framework and then figuring out the details between us.
Strange. This could be a great opportunity, with the obvious option of getting some equity in the business. And you know me, I’d love to run the show. Still only a slim possibility I would think, and would mean I would work very hard for years to come – but that’s the truth regardless if I mean to reclaim my place.
Keep you posted.