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Once you’ve rail-roaded everything you can rail-road, once you’ve stamped out every idea that could possibly take your corporation further than you could, once you’ve finally milked the fatted calf for every inch of its udders… Once you have done all this, you are ready to consider that most important of executive status symbols… The enduring cultural legacy.

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We often us empirical nomenclature to measure the greatness of organizations.

[two long words concatenated in the same sentence shows we mean business]

[yes, we know concatenated doesn’t strictly mean that… Which is why badconsultant is making the big bucks]

We talk of dynasties, of figurehead leaders. We talk legacies. The only thing we don’t talk about when we use empirical is:

Empirical

  1. Pertaining to or based on experience.
  2. Pertaining to, derived from, or testable by observations made using the physical senses or using instruments which extend the senses.
  3. (philosophy of science) Verifiable by means of scientific experimentation.

As we have proven time and time again, executive success is constructed upon a foundation of mythology – of spinning the yarn that guarantees corporate immortality and obfuscating facts at every given opportunity. We’ve shown conclusively that executive success should never be verifiable by means of scientific experimentation.

[though the data to support that will remain fully confidential]

Using empirical in such a way would constitute using a word for what it actually means. And that, dear protégés is truly bad consulting.

So, let’s talk about the proper use of the word empirical when it comes to executives.

It means, quite simply

[delusions of grandeur]

establishing a true record of your lasting imprint upon the world. Think Logie Baird. Think Edison. Think Washington. Think Ghandi. Think MLK. Think Ronald McDonald. Think Julius Ceasar.

Think your enduring legacy.

Ignore that quiet voice in the back of your head – we’ll come to that later.

From Alexander and the Gordian knot, to Adolf Hitler and the rise of the Third Reich, culture has positioned the all powerful leader who has risen above the throngs to truly claim their place in the pantheon.

[DIVERSITY ALERT: If you thought it’s just men, read up on Boudica]

And, as we know, executive triumph rests upon assuming your rightful seat in the corporate pantheon – Think Jack Welch for Zeus and you get pretty close. Or, if it helps, think Donald Trump’s hair. Magnificent. The 21st century laurel wreath. And that’s where we get to.

To quote the learned scholar M. Python DPhil, MD, BSc, MA: “What have the Romans ever done for us?” or, were we to paraphrase that most erudite of academicians:

“What the f*** has <insert your name here> ever done for us?”

The answer to that question will be your enduring cultural legacy.

So start thinking on it now. We’ll be back shortly with the next installment on this most important of executive capabilities.

Oh, and by the way, that little voice in the back of your head… It may be trying to bring you back to the truth that you have a sad, tiny life that can only be deemed a success by what you’ve achieved by virtue of the fact you’ve been able to ingratiate your way to the top of the greasy pole and that behind that illusion of achievement is a void you dare not stare into for too long… But, as we say, just ignore that.

Now, get back to the question: “What the f*** has <insert your name here> ever done for us?”