Some time ago I attended a dinner party given by a few men, mostly presidents of sizeable companies, for one of the elder statesmen of American business. The guest of honour had built up a large company from small beginnings and had been its president for many years before becoming chairman of the Board of Directors a year earlier. After the dinner he began to reminisce and soon was talking enthusiastically about the work of his successor. For almost an hour he described in detail how the new president did his job. While he spoke I jotted down the various activities as they were brought up. When he finished, saying: ‘The best thing I ever did for the company
was to pick this man as my successor,’ I had the following list of the activities and duties of a chief executive of a business.