A man had just been hired as the new CEO of a large corporation. The CEO who was stepping down did a private exit interview and presented him with three numbered envelopes. “Open these up if you run into any major problems,” said the ex-CEO as he ran out the door.
Well, things were going quite well for a while, but a few months later, business started slowing down. At his wit’s end, the new CEO remembered the envelopes. He went to his desk drawer and took out the first envelope. The letter read, “Blame your predecessor.”
The new CEO tactfully blamed the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, Wall Street responded positively, sales began to pick up, and the first big problem was solved.
A few months later, the company was again experiencing more sales problems. Having learned from the last time, the CEO opened the second envelope. The message read, “Reorganize.” Wall Street was once again kind.
After a few consecutive profitable quarters, the company again was having problems. The CEO went to his office and opened the third envelope.
The message read, “Prepare three envelopes.”