Friday, July 30, 2010

Final Thoughts on BP's Hayward, Hopefully!

Today, Tony Hayward, who resigned as CEO of BP, says he has been turned into a "villain for doing the right thing."

We don't know if he did any of "the right things" in the days leading up to the Deep Water Horizon explosion and sinking or the 100 days that followed. We do know that he kept saying things that did not play well with any of his important American audiences.

Hayward told the Wall Street Journal this week he did everything possible, including taking responsibility for the spill and committing billions of company dollars to the clean-up and efforts to cap the leak.

I've commented about Hayward's biggest, known mistake before. I am compelled to write about it one more time, because it is so important, and owners, managers and top executives of all kinds of companies fail to understand.

The top person in any organization should NOT be the on-going spokesperson in a crisis. There is almost always a time and place for the top dog to speak briefly and make a significant statement. But, never, never should that top leader take the chance of misspeaking on a continuing basis during a crisis.

Besides, the CEO has a big job managing the company through a significant disruption, and that usually takes all their time, focus and effort. A chief spokesperson has a big, all-consuming responsibility also. I don't know many people who can do both effectively.

No comments:

Post a Comment