#168: The Vice at Work

What’s a VP for?

With elections upon us, again, what does the word ‘vice’ in Vice-President mean to you? The common meaning is “person acting or qualified to act in place of” the CEO. But it has another meaning, one that I have come to appreciate, because it highlights how many senior executives actually spend their time and energy.

The word vice also means “instrument with two jaws between which thing may be gripped.”

In many organizations there is a divide between the CEO and the employees. In other words, between vision and execution. Success requires both. If you have only one, you are like a vice with only one jaw. You just cannot get to grips with the thing to be done.

And that’s what an effective vice-president does. She is the instrument that brings the CEO and the workers together so they can get a grip on reality.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.