I asked them what was getting in the way [of setting goals for the year]. “We need direction from senior leadership,” they answered in agreement.

“Seriously?” I was stunned. “Look around,” I said, raising my voice a little, “Everyone in the organization is looking for direction from you! You are senior leadership.”

“No,” the head of something answered with the others nodding, “The CEO isn’t here.”

I retorted: “You’re blaming the CEO? You’re waiting for him to tell you what to do? At your level? Really?”