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Boss Takes To Linkedin To Blame The Team He Hired For His Company Failing — ‘I Hired B And C Players’

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arrogant boss

The thing about leadership is that it is ultimately the leader who is responsible for whether the endeavor succeeds or fails — or at least that's what all those CEOs and gurus on LinkedIn would tell you.

But one boss didn't see it that way in a recent social media post, and it's gotten him in a bit of hot water on the internet.

The boss blamed the team he hired for his company failing in a since-deleted LinkedIn post.

John Williamson is a start-up CEO and entrepreneur who works in the AI space, and his success has apparently not been without its struggles. One of the companies he founded was forced to shutter during the pandemic.

Most business management gurus would place the blame for that squarely on him as the leader of the company. 

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But Williamson didn't seem to agree. In a since-deleted LinkedIn post, he chalked up the company's demise to its employees — who he hired himself — for ultimately tanking his business.

Boss Blamed The Team He Hired For HIs Company Failing Photo: Reddit

Williamson said he hired 'B and C players' instead of 'A players,' and blamed them for his company's failure.

"My last start-up failed," Williamson wrote in the post, a screenshot of which was posted to the LinkedInLunatics subReddit. "I hired B and C players where I need to hire A players."

This is a wild thing to write in a LinkedIn post, even if it's true. As career expert Ben Askins said in a TikTok about Williamson's post, "Well, that must be a very nice thing for his team to read."

   

   

In the post, Williamson went on to say that the funds he raised for his start-up in 2019 were not sufficient to hire "the A players we really needed. Instead, we were just filling seats." 

Using a restaurant kitchen as an analogy, he went on to write that "with no actual chef overseeing operations, my startup's kitchen relied solely on line cooks, leading to customers consistently sending dishes back for revisions." Oh, brother.

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Williamson's post struck many as egotistical and lacking in self-awareness.

There's a glaring oversight in Williamson's post that seems to have totally eluded him. He was, of course, the "chef" in this scenario. Or, as Askins sarcastically put it, "If only there was someone — what's the word — in charge of hiring and funding and kind of making sure the company runs smoothly!" 

To say Williamson's post was poorly received on the internet is an understatement.

"Why the [expletive] are you starting a kitchen without a head chef that you believe in?" one Redditor wrote of the post. "Oh, because business is easy, right? What a clown!" 

Boss Blamed The Team He Hired For HIs Company Failing Photo: Reddit

"As a founder shouldn’t HE be the chef?" another mused.

Many felt that the post was emblematic of an all too common problem among business leadership nowadays — a total lack of awareness. 

Williamson's post, of course, comes on the heels of several extremely viral, wildly out-of-touch messages from business leaders in recent years, from the CEO Andi Owen telling her staff to "leave pity city" when they complained about pay, to CEO Tim Gurner calling for mass unemployment to tame an "arrogant workforce," to WebMD's now infamously disastrous return to office mandate video.

   

   

All share the same disregard for workers, inflated self-concept, and fundamental lack of accountability. Unlike those other examples though, Williamson at least had the wherewithal to realize how wrong-headed he was.

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Williamson later posted an apologetic response to the viral uproar calling himself a 'jerk' for having 'shifted blame.'

"Well, I screwed that up," Williamson humbly began his post, which has also since been deleted. He went on to call his previous post "insensitive" and said that it "shifted blame for my own mistakes."

Boss Blamed The Team He Hired For HIs Company Failing Photo: @chickfilla@tilde.zone / Mastodon

He then listed exactly what those mistakes were, from underestimating his startup's workload to not hiring key leadership positions and going to market before his product was really ready, and how they ended up being the real causes of his company's demise.

And he candidly admitted that he'd gone on to remake some of the same mistakes in his current venture, and was working hard to fix them.

He may have been wildly off-base before, but he has one thing all too many CEOs and leaders don't: a willingness to take accountability and course-correct instead of continuing to blame workers. Here's hoping more bosses learn from that example.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.