Press Story: An Open Letter to Logan Roy

CEO of Waystar Royco, Logan Roy, of the TV Series ‘Succession’ about Coaching and Mentoring Support

If you’re not familiar with Succession, take a quick look at the trailer below…

Dear Logan Roy,

I am glad you are now well after your recent illness (Was peeing in your son’s office more of a statement than a symptom?).

Firstly, you have succeeded against all the odds and the credit for such a lifetime’s achievement is truly deserved. Secondly, owning the problems a lifetime of achievements has caused must come hand in hand with the credit. Thirdly, thank you for the extremely short, bordering on rude, conversation where you begrudgingly agreed to the Waystar Royco Board’s suggestion that I observe and feedback to you as your coach and mentor.

I have now watched you for several seasons and my observations and suggestions are shared in this letter below:

Screenshot of season 1 of Succession trailer

Hitting Roman

I know I speak for every HR person around the world when I say that hitting staff is a no-no.

Yes, Roman can be an annoying 5’ 5” fly in your soup at times, but his heart is in the right place, he just loves the playboy Jerry-type-motherly-infatuation lifestyle too much. I’m sure it is something to do with being the younger brother of that blonde Home Alone kid. Beware of paint cans as you walk up the stairs. Maybe Richard can sweep the room first.

Roman needs praise. Lots of it. He just wants to feel as though he is adding value for you. Pleasing you. A special project would be great that utilises his skills of relationship building, as he did in Turkey, whilst also trusting his instincts when people are not to be trusted. Then reporting back to you. A Roving Roman Reporter type job. Catchy, eh? 

Business woman have praised by colleagues in team.

Decision Making

Clearly, Logan Roy, you are not alien to decision-making because you have built Waystar Royco to the size it is. The frustration for your close team (yes, the back-stabbing family and co) is that you gather them for input, like on the boat, to identify a patsy for the senate, and yet they just end up turning on each other. Plus, they already know that you will either ignore their opinions or that you have already decided. That can be very annoying.

Mr. Logan Roy, there are 3 types of decision-making: by yourself, listening & deciding, and asking for a majority decision. You trust your decision-making – Clearly. I understand this. The challenge for you is to stop giving others the impression that their opinions matter. They don’t. And by the way, Rhea was a poor decision as you hurt Marsha badly. Je t’aime Marsha.

Supporting Shiv

In so many ways Shiv is like Roman. She just wants to please you. Yet, at the same time, she harbours an ambition to take the reins and prove herself. Never quite committing herself publicly to that desire, yet privately she believes that she is the only choice for the CEO’s job (I just had an image of the Tom threesome and reins, ewww).

I believe it is a Scottish saying, ‘Sh1t or get off the pot’. Don’t lead the girl any longer. It’s unfair. Either make her CEO, don’t, or agree a plan for her to be the CEO one day. If you lose Shiv, you’ll have lost one of the few people that you can trust to run your company and keep it in the family.

Your 3.5-year timeline was probably the right amount of time, and you’ll need all your powers of persuasion to convince her of that. Maybe start with “Pinky. Complete this personal development template from my coach and mentor, and then let’s talk about whether it can be shortened. ”.

Succession Planning

Yes, I think we’d agree that this is a tricky topic. Not Logan Roy’s greatest suit, I suggest. Ultimately, you cannot let go – we all understand that having spent the best part of 40 years building something, it is your something. A very significant something. Your ostrich approach to this topic is frustrating everyone around you and that frustration is then being turned back on you.

Plan written on whiteboard in magnetic letters

As your mentor, I suggest that Shiv is the right choice. As your coach, I ask, ‘What will you do in retirement? Because it is this question that is the problem as you cannot see a life that isn’t working 16 hours a day for Waystar Royco. Only once you see what a life beyond working might look like will you truly start to embrace a successor (Maybe baseball, as you set-up the whole game on your birthday and then didn’t play – even to watch or own a team might be fun).

Your Coach and Mentor.

P.s., I have a suspicion that Tom could be ‘spying’ for PGM. You know what his previous job was, working for Harry Pearce. Get Chris to give him the once over.

P.s.s. That Scottish Superintendent guy in ‘Line of Duty’ had a great phrase about Mary, Joseph, and the wee donkey. Yet, yours is ‘F*** off’. The Scottish need a phrase to outshine the Irish. May I suggest something like, ‘The ‘Sky’ is falling in’. A nice nod to the Murdoch’s!

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