The CEO Key

The Most Traveled CEO in the World

From the series of memoirs for my Father

As a key, I lock and unlock. When I was first polished, my fate was sealed with the car, forever. I used to travel a lot.

Like the CEO of a world leading beverage brand. From one hook to another, to one pocket, to another, to the hand fist, to clinging at a finger tip, to the car seat, to dashboard, to a table top, to a chair, on to the boundary wall of house, and then back to hook.

My LinkedIn profile would show me the most traveled CEO in the world. I was on job.

The hand that held me, held me as if I could seal His fate. His fate. The grip was as if I could unlock a safe and not only a car. His hand was like my second home. The ignition point was of course the first.

Within few weeks of my first job, I felt the grip loosening a few times. When I was in His hand, I saw a hand bag, towels, woolens, bottles, medicines, toffees, lunch box, and so many things there in same two hands. The hand would forget me sometimes, on table or on the boundary wall of house. I panicked. The man too.

He would either clutch me very tight, or leave me alone. I felt safe and vulnerable at the same time.

One day, I felt as if His hand blood vessels were a little raised. As if some last-minute audits were due that day. Audits happened. Some eyebrows were raised. As if some transparency was missing. As if some uncontrolled growth of cells.

Yes, He was diagnosed with lung cancer. I felt a direct correspondence with His life span and my life span.

I felt even more vulnerable and my worst fears came true. That fine evening, I fell from His hand at a juice corner. As He was about to finish the glass, I was watching Him while lying on the ground hoping Him to see me. He did not. His driver drove home with my twin sister, and I felt as if my soul departed.

I stayed there on road, and was dragged in a garbage pile next morning. Over next three months, I struggled from one pile to another, hoping to meet Him one day. When He applied for a duplicate key, my only hope fainted.

My body started aching more and one day, my soul departed. I landed in a new body and was termed as a *Duplicate key*.

I did not like it. Will He be called Duplicate man when His soul would take place in another body?

As history would take it, the man also quit on same day. 23 February 2011. Period.

After months of lull, I got to know that I will be handed over to His son. I was skeptical. Like any CEO would feel in a new company.

New body and now a new owner. Will I be as vulnerable again? Will the son also leave me at a juice corner? And will I be travelling same again? Like CEO.

One evening, the son placed me in the drawer on a book titled *Leaders without Title*. The protagonist in the book had inscribed LWT (Leaders without Titles) and used it as a locket in his neck. This Robin Sharma masterpiece might have changed the life of many, I too loved it.

Now I traveled not like a CEO but as a mere key as I got a job to do. The new owner helped me in that as He rarely clutched me tight. While having juice, He ensured that I was in his pocket. I liked the peace and assurance with which He carried me. I would lie for hours on the same table.

I was doing a better job, as a leader without title.
A leader without title

The travel reduced as reflected on my LinkedIn profile as well. My workload decreased. And I was at greater peace.

But there was an undefined, unleashed, and uncomfortable anxiety. As I started losing the anxiety of reaching a juice corner, I felt the old owner’s intrusion one day. The son dropped me there for a moment, only to take me back within next. “CEOs’ cannot afford to take things for granted”.

The CEO in me told me, “But what is this life if it not at all vulnerable?” After all, the old owner is the father of new owner.


This post is from a series of memoirs for my father that I wrote in 2011. Being a content specialist and a story teller, I could always find a story even in such direct writing as memoirs need.

Vinish Garg | @vingar