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Shell insiders constructive comments on “Transition 2009”

Real name and contact information supplied.

By “Jo Blow”

These are notable times in not only in the History of Royal Dutch Shell oil company, but also in the role of consumer awareness and corporate watchdog type forums.  It is unprecedented in terms of the volume of people that are riveted to the current debates taking place on  I understand the website is experiencing record traffic.

Certainly there are some comments on the site that are inflammatory and not well positioned, however in large there are a high number of quality and factual remarks surfacing day in and day out.  Shell may choose to dismiss this as disgruntled employees, however in my opinion this has grown beyond that stage.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I will tell you that I hold Shell in high regard, I think it has been and can be again the greatest company in the world.  Before that can happen the senior leaders of this once great company will have to muster the courage to acknowledge where they have been, commit to living the values they have endorsed, and listen to what the people are saying, because people are our most valued resource.

I have read and listened to what the senior leadership is laying out in terms of a vision for the company moving forward.  All good stuff, can’t really dispute that. If successful, I expect that the companies market position and growth will be much improved.  The piece that I question is will the senior leadership lead the company to that point.  The fact that a man or woman attains the level of CEO or Senior Executive of a company does not make him or her a leader.  He or she will only be a leader when people follow their direction because they want to.  Certainly any CEO or executive can give direction, and for the most part people will do what they are told to do, but in that scenario free thinking goes out the window, initiative falls by the wayside, etc.  This type of leadership is most often referred to as a “Dictatorship”, and history has shown that most Dictatorships fall to rebellion.  I know that sounds far fetched, but I remind you of the Stock Holder uproar recently regarding executive pay.  For Mr. Voser to accomplish his goals in revamping Shell to better position it for the times ahead, he and his leadership must establish credibility and gain the respect of the employees, and shareholders, otherwise Shell will most certainly lose its top talent.

I will close this piece with an Acknowledgment of Respect for the Donovans efforts.  I know that Shell see’s them as a thorn in their side. I tend to look at them as an opportunity to help Shell understand both what is good, and what is bad about the company.  Without this site and the Donovans exhaustive efforts in bringing to the forefront the truth in regards to the activities of Shell and its leaders, Shell people would have no forum to express their thoughts.  The truth may not always be the most comfortable thing to live with, the reality is you can’t change it, you can only learn from it and move forward with your new found knowledge.

To Mr. Voser and the EC-1,  I sincerely wish you the best in your transition, I hope you take the time to understand the good and bad comments that surface on this site and that you learn from them.

Many Thanks,
“Jo Blow” and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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