What you keep on your desk, and the way you organize your personal items sends a message to everyone in your office. This is true for lower-level employees as well as management, and might even be more relevant for the c-level staff. If your company’s chief maintains his or her own office, the desk is likely the centerpiece of the room and one of the first things visitors notice when they walk in.
Boston.com recently profiled the CEO of restaurant chain Legal Seafoods, Roger Berkowitz, and the way he coordinates his own personal office in the company’s Boston headquarters. According to photos accompanying this piece, Berkowitz uses the office surroundings, including his desk, to sum up certain aspects of his company and his role in it.
For example, the color blue is very noticeable, both in an abstract oil painting kept behind Berkowitz’s chair and in the carpet, which also contains the images of many small orange fish. On the desk itself are several tokens that represent different business values and role models: a gavel, referencing Berkowitz’s time working for the Massachusetts Retailers Association, a Moses action figure, meant to give support during tough times, and a bobble head figurine of Red Auerbach, former coach of the basketball team the Boston Celtics. This last item is described as “a friend and a sage business advisor.”
Overall, Berkowitz told the source that his collection is meant to inspire him. “They help me maintain a sense of perspective because they remind me of people who are special to me,” he said. “I try to emulate those people in some way.”
Of course, some CEOs are foregoing desks entirely and making their office a more mobile-friendly area. Even in this case, though, the CEO could have certain items he or she wants to display. Businesses should consider used office seating and desks that will help their upper management feel at home.