To Thine Own Self Be True

Erez Vigodman likes to take responsibility, to lead. As chief executive he tends to consult, study, read and consider a great deal before he makes a decision, but from the moment he reaches a decision he expects his entire team to buckle down to the task at hand and invest their utmost.

Vigodman doesn't care for cutting corners or sweeping things under the rug. His style in everyday dealings is direct and non-manipulative - except in cases when there has been a strategic decision to mislead a business opponent working against him.

Nor does he recoil from adopting a position that is in opposition to those who appointed him if he thinks them mistaken. For instance, if Michael Strauss, the controlling shareholder of the Strauss-Elite group, believes that the coffee firm needs a strategic investor, while Vigodman is of the opinion that the company needs a financial investor, Vigodman will stick to his guns and the investor will be a financial one.

Vigodman understands the necessity of studying the broader realm of influences affecting his work, even those that affect him only indirectly. In the case of the coffee company, he might examine trends in the international coffee market - from the growers to grocery chain competitors. His attention to the micro aspects of business does not come at the expense of a broad strategic view. Vigodman has been careful to draw up a picture of the global food market and follow its development on an ongoing basis.

If appointed to serve in the treasury, Vigodman's top priority will be the nation's economy, and he won't allow the tycoons to ruin his resume and influence decisions at the expense of the overall economy. He also won't allow politicians, whether the minister or the prime minister, to force a populist position on him if he believes it to be the wrong one.

Vigodman is particularly well respected in the business sector, even by his biggest competitors, for his ability and honesty. If Steinitz doesn't withdraw his offer and decides that he is willing to accept such a dominant manager in his employ, he will be compensated by the fact that the business sector, at least, won't badmouth the choice of director general as it has in the past.