There’s so much myth about management. This word today has less and less meaning. Just like business administration, I have an MBA but ever see myself as an business administrator or manager. It is a pretty silly name. When people try too hard to be a manager and that’s where problem begins. You can manage a project or process, you cannot manager people, unless you’re running a production environment. When people bring their brains to work, how do you manage it?
When you build a high performance culture, no one needs to manage anyone. You pick not only smart people but also people that have a passion for success, strong analytic mind and/or creative self expression somewhere deep inside them. They are not managers and not aspire to be one. They are good coaches and leaders. They want to be part of something big, bigger than an individual, meaningful, to make a contribution, and to find fulfillment in what they do. You can only inspire, coach and support them, there’s nothing to manage. If you’re telling me you are actively managing your top people, then you these yearnings are often managed out of people in the unrelenting quest for predictable mediocrity or satisfactorily underperformance.
People are seldom encouraged to be themselves, have fun, or seek fulfillment in their jobs. Instead, they are pushed to just do their jobs, and not bringing their true capability to the organization. How often you heard companies say their employees are their most important, this has always been the biggest bullshits. This is the root cause of the overmanaged and underinnovate problem. For 25 years, I made the choice and had the opportunity to be associated with only the best and the brightest. The minute I see deadweight, I get rid of them.
How often you see that company are saying how much value employees and then seeing how quickly they get rid of theme when earnings fall short, but at the same time offering big bonus to CEOs for successful restructuring. Most ridiculous examples are some CEOs even enjoy big benefits if they die. They call this golden coffins.
Let's try to understand how it works. Companies pay incentives because they want to retain their CEOs and the senior management team. If they die, there’s no one to retain and why are they paying these big sums? Help me to see the logic behind it.
One company in Texas (I won’t name but it is not one of my clients) would have owed $4.4 mil in salary for its deceased executive. Also his death would aslo trigger a $158,400 payment listed as “car allowance”. Not sure what car you drive when you're dead.
Some more examples here:
- Comcast is committed to paying the salary of its CEO for 5 more years after his death, along with five years of bonus, really not sure how to justify that. It was values at $60mil.
- Shaw Group is committed to pay $17.4 mil after the death of their CEO as non-compete payment after death. Again not sure how a deceased person can come back and compete.
- Occidental Petroleum’s contract with its CEO called for his salary to be paid until his 99th year birthday, dead or alive. He died at 92 in 1990.