Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

GeekMBA360 header image 2

I’m not impressed

August 25th, 2012 · 2 Comments

In the past twelve months, I had the opportunity to interact with a few very senior management people in Corporate America. They are absolutely at the top echelon of American corporations. The businesses they ran are in tens of billions. They make millions of dollars in salary, bonus, and stocks. They are portrayed in media as leaders.

Let me tell you something – I was not impressed by any of them.

They all know how to talk the talk – some of them are articulate. Some of them are not very good at public speaking. But, it doesn’t’ matter. They are all very good at doing the corporate talk – they speak at high level. They don’t get into the specifics. And they maintain the company line.

They made dumb decisions. But they found a way to explain things away. Some of their mistakes resulted in billions of dollars of losses. But they found ways to blame others while continuing to getting raises and promotions.

They are hungry for power. They cannot have enough of power. They need constant validations from their subordinates.

Sometime I wonder how these people end up at such high positions in corporate America.

It’s depressing and demoralizing to think about this – most of the so-called leaders in Corporate America are really not that good! No wonder there are so many corporate scandals, underperforming corporations, and frustrated employees!

Is there a solution? For one, I think entrepreneurship/small business will liberate a lot of smart, capable people from the dark side of corporate America.

Also,  I think there is a tremendous opportunity to “reform” corporations – each corporation needs to have higher level of transparency and accountability. The compensation difference between senior management and rank-and-file must be reduced. We need an equivalent of “industrial revolution” for the 21st century – I suppose we can call it “corporate revolution” – creating transparency, accountability, and pay equity, resulting in a true meritocracy.

Tags: Corporate Ladder

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Intelius Bites // Aug 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I've also been to the top of the mountain of corporate America's top C-level executives.  Many are psychopathic in my opinion and exist in a world that they demand caters to them.  I've seen many recycle those beneath them to cover for their own obvious character and business performance flaws.  1 out of 10 seem to honestly care about the people sacrificing their waking hours daily for them, all in the name of a paycheck.  Good C levels are out there and believe me you'll know when you're working for one.  You can actually share a beer or two with them and maybe even call them a “friend.”

  • 2 GeekMBA360 // Aug 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Completely agree. I was thinking about your comments — what you and I experienced are very different from what are portrayed in the media and business books! Most business book authors or business school academics have no real world experience of working with and working for these ego-centric executives!

Leave a Comment