A look at relevant leadership news this past week.
The government shutdown continues. The Libertarian in me says this should be great, since it means fewer government employees kicking around. The reality is, regardless of political persuasion, an emotional impasse like this represents an abject failure in leadership. All of the leadership.
Picture a for-profit company, with co-owners, each retaining exactly 50% ownership. Unable to agree on a specific, smaller strategy, they refuse to deliver anything to their customers until they each get what they want. Oh yeah, and they tell employees they won’t be paid, but it’s the other owner’s fault.
Kick all the bums out.
Buzzfeed is laying off employees… again. This time, 15% (200+) are gonna get pink slips.
“BuzzFeed’s board recently agreed that the company needs to start turning profits…” Now that’s some cutting-edge thinking right there, Lou.
The very definition of lousy leadership? Nearly a decade in a services business (defiitely not a startup), $300M in revenue with double-digit annual growth, NEVER made a profit.
Wait! New strategy… let’s save our way to prosperity by laying off revenue machines, er, I mean “employees.” No one’s ever tried that before…
Sears continues its meteoric demise. Like a train wreck, this shit’s hard to watch. While unsecured creditors say they’ve been bamboozled, Eddie Lampert says he’s been an oasis in a desert, providing much-needed financing at critical times. It’s sorta like the illicit “fence” that gives you 10 cents on the dollar for your valuable stuff, so you can keep making dope buys. Both of you may be complicit, but the fence is the only one making all the money.
On a side note, having witnessed this myself, the only people that come out of a bankruptcy smelling like roses are the law firms. Keri Grant, a paralegal for Weil Gotshal & Manges (sounds like a punk rock band) on the Sears case, billed almost $175,000 in November at $405/hr. According to salary.com, a senior-level paralegal makes $33-41/hr. Not a shabby delta in rates for a punk rock band.
Walgreens pays $269M (that’s million) because they cheated.
Client: How much for some of that newfangled #ethics consulting and training?
Consultant: I dunno, around $100k I suppose…
Client: What?!? Sorry, waaaay to rich for my blood… we’ll DIY.
As my granddaughter used to say, “okey-dokey artichokey…”
Oracle continues the Silicon Valley trend of tech companies. allegedly low-balling and under-promoting women and people of color. They stand to join an esteemed list of companies, including facebook, twitter, google, et al.
The part that amazes me… with all this alleged egregious behavior, these firms continue to win best-places-to-work and related awards. Oracle even has a specific webpage devoted to “Corporate Citizenship Awards,” which include (just a few):
- Best Diversity Company by Diversity Careers magazine
- Top 50 Employers for women engineers by readers of Woman Engineer magazine
- Top 50 Employers for workforce diversity by readers of Workforce Diversity for Engineering and IT Professionals magazine
- Top 50 Employers by readers of Equal Opportunity magazine
All the awards mentioned above occurred during the time period the Feds have alleged Oracle was systemically underpaying women, blacks, and Asians relative to their peers (to the tune of some $400M+)
Give me an old-fashioned, Houston-based oil & gas firm where – surprisingly to some – diversity is real.
On a more positive note, Ford Motor Company workers will receive profit-sharing bonuses of over $7,500 per worker. This even after Ford’s Q4 operating loss. All the while rival GM is laying off over 15% of its workforce and shuttering a half-dozen plants.
Not to confuse Ford’s CEO Jim Hackett of being a pushover; he’s made it clear that 2018 sucked big, and he wants everyone (employees) involved to “…bury the year (2018) in a deep grave, grieve over what might have been and become super focused on meeting, and, in fact, exceeding this year’s plan.”
That’s a wrap for This Week in the Rear.