Throwing Away The Kids

Years ago, Lance Secretan was a guest on my CHML talk show.  We hit it off to the degree that we discussed producing a radio show together.  Lance is an author and corporate ethics and excellence advisor.  But when it came to crunch time, he was simply too busy for a little radio program. 

But he has some wise and wonderful things to say that are just as pertinent today, if not more so, than they were a decade ago. Commenting on the habit of big business to chop jobs when times get tough he said, “Imagine if that’s how a family operated.  When money got tight, Mom and Dad just threw away a couple of kids!”

One radio company that has long had a reputation for quickly tossing people has adopted an attitude of fiscal restraint instead, asking employees to band together and find other ways to save money.  Another is simply not replacing people lost to attrition.  But more media giants are slashing and burning, sometimes by the hundreds.  You thought the industry was lean and mean before? Just imagine how mean some remaining staff will get as they’re told they’re taking on still another responsibility, with no more pay or time to accomplish the tasks.

It has always galled me that corporate CEOs cut the little people down like corn stalks but think nothing of their own multi-million dollar salaries.  Let’s get real here.  How much does one person really need? Once you become super rich, does it really matter if you get even richer? At least the CEO of Ford has offered to work for one dollar to secure a bailout – which is a whole different story and don’t get me started on that one!  If everybody is supposed to understand it’s time to cut back, shouldn’t it start at the top? 

It’s not a matter of being left or right wing, just being sensible and fair, whether you’re wearing Florsheims or discount shoes.