You Can Prevail

Dec. 1, 2003
How to Resist the Dark Forces Descending on Your Profession
There are dark forces at work out there and your job's in jeopardy. Behaving like the bad guy from some socialist's polemic on the remorselessness of unbridled capitalism, companies--some in search of ever-higher profits and others just trying to survive--have devalued human capital to a point now where even the professional ranks are feeling the pain.

Gone forever is the friendly, family-oriented company your father worked for. Gone, too, are pensions and healthcare during retirement. And so are the old concepts of company loyalty to long-time employees, and employee loyalty to companies.

The president of your company most likely is no longer a kindly, fatherly entrepreneur who started the firm 50 years ago and knows the names of all the employees; today, your CEO is more likely a hired gun. He or she is probably someone who came in with the blessing of the board of directors to cut costs, fire employees, and outsource everything but the companys core competence.

Who can ever forget Albert J. "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap? As the newly minted CEO of Sunbeam he announced plans to eliminate half of the company's 12,000 workers. Before he was done, the poster boy if profit-motivated corporate averice had ordered the firing of more than 11,000 Scott Paper Ltd. and Sunbeam Corp. employees.

It happened to one of us in two previous companies: they called one of these hired guns "Axeman" and the other "Iceman," because they had no mercy when it came to slicing and dicing their way through costs and employees.

Today, CEOs seem concerned with only two things: Their outrageous annual compensation, and the next quarters financial results. They do whatever is necessary to achieve both goals. To help them with their evil duties, CEOs stack your companys board of directors with their cronies and pals who will vote for whatever the CEO wants.

What can you do? You can ignore the sayers of doom, keep doing what youve always done, and do it well. Youll have lots of company, and a nice bit of history on your side as youll see in the article "Lessons From the Past." And good luck!You can prepare yourself for the new reality with knowledge and training that will keep you on top of the turmoil. If thats your plan, feel free to skip to "Take Charge."But if you want to fight the evil forces for truth, justice, and the American way as youve come to know it, go to "Resistance Isn't Futile."Youll find an armorys worth of weapons, and plenty of ammo, just click the link.

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