Great discussion going in yesterday’s post on the philosophy of profit. Let’s look a little deeper at this…
Remember the big scandal in the States when the details of Jack Welch’s retirement package from GE leaked out. The media was all over it, like ants at a picnic.
Now think about the publicity you saw regarding the WorldCom, Enron and Global Crossings scandals.
Then reflect on the way the Wall Street meltdown was portrayed. All of the “Wall Street versus Main Street” clichés. Now let’s put them together…
What do a very successful CEO, dishonest accounting and poor financial management have to do with each other?
In each case, the end result was a lot of money being made. And then crucifixion by the media. So a guy like Welch gets lumped with criminal actions and unmitigated greed.
But what was Jack’s crime? He was too rich.
Here is a guy that by all accounts, made lots of money from GE. Tens of millions of dollars, if I remember correctly. And then of course the corporate apartment and the retirement package.
Which a big part of, he ended up giving back. And that is a shame. For him, and for everyone.
Because he deserved every penny and every perk he received from GE. Because he made the company BILLIONS. You could argue that the shareholders got the perfect person to run the company. And you could even argue that he might have been a little underpaid.
From my viewpoint, he gave money back, because he didn’t know how to philosophically defend himself against the media attacks. (Or maybe just didn’t want to bother.) I wish he would have stood up for the moral virtue of profit making.
A company must make money. It should make as much money as it can ethically make. And if a company doesn’t maximize its profits, it is short changing its investors and threatening the livelihoods of its employees.
But don’t expect the average employee to understand that. Nor expect the media to be sympathetic to your cause. They are so infected with mind viruses of lack, they can no longer think rationally.
They look at very successful companies and think they are greedy. They see someone like Jack Welch and think he is overpaid. They think life is “unfair” and that rich people have too much. And that is why they will remain broke.
Unfortunately, the average businessperson doesn’t live by a congruent philosophy, so like Welch, they have a hard time defending themselves from attack. They are ashamed to admit they are successful, afraid they will be portrayed as greedy and uncaring, and are intellectually unable to defend the moral virtue of making money in the free enterprise system.
You must be different. You must have a philosophy and be able to articulate it. You must be comfortable defending it, and ok with knowing that the most of the masses aren’t at the consciousness yet to understand this.
Now bring it down to your level. You probably haven’t made millions of dollars like Jack Welch did. But remember when you finally got that dream job, bought that exotic car, or finally broke through with some level of success in something?
Did you feel a little guilty? Did you lose any friends? Hear some disparaging remarks from your family? There are some very important lessons there if you’re open to them…
I have never felt guilty about my own successes, but I have to admit I have been critical of others in the past as being greedy.
Now I do have a philosophy, thanks to Randy, where not only can I defend what I do, I now understand what others are doing.
I have NO probels with rewards for SUCCESS BUT I DO get VERY angry when a Ceo or whatever gets a HUGE GOLDEN Handshake when he stands down after FAILING!
THis also applies to Politicians and sporstmen.
e.g England Footballers and manager were ABYSMAL in this World cup. Did it affect their pay???
They should be paid like golfers, tennis players snooker players etc whos'earnings DIRECTLY reflect their success at their sport.
All metaphors break down at some point and Welch may not be the best example of the point being made. Many feel he SHOULD feel guilty, not because of the money but because of how he got it - GE did shoddy work for the military under pressure to reduce costs, there were backdating scandals, bond-trading schemes, etc. To say nothing of his "Neutron Jack" rep. Maybe we could use Lebron James? Nah.
Does the word "deserve" come in here anywhere? If someone takes advantage of others (legally or illegally) to make a fortune should there be a feeling of 'guilt' or not? Does that person 'deserve' his/her riches?
"Deserve" means to be rewarded for serving well. To me it's what we leave in our prosperity wake. If we make billions while serving well, I'm with Randy, there need be no guilt. If you made billions through pillaging then perhaps it's guilt that's deserved. It's not 'what' it's 'how'.
I suggest that if Welch really felt he 'deserved' the money he'd have kept it. He was not one to be bullied into things.
As most of you you know, I don't read newspapers, so I hadn't heard this rap against Jack & GE. Ian is more abreast of things and would know better than I.
Not sure I'm willing to buy into all that though, as I do know the entire government procurement process is corrupt at its core and well nigh impossible to navigate cleanly. But a company the size of scope of GE with tens of thousands of employees is certainly going to have some issues. I only know of them for making some very high quality products and know that Jack made billions of dollars for the shareholders there.
Interesting your comment on LeBron James, however. It would be easy to paint him as a money-grubbing overpaid athlete, but that's another easy herd mind virus to fall into. The owner of his former team has even written fans discusses his "cowardly betrayal."
Wonder how many of us have ex-bosses that can publish those kinds of statements about us if we decide to take employment somewhere else. Our buddy Scott McKain has an interesting take on his situation here: http://mckainviewpoint.com/
People do suffer from fear and lack in there lives. To deal with that, they engage in the actions that you posted.
They don't stop and think about the ten's of thousands of people like them that GE has employed around the world and the lives that were bettered and or saved from the products that GE produced.
In the words of En Vogue
"Free your mind and the rest will follow"
You say this like GE hired them out of the goodness of it's heart... the VALUE proposition door swings bith ways- people were hired at GE because GE thought it would make them more money- PERIOD.
Was just wondering if you engage with people who always talk crap about footballers paid too much and CEOs wages should be capped and paid the same as the 'hard workers' etc. Or do you just ignore it?
It seems that it is almost impossible to go anywhere without this conversation. While attending a session of toastmasters a few weeks ago almost all of the speeches were about how unfair it was that these thieves and crooks were getting paid so much (footballers and CEO's) and they were all basically voting for communism. When I asked them they said maybe communism is the answer (yuck).
It seems hard to have a conversation without this lack creeping into it, even with other intelligent people.
Seems weird that all of these people are out everyday trying to create as much of an income as they can but when someone else works out how to do it they all get pissed off.
Do I keep my sanity and let it slide or get into a discussion about it. Money seems to be the one topic that pisses people off more than any other and all logic goes out of the window.
It is kind of like the people who use oil everyday and say that they hate oil companies and they should be closed down, then if those companies stop supplying the oil they would be in mass panic and anger.
Congruent philosophy is certainly not common!
Well, two answers to your question David. One I try to surround myself with people of prosperity consciousness and not get drawn into a lot of negative programming.
But I am out on the world and encounter a lot of mind viruses And of course the sullen, spoiled, overpaid athlete is a perennial favorite of the herd. (See my reply to Ian above referencing Scott McKain's column) on Lebron James. But when I am confronted with these opinions, I'm not one to shy from expressing myself!
I think there is more passion in this subject than when you brought up the evangelical chirstians.
I have no problem with CEO's making huge payoff's when they preform. Prosperity is a win/win situation and that is not the case always. Someone doesn't have to lose to win.
Take US Airways for instance. The CEO is Doug Parker. He takes millions from the company while the employees have been raped. He files bankruptcy so the union contracts are broken. Oh and he is on his 2nd DUI. This is more representative of what is in the marketplace today.
I don't say he isn't entitled to a big salary, but not when every other member of the company is getting shafted. Not everyone is equipped mentally, physically and spiritually to build their own business.
Companies need to be corporate citizens. A corporation is a living entity and they need to treat people with the golden rule.
And there are several other US airlines with similar scenarios. They are the textbook examples on being the antithesis of prosperity.
They may be the antithesis of prosperity Randy, but they STILL WALK WITH THE CASH!!!
If the CASH is supposed to be the score, and yet they are the antithesis of prosperity, then something with the score keeping is WRONG... isn't it?
If a soccer player never kicks the ball (the antithesis of a soccer player), but still manages to get 20 goals (make a ton of money), then something is wrong with the GAME and how it keeps score, isn't there?
Yes and what is wrong with the game is the US penchant for socialism, instead of letting the free market decide. If this were the case, those airlines would have closed and been replaced by better ones long ago.
I really wish you would examine your visceral and immediate reaction against money and wealth every time they are presented to you. I'm afraid it's keeping you from a lot you deserve.
Thanks- I think you're right about my visceral reactions. I spend an AWFUL amount of time examining my thoughts and feelings on the subject.
I see them as reactions not to money and wealth, but to falsehoods.
The "Free Market knows all" is one of those falsehoods. Its corrections are always VERY late to the party, and leave lots of destruction in its wake.
I'm ALL FOR giving value, gaining recognition for it, paying for expensive things, appreciating and all of that. I don't see what the connection is to the score keeping system we have.
You provide more in value here on your blog, but only get money for it in other ways- there is NO "value for value" here...
Thank you for this post. It hit people's nerves and I love it when your posts do. Another common area (which I see people commenting above) is sportsmen being overpaid. It is a common economics discussion in that they are among the lowest paid employees for the revenue they generate. People pay them for their skills and how their persona brings more people/viewers to whatever game they play.
I wish Jack had kept the wealth he was given as payment for the value he brought the company. People need to understand the responsibility a person has when they manage the companies of GE's behemoth size. Regardless of your opinion of their decisions, they are still large and often of billion-dollar proportions. Respect the person and learn from them. No need to agree with them. Instead of moping about how 'overpaid' people are - why doesn't that empower them to become a CEO of a large company? I know I will in the future. Have a great weekend, Randy.
Yes see above.
I have never met Jack Welch and I have read his book 'Winning.' You don't do what he has done and be a crook. Saying so, implying so, says everything about you and nothing about him.
I have never felt guilty... I don't know what it means. I know many people blame guilt on their religion or some part of their upbringing. I can say I have only been afraid twice. I do get bored a lot.
My experience is some people are guilty and assume everyone is as bad as they are. They have done a fine job covering their tracks and the best offense is burning down others homes first. Then there are the poor who have an odd sense of fairness, like everyone should have the same horrible stew to make us all equal. Everyone deserves exactly what they have. The Universe is the Master of humor and generosity.
Take is up with Her and Lighten up.
Jack Welch and I were born in the same decade, so the historical record has given me a slightly different perspective on the matter.
The resentment is justified, but not because a few people work hard and make gazillions, while most others work hard and do not. That is just a symptom of something much deeper.
Better then to focus any resentment we may harbor on the real culprit – ourselves as Americans. The fact is that some 30 years ago we gave up on ourselves as Americans and went along with the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on a free and mostly affluent people.
To make a long story short, for the convenience of a money class in America we allowed ourselves to believe that to be authentic Americans we no longer needed our legitimate institutions of democratic self-government
Therefore, at the behest of our wealthiest citizens in place of our authentic democratic institutions we substituted something completely bogus called the “free market.”
This we did as a way of sorting everything out for us as best determined for us by the wealthy all recently enamored, as they were at the time, of another willfully gross deception... “supply-side” economics.
The problem (which we are still loathe to do anything really democratic about) is that this new-fangled economic monstrosity came with twin demons, one called “deregulation,” the other “privatization,” both of which, as we now know to our everlasting shame, mean “keep it away from the people!”
To my knowledge, Jack Welch and his ilk never originally betrayed themselves as Americans. When we gave up our inalienable right to democratic self-government, we the people did that.
Similarly, they did not invent the “supply-side” outrage either. They just profited from it. After all, it was, as it still is (because we the people still want it that way) the only game in town.
I think I respect people like Jack Welsh and his ilk, if for no other reason than they appear to take enormous pride in knowing who they really are.
Moreover, they seem to be the kind of people who would never give up on that.
As Americans, we should all be so proudly focused and steadfast.
As you as you know that what we call free market is a actually nothing of the sort.
The problem for me lies not with CEOs in the news.
The problem is in being distracted by the negative news to the extent of feeling noble in being poor but ethical!
Great post. One sentence is the key to your philosophy: "(A company" should make as much money as it can ETHICALLY make." Key word: ethically. If a company is ethical in its operations, then I say they should go gangbusters and make a ton of profit. BUT....if a company is NOT ethical, karma will come back to bite the CEO, the shareholders, the managers, and even the employees. I will take it a step further: If employees work for an unethical company just to be spoon-fed a paycheck, then those employees are just as guilty of committing unethical acts as the people who run the company. (And please....don't tell me that employees don't know. If they are paying attention at all and have a brain cell functioning, they know.)
But if an ethical company is making a boatload of money, then I think employees should CELEBRATE that, because THEY are part of that success, and they are making a real difference! And yes, positive karma will come back to reward those employees who celebrate the profitability of the companies they work for.
I totally agree with you here.
What I find interesting is that Randy put "ethically" in here, which has NOTHING to do with the bottom line.
We "hope" that karma returns, but it doesn't always.
This is so good it's scary!
Great post, Mr. Gage.
As always, a great post Randy.
@VK Well said. Creating value in this world is wonderful, and benefits us all. Clearly, it should be ethical.
I think people have surrendered their lives for a false sense of security.
I've always been a creative person, and we have a belief in American culture that you are either creative and true to yourself, but poor and happy, or you sell out and hate your life.
Randy and other amazing people have taught me differently.
I bless your success, and your future, as we are all connected in one way or another.
Great post Randy. great comments as usual... as I said Wall St. has got some great comments about this stuff...
Jack Welch's so-called guilt... as Gordon Gekko says, "You need a friend, get a dog."
That great "Greed is good" speech that almost every Wall St. player can quote word for word...
"How many yachts can you ski behind Gordon? When does it all end?"
"Not about that pal... hasn't been about money for a long time, it's about winning and losing....
I guess I stand in the middle of this, I realize you need to make a profit to help people... and the more you make the more you can help... have the greatest admiration for the Buffetts, Gates, the Google guys, because they're not greed heads, made billions and want to give most of it back... but guys like Dick Cheney, truly evil, made millions off gov contracts, no intention of giving anything back, and keep doing stuff that we can barely keep up with... the Gulf oil spill, Iraq etc... truly frightening... as Gekko says, you're not under the illusion we're living in a democracy...
I live in a peaceful developed area who is ruled by The Law of Jante:
There are ten different rules in the law as defined by Sandemose, but they all express variations on a single theme and are usually referred to as a homogeneous unit: Don't think you're anyone special or that you're better than us.
The ten rules state:
1.Don't think that you are special.
2.Don't think that you are of the same standing as others.
3.Don't think that you are smarter than others.
4.Don't fancy yourself as being better than others.
5.Don't think that you know more than others.
6.Don't think that you are more important than others.
7.Don't think that you are good at anything.
8.Don't laugh at others.
9.Don't think that any one of us cares about you.
10.Don't think that you can teach others anything.
A further rule recognised in the novel is: 11. Don't think that there is anything we don't know about you.
In the book, those Janters who transgress this unwritten 'law' are regarded with suspicion and some hostility, as it goes against communal desire in the town to preserve social stability and uniformity.
No reply from Randy on this?
This sounds like the scariest place in the world!
I'm with you Bones. This sounds like some type selfworthless hell!
Yes I would agree some of those rules are lack programming in my view.
That is one scary set of 'rules'. How can prosperity for the good of one therefore the good of all flourish in such a place?
My family is pro-capitalism and my parents have run their own businesses for the past 35 years but when my I mentioned to them some years ago that my now ex-husband and I were contemplating a move to North Carolina for him to race NASCAR, they did not respond positively. Somehow, making a lot of money this way was un-ethical. My Dad in particular couldn't understand why sports people get paid so much money. I tried to help him understand that it is a huge sport in the US and that the amount of money fans spend is incredible. The drivers then naturally get paid in proportion to the value that they provide to their teams. My explanation fell on deaf ears. I've experienced my parents' disapproval in the past on other issues and I know that it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to brush it aside and do what I think is right for me.
When I had a lot of commercials running, I found that many of the actors I hung out with were jealous, and whatever.
I definitely felt that sting sometimes, and I still do when I do something well; it's really a part of the prize, unfortunately.
Sports stars get paid a lot because people watch them; I get it- so what's the problem? I only see a problem if they stop playing well on purpose or something. And truth is, they should maybe only get paid after each game, right? How can we prove that they'll still draw crowds in the next 5 years?
do you ever think a lot of your programing attracts exactly what you want it to ... its like being in sales and saying no one can afford this... you attract everyone who can't afford it so you will be right ... Ones self can never be wrong ....
Yep. This post IS about the guilt of success, right? I guess if you don't experience that, then you don't know what this post is about?
very true: I used to have a lot of limiting believes if you ever get a chance listen to Earl Nightingale "the Strangest Secret" and read "the richest man in Babaloyn"
Got them both- great stuff.
When we hear dire news hyped up by the media in days to come, let us remember that we chose to be here at this time. It is not an accident.
We also must keep in mind that the ability to be born on the Earth is at a premium with only those with real need for the experience to be here. It is literally a "once in a lifetime" exhibit!
Therefore, do not waste this gift of your presence here. Look at what is being reflected around you, personally and globally, to see what inside of you needs to be fixed.
Whatever you see in the world, whatever is wrong around you, it is centered on YOU! Fix yourself and you fix the Earth. Let this be a mission of supreme importance for all of us RIGHT NOW!
The best way to change society is from the inside out.
Many people dream of changing occupations to ones that are "more spiritual" without realizing that everything that exists is already spiritual.
You can bring "conscious" spirituality to any occupation as long as you are willing to put forth the effort.
Be a beacon that points people to the high road of morality and ethics, inspiring others simply by being.
Teach others via your actions how to incorporate a life of wholeness versus one of compartmentalization.
You can be a major aid to the upliftment and advancement of society as your inner changes radiate out into your environment.
Be present exactly where you are; appreciate the now instead of looking to the illusion of future; understand your value in your chosen occupation. Accept the spirituality within all that exists.
Refuse to judge/criticize others for their choices. Objectively observe and understand the needs of the soul-personalities around you in the same way you are learning to do this for yourself.
Individual lights scattered throughout the fabric of society burn away the darkness that is trying to prevail. Poking holes here and there is what will release the holds of those who try to control you.
I too don't listen or read the news. They are they interpretation of someone else. It could be wrong, but it could also be right, but I don't have time to debate that.
I never judge people with what they have. My worst problem is that I tend to give more than I receive though. (not only money, but a lot of my time). I need to focus on what I receive and give less to those that don't give back (if it's just as much as a service).
We rented a cottage for 2 weeks and we had people come to visit us. I had to walk away from the conversation many times. They were too much of talking against people, and that is something that I have a lot of problem with. I wish I had more nerve and tell them to stop or just go away.
Many people talk against what others do and have, but have they really looked at themselves lately???
I have a lot of negativity around me .... I need to do some cleaning and cleansing....
Live and let live...
Interesting post and comments!
Wow, my heading is spinning with so many points to make!
First I would point out that it's not just "oh don't kid yourself, it 's about the money" mindset. Sure, there is money involved - there is money because there are people who WANT something. Even "overpaid athletes' are serving in the sense that people want to watch sports, they want to see winners play, they want it, they pay for it and so the teams and owners and the like are providing that for them, are they not? Yes, they make money in the process, but why shouldn't they?
Yes, there are ethics involved, and there is corruption, etc --that isn't the point that I am making (that is another conversation).
I am simply saying that I agree that people shouldn't have to apologize for getting paid for the value that they provide. It is a free market, and people will pay what they are willing to because it is worth it to them. (Most don't value what they DON'T have to pay for by the way)
There shouldn't be a connection between "Good = poor + broke or "Money = bad + greed".
I am reminded of a great quote by John Maxwell "Anybody who thinks money is the root of all evil never tried to build a church without any!"
Personally, I want to make a lot of money! I want to be able to write a check to an orphanage if I am so moved, I want to be able to pay for whatever care my mom may need one day, etc. Money is good for the good it can do, and we can do a lot more good, with more of it.
Just my 2 cents 🙂
I'm amazed at the people that buy into... he is greedy, or that athlete is over paid, and they don't deserve this or that, and look at him driving that Porsche, who does he think he is ... When 99.9% of all those people are at the pub or gathered around the boob tube Monday night with a 12 pack of "rancid hops" cheering on some sport or team .... or Going to the mall spending money they "DON'T" have buying a car "Above" their means or that house that they really "Cant afford, too keep up with the 'JONESES"
My point put your MONEY where your mouth is. We all want and Desire the better and nicer things and WE all DESERVE it BUT if you want it Bless those who HAVE it and see your self there Because if you think they are evil for having it, yourself wont let YOU, be EVIL how can it, your subconscious is designed to protect YOU It can't hate it's self...
Don't get me wrong I too had a lot of limiting believes as well... I Bless you Randy for your insight and lessons on Prosperity and am grateful to be on my new journey!
I am in a point in my life where I don't care what people think. I am going to follow my heart,make as much money as I need to be comfortable since I already happy and let the world be.
It only has been 500 years since humanity believe the Earth was flat.
Yes, yes and yes.
My former poverty consciousness had its root in guilt, the guilt of others criticizing me for going off on my own business-wise, and succeeding.
They let me have it, I kept going, shed the beliefs and here I am today.