Attention Layoff-Prone CEOs

Great leaders would never sacrifice the people to save the numbers. They would sacrifice the numbers to save the people.
~Simon Sinek

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There are many companies and CEOs who have a fundamentalist belief system they've learned to never question. That belief system is the FINANCIAL bottom line is THE bottom line. They live by a philosophy that a standard part of doing business is that moment each year when poor business results and strategy are covered by throwing human beings and their lives overboard - the layoff.

It's not completely their fault. They've been conditioned to this mindset by Wall Street and all the best business schools that this is a moral imperative. The FINANCIAL bottom line and shareholder value MUST come first. These entities have filled people's minds with a belief that a corporations sole and only job is to make as much profit as humanly or inhumanly possible.

During the 1980s, greed became good. Shareholder value replaced all other considerations. Some said American corporations were bloated from 40 years of good times. There may have been some evidence to support that in the marketplace. The problem is it all became a habit, a way of life. We corrected the ship and then we started cutting into bones. It became fashionable to outsource and cut our way to maximize profitability. How much is enough? We're still waiting to hear the answer.
 

Sure, in between reducing headcount, rightsizing, reducing redundancies, driving cost out of the business or the trendiest new euphemism; it's a different story. Company leaders are well-versed in high-sounding double speak - "Our people are our most important resource." But let a sideways quarterly report come in and many business leaders reach for the EASY BUTTON and the bodycount - that's really a better word than headcount - begins to mount.

In companies where this is normal, no one ever questions this methodology. Even when it's been employed and to change business results many times, there is still a kind of religious adherence to its necessity and efficacy. Even more bizarrely, they want and expect to bel loved and respected for it.

Enter Simon Sinek - a new kind business thinker and commentator. He speaks with heart and consciousness about a world that REALLY puts people first and doesn't compromise business results. In this video, he states what so many employees who are constantly navigating the layoff mine field have wondered for years and he calls out leaders who practice these things for their lack of leadership.

I hope that watching this video will open up whole new ways of thinking about what your values are when a business faces hard times. Is it too easy to eject people who have given sweat and tears for your organization? What if you chose REAL leadership instead? The road back is the authentic, compassionate, and human one. Put your people first!

We'd love to hear your comments below.

Ray Davis
for 6 Sense Media