Monday, October 04, 2010

Hooray for CEOs!

We live in a time where it has become quite common to hear our elected officials spout that CEO's are the biggest evil in America (or words to that effect). Unfortunately a lot of people tend to believe all of what they hear using little or no common sense which leaves us with millions in America actually believing the hype--that big corporations are bad.  Let's face it! Just as in any segment of the population, there are good CEO's and there are bad CEO's. But it's wrong to make general assumptions because of their wealth and title.It's not only wrong, it's ignorant.

I am prompted to write this because I watched a few episodes of Undercover Boss online recently and it made me sit back and take notice that there are CEO's who really care about what's going on in their company. It's nearly impossible for one person to oversee every specific operation of the company down to the most minute detail, that's why CEO's hire managers to do that for them. But CEO's are the first to be blamed for failure as they are first to be applauded for success. For their failure they are ridiculed and scolded and for their success they are ridiculed and scolded. I for one refuse to believe that the CEO of every single American company is a Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay, John Rigas, Joe Nacchio, Sam Waksal, Jeffrey Skilling, Bernie Ebbers or Dennis Kozlowski.

Wealthy people, including CEO's have their own set of problems. Having wealth does not make one's life free of stress and worry. Granted, money may take away some stresses, but it also adds others. And money, no matter how much, can't remove the pain of some things in life like battling depression, coping with a physical disability, trying to keep one's children safe in a dangerous society, losing a spouse, caring for an aging parent, a child away at college for the first time, a loved one stationed in Afghanistan, a bad economy, and in general just worrying about the state of the nation and the world (the latter being something we all do on a daily basis I'm sure). There are all kinds of problems wealthy people face and CEO's have an extra added burden--managing all of the people under them, not to mention dealing with the stockholders and government bureaucracy. Granted it's a choice just like most of us are in jobs we have by choice. But still, it comes with its own set of stresses and worries.

CEO is a job title, it doesn't define an individual, at least it shouldn't. Honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion, generosity---all those things help define a person's character. And I for one am very happy to be reminded every so often (even if it is via a reality show) that you can't always believe everything you hear and things are not always as they seem.

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