Corporations don't have empathy. Corporations don't allow for human weakness. Corporations will exploit those weaknesses.
Kill Jack Welch.
Many years ago, probably in the mid-80s, I went through my "young entrepreneur" stage. Most of the advice I read was wrong, but the only way to find out was to try it. Eventually, by trial and error, I learned what worked and what didn't.
During this phase of my business career, I ran across an interview with Jack Welch. By the end of that interview, I wanted to kill the motherfucker. I'm not sure he was human at all--maybe an alien reptile in a human skin suit. I loathed the man. I mean, I almost never have that reaction to anyone.
And he was the "most admired" businessman in America. An example of his business principles--fire 10% of your employees every year.
Everything was about shareholder value.
Instinctively, I knew this was wrong. I mean, on its face, it was morally and ethically repugnant. But I was pretty certain it was bad for business, too.
Jack Welch retired with a 417 million dollar exit package, his reputation intact. I saw his reptilian face on the cover of best-selling books. The Cult Of Jack Welch.
Here's his current reputation from an article today in the Daily Beast about the downfall of Boeing:
"Every attempt to divine how Boeing’s culture went from exemplary to execrable tends to lead to a man who never laid his hands on Boeing, Jack Welch, the infamously bottom-line hatchet man, known as “Neutron Jack” for his ability to vaporize thousands of jobs at General Electric while its CEO from 1981 to 2001 before leaving with a $417 million exit payment. His leadership style, once hailed as a master class in squeezing as much money as possible out of any business, became posthumously toxic. Nonetheless, managers schooled by Welch fanned out to work their magic at other companies deemed in need of it."
It took a long time, but the performance of General Electric after he left has been nothing short of disastrous, and most of that can be laid at Jack Welch's feet. Turns out, short term results don't predict long term success. Who would have thought?
He died last year. (I didn't do it.)
All those years I hated him when he was considered a success. It's very validating to find that my instincts about him were right from the start.