I’m still baffled by these CEO’s of these huge companies who are failing that have gotten a bailout or asking for a bailout. They take the money and then don’t want to change ANYTHING they are doing in how they are running their business. Nothing.
These people are supposed to be smart right? They have like 40 different types degrees hanging on the walls and/or have been in business for years and years. They all have a major staff of other brainiacs right? Lawyers and accountants and so on. And yet they don’t seem to be smart enough to know you have to make changes and yes, even sacrifices to keep your business successful.
If I were a CEO in this situation, you bet your ass I’d be calling a major meeting with all my top officers. We’d sit in a board room for days on end working non stop on brainstorming and putting together an action plan. I would demand every single thing that we spend money on listed line by line. We’d look at those items and decide what to cut. Free coffee? Gone. Free lunch? Gone. Free movie tickets and other little benefits like that, gone.
What about things that the top officers do/use? All corporate travel would now be done on coach – including myself. NO private jets – I’d sell them. No more first class. All travel would have to be approved by me. In fact, I would do away with all corporate credit cards. People would pay out of their own pocket for travel expenses and then get reimbursed by the company. People tend to watch their spending when it’s not on the company card. All hotels would be Holiday Inn Express. We would use budget rental car and no town cars or limos.
Speaking of travel… I would cut out all those big time off site meetings, trade shows, training and awards ceremonies that are held in these fancy resorts. Some we would still need to keep like meetings and training but there is this nifty little thing called teleconferencing. Gee, what a thought. No one would have to travel and people could still attend the meetings or training. Some things you could have onsite in your own headquarters too. There is this thing called conference rooms.
What are we spending on advertising? Time to get creative, re-think it and re-do it all to where it’s cost effective. Quite a bit of that stuff could be sized down big time. What products are not bringing in much revenue? Cut it.
Lay offs? As a CEO I would try like hell to come up with some alternatives on this. Like maybe trusting my employees enough to hold a major conference call with all of them telling them that times are challenging but we will endure and get through it. We’ll get through it by making sacrifices like no pay raises or bonuses for two years as well as some other budget cuts on little freebies and such. This would include ALL upper management, officers and MYSELF. Yes it might be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s much better to not get a pay raise for two years than to be out of work for two years. Of course there would be a hiring freeze. We wouldn’t backfill positions unless it’s a critical job function. Maybe I’d even ask all my officers (including myself) to take a 1% or 2% pay cut.
I don’t know, maybe I’m living in lala land but I don’t think these types of black and white decisions are that tough. I also don’t think it’s that big of a deal for these top dogs to suck it up and do without shit. Makes me sick that these big wigs from the car companies who want handouts go to D.C. on their PRIVATE jets. Or lovely AIG continuing their expensive travel meetings in lush resorts.
I look at someone like Governor Sarah Palin and I think what an incredible CEO she would make for a huge company. When she took office she took one look at the Governor Jet and said she didn’t need it and could fly commercial like everyone else and sold the plane. She got rid of the personal chef and so on. She did many more things to save the state money – the tax payers. The people. The company.
It’s not hard. You just do it. Like the Nike ads say. Just do it.