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Value Creation Blog

Where Are The Elders And People Who Care In Public Companies?

Posted by Josh Patrick

bonusPart 3 In Our Series On Public Companies

One of my favorite complaints is about the lack of “morality” in many publically traded corporations.  We’ve seen a parade of executives over the past several years who have taken advantage of their roles in public companies to line their pockets at the expense of those of us who live and work on Main Street.

I’ve often wondered where are the adults in these corporations.  Who is talking about morality and doing the right things?  When did the mantra become let’s make as much as we can for ourselves and who cares about the Stakeholders of the corporation, including John Q. Public shareholder?

I’ve written about the concept of Elders in the family unit and in privately held businesses.  I believe the same issues exist in public companies.  When the mantra is making as much money as we can for ourselves, no matter how the corporation behaves we have a problem in our country.  

We see it in the entitlement society we’ve developed for our children.  Many of our corporate leaders exhibit similar behavior for themselves.  A friend of mine calls this syndrome the loss of people who care.

Owners of privately held businesses care.  They care about what people think of their companies and they care what members of their community think about their interaction with employees, suppliers and the community itself. 

In too many public companies we see executives making excuses about “shareholder value” as the reason for performance that doesn’t benefit the community and in many instances the shareholders of the company they are supposedly protecting. 

The clients I work with would never pay themselves 400 times the salary of the average employee in their company.  Executives in some public companies seem to have no problem with this.  Overpaying corporate executives leads to underpaying those who make up the Middle Class.  And, without a strong Middle Class we have big, big problems in this country.

What are your thoughts?

Josh Patrick

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Topics: morality, people who care, Elders role in business

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