I have a theory, I’m sure i’m not the only one who has had this theory. We’ll call it Peluso’s law of Caustic Corporate Competition for now. I expect to really research and flesh out this concept as we get deeper into writing the book. The theory goes that generation after generation of cost cutting has made competition so fierce for the limited number of management positions available, that what seems insane on the face of it is taken as acceptable.
Case in point.. two examples I intend to use on my book. In a 2010 blog post talking about what is involved in taking possession of a cruise ship, Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean CEO mentions that rather than risk oversleeping, he opted to just work 24+ hours and used his sleeping time to catch up on emails and communications.
In another more recent example Google’s existing CFO left for work life balance reasons. It’s reported that the new CFO they hired is known as such a workaholic that a famous story is that she chose to continue working during the birth of her first child.
These are extreme examples but they do a illustrate the culture of intense competition that exists in the business world. There are many many more examples I have experienced in my professional life that aren’t exhibited by management that is well known but just as vile.
The key for the independent contributor is to learn how to surf these issues, to realize that competition is so unreasonable that obtaining management, even senior management isn’t really part of today’s ‘normal’ career path, no matter what we have been told.