How to be Stupid as a Corporate Executive

When Sam Walton started Wal-Mart, he had to put up with a problem that all retailers face, namely shoplifting and employee theft. Rather than hire security guards at the front of his stores, which might prove intimidating to customers, Sam Walton decided to hire greeters instead.

The job of a greeter was to welcome people to the store but also to keep an eye out for theft in a non-obtrusive way. Wal+Mart’s executives fought Sam Walton on this, claiming it was a waste of money but Sam Walton got his way and put greeters in all of his stores. Not surprisingly, theft dropped and the cost of the greeters was more than made up for by the savings in reducing theft.

Then Wal-Mart’s executives got the bright idea to save money by getting rid of the greeters. Their logic was that since greeters cost money and didn’t do anything directly to increase profits, they were an unnecessary expense. Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart saved money by eliminating greeters and then started losing money after theft started increasing dramatically.

In a move meant to save money, Wal-Mart’s executives found a way to cost the company money. That’s the typical corporate executive mentality. Save money now regardless of the consequences later.

With that in mind, here’s a similar idea. Why not eliminate corporate executives? This would provide an immediate cost savings, especially once you eliminate the exorbitant salaries, company perks such as company cars, and executive offices not to mention corporate secretaries who often double as thinly disguised (and equally thinly dressed) prostitutes and mistresses for the corporate executives.

So how come corporate executives never think of saving a company money by eliminating their own jobs? Most likely because corporate executives aren’t really interested in saving a company money so much as they’re interested in increasing their own benefits regardless of the long-term consequences for the actual company.

Before corporate executives cut other people’s jobs, they should first cut their own jobs and salaries to save money, provided, of course, that they’re actually serious about saving the company money.

Since corporate executives really aren’t serious about saving a company money, they should simply be open and honest about it and  publicly promote themselves as pursuing greed and selfishness. Then again, most corporate executives do promote themselves as the party of greed and selfishness by hiring lobbyists to influence politicians for their benefit.

The real problem isn’t that corporate executives are greedy, selfishness, and short-sighted. The real problem is that much of the general public is also greedy, selfish, and short-sighted, so they don’t want to hold others to a higher standard because they hope to reach that same “higher standard” one day when they can also exploit others by being greedy, selfish, and short-sighted. The only difference between a rich greedy and selfish person and a poor one is that the poor one hasn’t yet had a chance to be greedy and selfish on a mass scale.

After seeing theft increase, Wal-Mart decided that the cost of hiring greeters was still less than the expense of store theft. So Wal-Mart brought back their greeters and theft levels have dropped as a result.

Most people follow the common sense rule that “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” However corporate executives follow their own common sense rule that says, “If we eliminate employees, buildings, and products, we can bring our total expenses to absolute zero while still maintaining our current level of profits!”

If you own a company and want help running it into the ground as quickly as possible, hire more corporate executives. They’ll never fail or disappoint you.

To read more about Wal-Mart’s mistake in eliminating greeters, click here.