Tag Archives: Corporate Life

Bonus Plans of Mice and Men

Our best-laid plans often go awry. We see it all the time at a personal levelaccidents (both good and bad), deaths (both of loved ones and rich uncles), births, and lotteries all conspire to reshuffle our priorities and render our plans null and void. In fact, there is nothing like a solid misfortune to get us to put things in perspective. This opportunity may be the proverbial silver lining we are constantly advised to see. What is true at a personal level holds true also at a larger scale. The industry-wide financial meltdown has imparted a philosophical clarity to our professiona clarity that we might have been too busy to notice, but for the dire straits we are in right now.

This philosophical clarity inspires analyses (and columns, of course) that are at times self-serving and at times soul-searching. We now worry about the moral rectitude behind the insane bonus expectations of yesteryears, for instance. The case in point is Jake DeSantis, the AIG executive vice president who resigned rather publicly on the New York Times, and donated his relatively modest bonus of a million dollars to charity. The reasons behind the resignation are interesting, and fodder to this series of posts.

Before I go any further, let me state it outright. I am going to try to shred his arguments the best I can. I am sure I would have sung a totally different tune if they had given me a million dollar bonus. Or if anybody had the temerity to suggest that I part with my own bonus, paltry as it may seem in comparison. I will keep that possibility beyond the scope of this column, ignoring the moral inconsistency others might maliciously perceive therein. I will talk only about other people’s bonuses. After all, we are best in dealing with other people’s money. And it is always easier to risk and sacrifice something that doesn’t belong to us.


How Much is Your Time Worth?

I recently got a crazy idea. Suppose I tell you, “I will give you a ten-million-dollar job for a month. But I will have to kill you in two months.” Of course, you will have to know that I am serious. Let’s say I am an eccentric billionaire. Will you take the ten million dollars?

I am certain that most people will not take this job offer. In fact, there is a movie with Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando (IMDb tells me that it is The Brave) where Depp’s character actually takes up such an offer. Twenty-five thousand, I believe, was the price that he agreed upon for the rest of his life. For some of us, the price may be higher, but it is possible that there is a price that we will agree upon.

To me, my price is infiniteI wouldn’t trade the rest of my life for any amount of money. What does it help me to have all the money in the world if I don’t have the time to spend it? But, this stance of mine is neither consistent with what I do, nor fully devoid of hypocrisy. Hardly anything in real life is. If we say we won’t trade time for money, then how come we happily sell our time to our employers? Is it just that we don’t appreciate what we are doing? Or that our time is limited?

I guess the trade off between time and money is not straight forward. It is not a linear scale. If we have no money, then our time is worth nothing. We are willing to sell it for almost nothing. The reason is clearit takes money to keep body and soul together. Without a bare minimum of money, there indeed is no time left to sell. As we make a bit of money, a bit more than the bare minimum, we begin to value time more. But as we make more money, we realize that we can make even more by selling more time, because the time is worth more now! This implicit vicious circle may be what is driving this crazy rat race that we see all around us.

Selling time is an interesting concept. We clearly do sell our time to those who pay us. Employees sell time to their employers. Entrepreneurs sell their time to the customers, and in deploying their businesses. But there is a fundamental difference between these two modes of selling. While employees sell their time once, businessmen sell their time multiple times. So do authors and actors. They spend a certain amount of time doing whatever they do, but the products they create (book, business, movies, Windows XP, songs etc.) are sold over and over again. That is why they can make their millions and billions while those who work for somebody else find it is very difficult to get really rich.

Stinker Emails — A Primer

이메일은 지난 10 년 동안 기업 커뮤니케이션에 혁명을 일으켰습니다.,,en,그 영향의 대부분은 긍정적이었습니다,,en,빅 보스가 all @ yourcompany로 보내는 이메일,,en,일반 커뮤니케이션 회의를 공정하게 대체합니다.,,en,소규모 팀,,en,이메일은 종종 회의를 저장하고 생산성을 높입니다.,,en,다른 통신 모드와 비교할 때,,en,전화,,en,음성 메일 등,,en,이메일에는 기업 커뮤니케이션에 특히 적합한 여러 가지 특성이 있습니다.,,en,발신자에게 수신자와의 적절한 거리를 제공하여 키보드 뒤에서 안전함을 느낄 수 있습니다.,,en,발신자는 언어와 프레젠테이션을 다듬을 수있는 충분한 시간을 얻습니다.,,en,한 번에 여러 수신자에게 이메일을 보낼 수있는 옵션이 있습니다.,,en,이러한 특성의 순 효과는 일반적으로 소심한 영혼이 강력한 이메일 인물이 될 수 있다는 것입니다.,,en. Most of its impact has been positive. An email from the big boss to all@yourcompany, for instance, is a fair substitute for a general communication meeting. In smaller teams, email often saves meetings and increases productivity.

When compared to other modes of communication (telephone, voice mail etc.), email has a number of characteristics that make it particularly suited for corporate communication. It gives the sender the right amount of distance from the recipient to feel safe behind the keyboard. The sender gets enough time to polish the language and presentation. He has the option of sending the email multiple recipients at once. The net effect of these characteristics is that a normally timid soul may become a formidable email persona.

일반적으로 공격적인 영혼,,en,stinkers로 알려진 것의 불쾌한 발신자가 될 수 있습니다.,,en,악취는 굴욕감을주는 이메일입니다.,,en,요즘 이메일 커뮤니케이션의 중요성을 감안할 때,,en,stinkers의 어두운 매력에 매료 될 수 있습니다.,,en,만약 당신이,,en,냄새 나는 사람을 만드는 기술을 마스터하는 첫 번째 단계는 다음과 같습니다.,,en,비결은 당신보다 더 성스러운 태도를 개발하고 도덕적 고지대를 취하는 것입니다,,en,엉뚱한 일로 인해 팀이 화가 났다고 가정 해 봅시다.,,en,그들에게 사실을 강조하고 싶습니다,,en,그리고 조직의 몇 명의 핵심 사람들에게,,en,초보자는 다음과 같이 작성하고 싶은 유혹을받을 수 있습니다.,,en,당신과 당신의 팀은 스쿼트를 모릅니다.,,en,그 유혹에 저항하라,,en,신인 이메일을 잡아,,en,훨씬 더 만족스러운 것은 그것을 다음과 같이 구성하는 것입니다.,,en, on the other hand, may become an obnoxious sender of what are known as stinkers. Stinkers are emails that are meant to inflict humiliation.

Given the importance of email communication these days, you may find yourself seduced by the dark allure of stinkers. If you do, here are the first steps in mastering the art of crafting a stinker. The trick is to develop a holier-than-thou attitude and assume a moral high ground. For instance, suppose you are upset with a team for their shoddy work, and want to highlight the fact to them (and to a few key persons in the organization, of course). A novice may be tempted to write something like, “You and your team don’t know squat.” Resist that temptation, and hold that rookie email. Far more satisfying is to compose it as, “귀하 및 귀하의 팀과 함께 앉아 우리의 전문 지식을 공유하게되어 기쁩니다.,,en,이 교묘 한 구성은 또한 당신의 우수한 지식을 미묘하게 보여줍니다.,,en,이메일은 훨씬 더 미묘 할 수 있습니다.,,en,당신은 어떤 문제에 대해 상사에게 친절하게 조언 할 수 있습니다.,,en,천사들이 밟는 것을 두려워하는 곳에 서두르는 것은 의미가 없습니다.,,en,그리고 당신이 그를 그의 얼굴에 바보라고 부를 수 있었던 비밀스러운 기쁨을 가지고,,en,카운터 stinkers는 두 배로 달콤합니다,,en,이메일 결투에 참여하는 동안,,en,당신의 최선의 희망은 stinker에서 사실적인 부정확성을 발견하는 것입니다.,,en,당신은 악취에 반응하기 위해 명예에 얽매여 있지만,,en,침묵은 또한 효과적인 대응이 될 수 있습니다,,en,그것은 당신이 반응하기에는 악취가 너무 중요하지 않다는 신호를 보냅니다.,,en,보다 나쁜,,en,당신은 그것을 읽지 않고 실수로 삭제했습니다,,en,냄새 나는 함정을 조심하세요,,en” This craftier composition also subtly shows off your superior knowledge.

Emails can be even more subtle. For instance, you can sweetly counsel your boss regarding some issue as, “No point in rushing in where angels fear to tread,” and have the secret pleasure that you managed to call him a fool to his face!

Counter stinkers are doubly sweet. While engaging in an email duel, your best hope is to discover a factual inaccuracy in the stinker. Although you are honor-bound to respond to a stinker, silence also can be an effective response. It sends a signal that you either found the stinker too unimportant to respond to, or, worse, you accidentally deleted it without reading it.

Beware of stinker traps. 당신은 도움을 줄 수있는 관대 한 제안으로 문제를 해결하도록 초대하는 이메일을받을 수 있습니다.,,en,미끼를 가지고 도움을 요청한다고,,en,다음 이메일,,en,지구상의 거의 모든 사람에게 복사,,en,다음과 같이 읽을 수 있습니다.,,en,이전 메시지를 읽으려고했다면,,en,10 일 전에 보낸 이메일을,,en,기타 및 두 개의 이메일 그룹,,en,당신은 그것을 알 것입니다,,en,당신이해야 할 일을 모른다는 것을 암시하는 것이 얼마나 쉬운 지 주목하십시오,,en,그리고 당신은 중요한 메시지를 무시하는 습관이 있습니다,,en,우리는 보낸 사람을 아는 것 외에는 악취 트랩에 대한 확실한 방어력이 없습니다.,,en,보낸 사람이 악취가 나는 성향으로 알려진 경우,,en,그의 모든 달콤한 서곡을 의심으로 대하다,,en,그가 마음을 바꾸고 당신을 예의 바르게 대하기로 결정한 것 같지 않습니다.,,en. Say you take the bait and request help. The next email (copied to practically everybody on earth) may read something like, “If you bothered to read the previous message,” (referring to an email sent ten days ago to 17 others and two email groups) “you would know that…” Note how easy it is to imply that you don’t know what you are supposed to, and that you are in the habit of ignoring important messages.

We have no sure defense against stinker traps other than knowing the sender. If a sender is known for his stinker-happy disposition, treat all his sweet overtures with suspicion. It is unlikely that he has had a change of heart and decided to treat you civilly. 그가 당신보다 더 좋아할 무언가를 위해 당신을 설정하고있을 가능성이 훨씬 더 높습니다.,,en,하루의 끝에서,,en,받는 쪽에서 자신을 찾으면 악취에 대해 너무 걱정하지 마십시오.,,en,얼굴에 미소를 유지하고 악취가 나는 사람을 인식하십시오.,,en,자아 여행,,en,이 게시물을 즐겼다면,,en,나는 당신도 좋아할 것이라고 확신합니다,,en,사무실 생존 가이드,,en,복잡화,,fr!

At the end of the day, don’t worry too much about stinkers if you do find yourself at the receiving end. Keep a smile on your face and recognize the stinkers for what they are — ego trips.

If you enjoyed this post, I’m sure you will also like:

  1. An Office Survival Guide
  2. La Sophistication