Layoff Phase III: Excellence: Is it Subjective?


Spring Training has Begun!

This article in Fortune is an excellent example of why layoffs are a bad way to run a corporate structure.

If you read my bio, you will note that I have been working in the publishing industry for a good many years.  I have had the good fortune to work at some enterprises that pride themselves on the caliber of the employees that they have within their corporate structure.  I have learned from some incredible publishing minds, and been in the midst of people I would rather stay away from as well.  Within all of these individuals, was a drive for excellence in what they were accomplishing in their craft.  Whether the colleague was someone liked, or someone not necessarily cared for, you had a shared goal and that was the overriding factor in how you achieved success in your given workplace.

Good Employee/Bad Employee

The lauded employee was the one who went the extra mile to make sure that some project was completed correctly, on time, and on or under budget.  They did not mind that they might have to put in some extra time to get everything finalized for a revenue capture, but the extra diligence was noted by the manager overseeing the project.  Have we lost this view of excellence?  Have we become a corporate society where whims and cronies overshadow those with real potential for producing and excelling at given tasks?  Are we now the “T-Ball” generation of workers, where shared responsibility in bad times is offset by Star-Performers in good times?  My question would be “Where are the Star Performers when things don’t work out as planned?”

The T-Ball Generation

I fear that as a nation we are becoming one that looks at people in a very different light.  The “T-Ball” mentality, as I refer to it, has everyone on an even playing field going through the daily grind of working out productivity.  When the company as a whole loses revenue, the entire team is subjected to reviews that are sub-standard since the goal of the entire company is to make money and keep the enterprise viable.  But not so fast on this line of thinking:  The entire company has no input into how the products are Developed, Marketed and Sold, so it would seem that some areas, like the one that produces the product on time, on budget, and at the highest quality should be exempt from this line of thinking since they were given a task and completed the task assigned.

Shared Responsibility vs. Lack of Strategic Vision

On the other hand, when good things happen and the products are selling, “Star-Performers” are rolled out in front of everyone for their viewing pleasure.  Only when times are good do the “Star-Performers” get a mention, when times are bad, the company staff as a whole are to blame for underperforming.  Isn’t strategic vision the focus of the executives on the top?  If the company goals were not reached, then some executives have some “splainin” to do.  This is a morale killer and will be the start of staff defections faster than you can say “jumpin jehusaphat” when economic times begin to improve.

Employees would like to be in an environment that tightens the belt when revenue projections don’t meet goals instead of knee-jerk layoffs to offset the losses.  The Japanese model until very recently treated the staff employee as a valued commodity in the corporate enterprise and did not have layoffs involved.  In good times, everyone prospered, in bad times, the company tightened the belt and made sure all of the employees were kept on for the economic turnaround.  Everyone brings something good to the table.

Theme Song

A theme song is crucial in this day and age.  It epitomizes who you are, where you are, and the focus and vision you have on where you are going.


On a personal note:  I was laid-off February 21, 2013.  I am not upset, I am not angry, and I am not eating my sneakers yet!  I see this as a gift from God to begin anew and make a difference in new ventures and new challenges.  I will continue to blog on topics 2-3 times a week, and will keep everyone posted on the next phase in my publishing career.  Sometimes your work environment is like a bad marriage, and you need to file for a divorce.

Stay tuned…

Here is my LinkedIn link if you would like to connect or have an opportunity for me…  Consulting and writing opportunities would be welcomed and appreciated.


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