Tag Archives: Compensation and Pay

There is a Price

It is a story making the rounds in the sporting and baseball world – Colby Lewis, a pitcher for the Texas Rangers, took paternity leave for the birth of his second child.  In so doing, he missed a start.  As part of the players contract with MLB, paternity leave is allowed, and by all accounts it was something he and team management had planned for in advance.  Overall, not really a big deal to those involved.  However, to others it was a huge deal.

As we hear so often, “I can do the job without…moving/traveling as much/taking away from the family” or a variety of similar thoughts…all of which have merit.  Typically the person is absolutely correct. They can “do” the job.  However, there is a massive difference between “doing” and “doing well”.   In our world, “doing” is not enough. “Good enough” is not even enough.  It applies at all levels, but is magnified the more senior the role.

This is not just a business phenomena either.  Think for a moment about academics.  The days of an “A/B student” earning admittance to the state’s flag-ship university or a top tier private school are well in our collective past.  The same applies to youth sports.  Just playing school sports, and heaven forbid 3 different sports – never.  Dedicated club and travel teams, skills coaches and camps, high-end gear and diets.  The expectations and results oriented bar have moved up in all aspects of our world.  And that level of achievement requires real sacrifice.

Who am I to say what is or what is not an appropriate level of sacrifice.  But I will say that it is naive to assume there is not a level of expectation when it comes to what one is willing to give.  And rest assured, that level of expectation moves up as the reward, scope of responsibility, and level of accountability increases.  There is a reason companies pay big money for big roles, big producers, and big time leaders – those roles demand a great deal.  The reward reflects the level of sacrifice.

The more compensation the company is giving, the more effort they will demand.  Maybe you sincerely believe you can “do the job” without really giving what it takes, but eventually that bill will come due.  Companies are not looking for “good enough”, they are looking for “great” – always.  National Directors, General Managers, VP’s, CEO’s and even professional athletes – reaching that level required great sacrifice.  Staying at that level AND excelling will require even more.

The title, the corner office, the big pay check, the slot in the starting rotation.  Eventually we all need to really look at what we want relative to what we will give.  It is one of the toughest equations to solve, but it is one we all have to address.

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Filed under Business, Coaching, Sports

Thank You Gil Meche

$12 million. Let that sink in for a minute. $12 million. Now granted, you already have booked $40 million give or take, but still 20% or so of your potential lifetime earnings surrendered…willingly. One interesting story. Surrendered out of principle. Now that’s impressive.

In an era of “everything in the name of a dollar”, we see someone, a professional athlete of all things, willingly leave behind money because they did not feel right taking it.  Seriously?  It is so refreshingly.  His statement of “I was not earning my money” is so honest it is quite literally unbelievable.

By the way, somebody needs to get Gil Meche on the speakers circuit.  Dare I say he could make a couple extra dollars telling his story…maybe it would resonate.  He could start at AIG.  There is quite literally no end to the number of organizations that would benefit from hearing his story.

Yes, it is much easier to be principled when you have $40 million in the bank.  I admit, that was my initial reaction, but that is what makes Gil Meche’s actions all the more impressive.  Who in sports, in entertainment, or in business, takes that sort of principled stand even when they have $40 million in the bank?  Though I am not sure of the actual number, I am confident saying it is damn few.  It is so rare that this story is special.  It should not be, but it is.

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Filed under Current affairs, leadership, Sports

Experiences and Achievements – Coach K’s comments

Duke’s Coach Krzyzewski was asked in an interview prior to Monday’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game if his past achievements and experiences would be an advantage for his team in the upcoming game with Butler. His answer was incredibly insightful. To paraphrase (Google cannot seem to find the transcript – amazing), he said that his past experiences coaching in championship games does have some relevance and might be helpful.  He then went on to say his past achievements are absolutely worthless in that setting.  One has to divorce the achievement from the experience.

So much value in such a statement. What we have experienced, and the lessons we have learned from those experiences are extremely valuable.   However, what we have achieved is in the past. It does not impact the future.  All too often the assumption is that what we have achieved in the past is of use going forward.  The achievement is not – the experience is.  How something was achieved, the actions taken, the lessons learned, the efficiencies gained, the insight won, the vision realized can be applied going forward.  It holds value to for us and those around us.

All too often we hear the line of reason that “I have achieved so much, it should be valued by the new company”or  “I have earned x and that is my minimum income requirement going forward”.  To stay with the sports analogy, Duke and Coach K could have very easily had the mindset that they have won 3 other championships and have been to 11 Final Fours – Butler has achieved nothing.  Understandable, and we all empathize, but in the end, that is an achievement paradigm.  “I earned it” or “it is owned to me” is past, not future tense.  The achievement is not valued today – it is past.  It is the experience that is valued going forward…if it will be leveraged.

Relating the experience of a particular achievement is the art of interviewing, and the art of leading.  Because you did something in the past, while nice to know about, is not the end all issue.  Life, business, academics, sports, everything is about moving forward.  Resting on past laurels will get you nowhere.  Leveraging the experience of past achievement is what leads to future success.

There is no questioning Mike Krzyzewski’s achievements – he wins.  However it is his mindset that allows him to keep winning.  He leverages the experience and leaves behind the achievement.  Simple in a way, yet a profound bit of wisdom.

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Filed under Coaching, Current affairs, Interviewing, leadership, Sports

Your “Value” and Your Compensation

It is the ultimate “Third Rail” issue in business – is compensation really an accurate reflection of ones relative value to an organization? What is my “Market Value”?  What am I worth?  How much can I get paid?  Am I being underpaid?  Fair questions, and a natural part of anyones thoughts as they evaluate their career and professional growth.  However, if the last year has taught us anything, it is not just a question of are you getting paid enough, it can become a question of if you will get paid at all.

Everyone, in every role, at every level, in every organization had better be able to directly and clearly point to how they are helping the company provide their goods or service.  The days of “nice to have” and “extra” are behind us when it comes to business – especially when it comes to headcount.  Every single person has to be a contributor.  They must add revenue, protect existing revenues, or fill a vital support role.  For some this is fairly easy to quantify (sales, business development, client service, operations,etc.) while for others (IT, HR, support, training, etc.) it can be harder to quantify.  Regardless of the “degree of difficulty”, we owe it to the company, and especially to ourselves, to really identify how we are a critical player – how we are contributing.

As we commented on in some earlier posts, specifically in “Past Performance is no Guarantee of Future Results” and “Compensation Comments…Redux“, there is a great deal that goes into compensation and “value”.  However, when it is stripped down to its most basic premise, it is all about how much you and your role impact the companies revenue – do you contribute to the bottom line?  Do you personally help the company provide their particular good or service – are you an integral part of what makes the company successful.

In summary, there is no direct answer.  In the end it is a fundamental issue – does your presence and role in the organization add to the bottom line.  Are you a source of revenue or a cost?  Sometimes it is easy to quantify and answer that question.  Other times it is not so easy.  But in the final analysis, your relative value and your role in an organiztion is directly proportional to how much you are tied to their revenue going forward.  Revenue production that is…

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Filed under Coaching, Interviewing