The CEO lip service of the “Resignation” moment is amazing to watch

Ted Bauer
3 min readOct 26, 2021

Look at this chart above for a second, if you will. Let’s go down the chart in terms of what CEOs are supposedly doing to “strengthen talent.”

  1. Increased flexibility: This makes it feel like flexibility is a perk of work, which perhaps it is, but in reality sometimes in human history people have had children or their mom has been widowed, or someone has gotten dementia, and we need to deal with those things as we work, not on top of work. So flexibility cannot really be the “carrot” that CEOs are offering in the moment.
  2. Corporate purpose: What exactly does this mean? What is “purpose?” And wouldn’t, logically, the word “purpose” mean something very different to a CEO vs. a regular employee? To many men who come to run companies, “purpose” is almost synonymous with “perception of success” or “money.” That’s not always the purpose down the chain. Some of those people like, uh, ahem, maybe they want to buy a home.
  3. More focus on DEI: Largely performative, however. Nothing changes; there are just more flowery Instagram posts from the corporate account, mobilizing the right hashtags. The employer branding team — I see you sleeping in the corner, Tom — profiles a few Indian account managers.
  4. Well-being and mental health: Yea, maybe. Maybe they hired a counselor or two, or a training program, or a vendor, or they offered “fun Fridays” or something. Unless someone has legit and deep mental health issues, a lot of the mental health and burnout caused by work can be relatively easily solved: pay people more for the extra work they are doing, and then — GASP! — give them opportunities to advance in the company if they so choose. The problem here has always been that executives do not see burnout and mental exhaustion as an issue; they see it as “hustling.”
  5. More attention to culture: LOL. No one knows what culture means. Execs use that word when they want to distract you from their real goals.
  6. Increased pay: Could this potentially be higher than Number 6 on this list?
  7. Environmental, social, and governance: Not sure how this will benefit attraction and retention, but hey, you do you, boo boo.
  8. More training and development: It should be higher than…
Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.