Why do we keep claiming executives care about things that they don’t?

Ted Bauer
2 min readMar 4, 2022

I just saw the above chart in a Harvard Business Review article. The idea is that it’s a way to determine whether the jobs you’re creating inside your organization are “high-quality jobs,” which should theoretically be a goal. The thing is, though, to a lot of people who come to run companies, this is not a goal. In their minds, they know who produces — “Colin is my guy!” — and they know who they like — “I like the cut of Dave’s jib!” — and those guys get advanced and given nice salaries and big titles. Everyone else is kind of a replacebale cog.

We spend millions of dollars on consultants, speeches, books, paying people to write articles, etc. about how leadership can and will supposedly evolve, but the thing is, all these articles and speeches ignore the basic psychology of being an executive. You got there. You climbed the mountain. In your mind, you’re the tits. No one is going to topple you (except maybe the hashtag feminist movement). Why would you suddenly start caring about belonging, and inclusion, and “job quality mobility rates?” These things just don’t matter to you. It’s about deals, getting yours, surrounding yourself with like-minded people, and being seen as relevant and successful. It’s not about any of the things we try to write books about and claim it’s about.

Get yours and be seen as a big deal. Job quality? Mobility tiers? Sounds like a spreadsheet for Samantha in HR to manage. I’ll look at it maybe every two years for three minutes.

We need to be more real about how we discuss business. It’s not about the things that progressive business advocates claim it’s about. It’s about money and deals and like-mindedness. Most other stuff can take a backseat.

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.