This week we’re talking CEOs, Senators and other assorted leader-types. From CEO pay, to building better teams, to living up to the image you project, I’ve collected five articles for you on the importance of leading responsibly, thoughtfully and with more than just you in mind.
Here is your Friday Five:
Portland has decided to take a different tactic to narrowing the gap between worker and CEO pay: taxation. “Under the new law, companies doing enough business in Portland to pay the city’s business fee will be taxed an additional 10 percent if their CEO makes 100 times what median workers earn ― and an additional 25 percent if they make 250 times more.” It’s estimated that the law could generate as much as $3.5 million additional revenue for the city.
The UK is considering a new law that would force companies to explicitly reveal and justify the pay gap between workers and executives. Prime Minister Theresa May had previously promised to give workers a say in how companies are run — perhaps in the form of an advisory body — but is now approaching the problem of corporate governance and fairness differently. Among the policies being considered are:
“Forcing companies to publish pay ratios that show the difference in earning between the chief executive and average employee
Improving the effectiveness of remuneration committees and the extent to which they must consult shareholders and the wider company on pay
Introducing binding votes on executive pay packages”
Earlier this week Donald Trump called out a Carrier union leader who wasn’t happy with the deal that Vice-President Elect Mike Pence brokered with the company, saving about 700 jobs from moving to Mexico thanks to boutique tax breaks. The union leader, who I won’t name here, has since received death threats. The Washington Post looks back at another private citizen, Lauren Batchelder, who Trump called out on Twitter during the campaign and the harassment she’s received since. These incidents should serve as a stark reminder of the power leaders can wield, and the consequences if they don’t do so responsibly.
The Hollywood Reporter talks to Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, and her executive team which is now more than 50% female. Kennedy says that having a more diverse executive team (it’s not just 50% female but it’s also much less white than a lot of Hollywood leadership teams) has led to better product development — more voices are heard, more questions are raised, and more consumers are potentially understood. Too, she says that achieving gender parity at the executive level was possible because the company culture, which welcomes and prioritizes diversity, because Lucasfilm recognizes the strength it brings, particularly in a global market.
“You have to cast a broader net when you’re interviewing and looking at possible prospects,” says Kennedy of the trick to achieving gender balance. “In the creative community, there’s no excuse for not making a more equitable environment. It literally comes down to companies that just aren’t trying hard enough.”
John Glenn had an incredible career, from marine pilot, to astronaut, to executive, to senator and astronaut again. Of leaving the space program to pursue other opportunities, Glenn said “Yeah, I would have liked to go to the moon … But I didn’t want to stick around being the oldest astronaut in training just hoping to go to the moon. So I went on to other things, and that was a decision I lived with.” As a senator and private citizen he championed science and space exploration, even offering himself as a test subject to better understand the effects of space travel on the body. Glenn is a great example of someone who, by no means a natural leader, grew into a leadership role and lived up to the ideals and ethics he espoused.