by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Questions What Our Business Schools Are Teaching…
Dear Leaders of the 21st Century:
Congratulations on joining the first class of the Chris Christie School of Business! We are honored that you have chosen to accompany us on our mission to redefine leadership in corporate America. While you may occasionally hear our rival institutions bandy about such terms as “responsibility” and “managerial excellence,” at CC: SOB, you will learn how to actually integrate those concepts into policy statements and press releases that distract the public from what really matters: your self-enrichment and aggrandizement.
Our program is based on detailed case studies of such esteemed institutions as Wells Fargo, BP, Mylan, Fox News, and Volkswagen. Over the next few months, you will learn how to leverage the following best practices:
- Exorbitant Executive Salaries to “Attract and Retain Top Talent”: This isn’t just a standard of excellence — it’s a double standard. The lowest levels of a corporation will naturally receive the lowest compensation allowed by law (and with unpaid interns, even less than what’s allowed by law). Obviously, when it comes to the employees who actually do the work, there’s no need to attract top talent. But for those who primarily attend status meetings and all-expenses paid executive retreats, while occasionally adding “notes” to an underling’s report that they didn’t actually read, no amount of compensation is enough. In just the past two decades, annual executive compensation has grown from six figures to seven to eight to nine, and is now knocking at the ten-figure level. In this program, you will learn strategies on how to actually crack that Tiffany glass ceiling.
- Bonuses for “Management” Despite the Absence Thereof: As our personal finance instructors will explain, base salaries are just that — “base,” as in ignoble, improper, and unseemly. Compensating a top executive with just a salary alone would be a grievous insult, and possibly lead to HR issues. Consequently, you will learn how to craft corporate compensation policies that include mandatory and automatic bonuses based on “managerial performance.” Further, you will learn how to define “managerial performance” to mean simply showing up at the office… except when attending an extended off-site meeting with a potential client, Senate panel, or attractive assistant. If the company’s stock price rises, all executives shall receive an additional bonus. If the stock falls, executives will lay off a newsworthy percentage of the work force in a “restructuring,” which warrants a bonus. Note that “management” does not necessarily mean actually supervising or directing employees; indeed, should any scandal erupt within the organization, the best practice is to blame the lower-level employees and claim lack of awareness of any and all malfeasance. Upon completion of this course, you will take the Hypocritic Oath, claiming superlative leadership skills that warrant being elected to the highest political offices, while professing complete ignorance of the employee activities you’re supposedly leading.
- The Art of Severance and Falling Upward: At CC: SOB, there is no such thing as “failure” — all of our students automatically receive A’s in their courses at the beginning of the term, with bonus pluses at the end. In the unlikely event that you are forced to leave the program — say, for getting caught sexually harassing another student (getting caught being the punishable offense here) — you will receive training on how to avoid detection in the future and how to successfully blame the victim. You will also receive a sizable severance package that will enable you to meet your living needs (we do not expect any student to cancel their country club memberships or Porsche leases), while you seek an even higher position at another institution — instructor at Trump University, perhaps. Yes, CC: SOB believes in second chances. And third chances. Even ninth chances. This policy may sound like it encourages improper conduct, when it’s actually just another recruitment tool. After all, we couldn’t possibly find replacement students if they saw us mistreating our current executives in training.
Those of you who actually complete this attendance-optional program and receive the honorary B.S. degree will find yourself in the company of such august business leaders as Bernard Madoff, Heather Bresch, Martin Shkreli, Elizabeth Holmes, Roger Ailes, John Stumpf, Kenneth Starr, and Carly Fiorina. We look forward to your future success and donations to our campus infrastructure fund. Together, we will build bridges to the future and show the world how to manage them!
Onwards and upwards!
His Excellency, Chris Christie