Tag Archives: I’m out of here!

A Crisis of Early Retirements Unfolding…..

Over the last 5 years there has been a silent crisis emerging which is going to seriously effect the future of the High-End IT Community.

Companies are increasingly driven by quarter end results, and many senior executives rarely stay in their seats long enough to consider 2 year plans, much less 5 year plans, so if they have no plans for the future of the companies they are managing, how can their employees possibly envision a future within these same corporations?

Add fuel to this fire with a tendency to do layoffs after 2 bad quarters, and a frightening trend emerges. Furthermore, companies have given an insane amount of power to Human Resources over the last few years, and are allowing twenty-somethings the authority to decide with whom the company does business and who they hire through selective choices. Several Senior Sales Executives have not only resigned, but totally left the industry after being told by some 24 year old with absolutely NO knowledge of the industry and its vagaries, that they are not authorized to use 3rd parties for hiring.

One of my favourite clients comes to mind. A $50 million sales quota, and the inability to source suitable sales resources to fill the numerous positions in Sales and Systems Engineering. An inordinate amount of time spent interviewing totally incompetent candidates sourced by HR in the US, met with numerous requests to use local Search Firms being denied. Montreal is a unique market with 2 languages and 2 cultures. It is impossible for someone in the US to possibly understand this issue. The end result?? One of the most professional, successful Sales Executives I have ever met, took early retirement. He QUIT. PERIOD.

He no longer works. PERIOD.

He felt the stress was overwhelming based upon the demands of the job and his utter lack of support within the Corporation. We are talking about a huge, multi-billion dollar corporation which could seriously afford to use outside assistance, but he was NOT ALLOWED.

Today, he skiis, rides his bike, tends his garden. He sold everything in the city and left.
He retired over 10 years earlier than planned.
This man is seriously connected internationally, the Presidents of many Fortune 100 companies would gladly take his call. He is a joy. He is one of the most motivating executives I have met and worked with. Humble, an extraordinary energy coupled with a sense of humour, and the willingness to take a chance on imagination and drive. He has made the careers of dozens of individuals.
We have LOST him. He is no longer working within our industry.

He alone creates an enormous vacuum in our community, and unfortunately is but one of the dozens of these highly creative, highly connected individuals who have taken their contacts and their imaginations and walked away from an industry which is increasingly having problems sourcing these types of individuals.

It has become a thankless, ruthless industry, dominated by arrogant, incompetent, dishonest people who only seek to line their own pockets with a total regard for the companies which employ them, as well as their employees.

I spoke with another Senior Sales Executive who retired 2 months ago, his comment was that he was downsizing his home and his life to accommodate a very early, unplanned retirement, around 10 years earlier than planned. Why, I asked??

His answer, the level of fraud in the industry has become so commonplace that middle managers are asking out loud what you will give them in exchange for their business.. It is ‘In your face” , blatant fraud. It is not hidden, not discreet, it is simply out there for the world to see.

We hear of individuals in purchasing departments in the IT industry choosing ‘preferred vendors’ based upon what they will receive as compensation. No compensation, no business.

A lovely gentleman I interviewed a couple of years ago, was a Senior VP in a large Consulting Firm, earning a very substantial income. I inquired as to why he was so actively seeking employment, he was certainly employed. He advised me that he was resigning the day he received his commission cheque for the contract he was currently negotiating on behalf of his employer. His comments to me?? I will NOT go to jail for this company.

That was certainly an eye opener.

He was absolutely horrified at the arrangements being negotiated with individuals in the purchasing department of a publicly traded company. We are talking millions of dollars, many, many millions of dollars.
This contract was being drawn up with 2 large companies to provide all resources for a period of 5 years exclusively. PERIOD. No possibility of any other firms selling services unless they passed through one of the 2 ‘preferred vendors’, ostensibly to cut down on the huge number of suppliers and invoices.

Sounds good??!! I find it extraordinary that no one questioned this .

What is being taken out of this equation, is that ALL THE FIRMS being excluded, are potential CUSTOMERS of this firm. An interesting perspective. No one is looking.

Yes, a huge, public company with shareholders, you could be one of them.
Yes, they have a legal responsibility to shareholders.
BUT, and here it is, NO ONE is watching.

The Senior Executives in this corporation are oblivious as to what is going on inside the companies they are supposed to be managing. They are scrambling to meet their quarterly reports, and focused on their end of year bonus’.
The lunatics are truly running the asylum.

From Senior Vice Presidents in Banks to Sales Organizations, to Service Providers, we are losing some of the brightest and the best, and all of them leaving within 5-10 years earlier than planned. This is happening everywhere, I am speaking with executives across North America, and am hearing the same words, almost verbatim.

We are losing knowledge. We are losing energy. We are losing drive, contacts, history. we are losing it all.

Multiply this behaviour and see an absolutely terrifying trend emerging.

What will we have left??!

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