I recently read that a company is re-engineering (again) and laying off close to 10% of their workforce. The announcement is rather convoluted and it boils down to this: they don’t think the skills of the people that they have on staff meet today’s needs so they’re going to let them go and hire new people with different skills.
To this idea, I have one piece of advice: corporate CEOs, take a cue from Jon Bon Jovi. He respects every member of his band and when the chips are down for any single member, Jon gets them the help they need. He cares about them as people first, and as musicians and colleagues second.
To be perfectly honest, good business is not rocket science. Sure, there are some who are better at it than others, for whom business comes more naturally. However, all of it can be taught to anyone. And yes, that includes hot topics like product development, social media marketing, and coding. All that’s required is a qualified teacher and a willing student. To learn something new requires heart, passion, solid work ethics, and the desire to be helpful and useful. These are not the possessions of a chosen few; everyone can have those and with those traits, anything can be learned, rocket science included.
This retraining of existing staff is also good business. It costs companies millions of dollars to lay off staff and hire new people. Why not do as much as you can with the people you have? Give them a chance to adapt to a changing world by learning new skills. Companies need to invest their resources in training, not in re-engineering. This makes good sense for everyone – employees, companies, and shareholders.
I’m so sick of businesses treating people like line items on a spreadsheet rather than human beings who’ve given so much of their time to make these companies successful. And I’m especially sick of hearing CEOs use lines like “it’s not personal; it’s business.” Anything that involves people by its very nature is personal. It’s about time we start acting like people in business rather than drones. That’s what Jon would do and look how successful he is.
The short of it:
Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day.
The long of it:
My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events.
While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series.
A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist.
I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media:
• I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference;
• I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable;
• I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me.
Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.
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2 thoughts on “Beautiful: What Jon Bon Jovi Teaches Corporate CEOs About Business and Leadership”
I agree with you. Its personal. Some businesses understand that, but sadly many others do not.
Oh I am SO with you here…Big businesses treat employees like a line item. It should be illegal! Then you use Bon Jovi as an example….well that just put the frosting on the cake so to speak…LOVED IT.