What does it mean to be a ruthless businessman?
Thanks for your questions “What does it mean to be a ruthless businessman?”Here I’m trying to give your answers in brief.
There was a time, within the memory of those of us who have recently retired, when the leaders of businesses considered more than the exponential growth of revenues and profits. I think of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard here, just as examples. Even today, I find that most “business people” are neither mean nor ruthless. What IS mean and ruthless is unfettered capitalism. If the only thing that matters is the upper limit of what a shareholder can take away in the short term, then a consideration such as what is best for the society has little value.
To continue the example, Hewlett-Packard (now dehumanized as HP) is now run by Meg Whitman. She appears not to be a bad person. However, she is legally bound to optimize shareholder value as she carries out the strategic plan of her board of directors. Is she introspective? I have no way of knowing. But I bet she lies awake at night occasionally, wondering if she is doing her best to meet her responsibilities to HP. Whether she wonders if she is meeting her responsibilities to Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard is another thing entirely.
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