GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Think "Hollywood"

Most business executives are considerably undervalued. This may seem an extraordinary thing to say to a man or woman earning a base-line salary of $200-500K per annum along with stock options and benefits. One could easily respond by saying that this is the norm for executives in my position, and that would be correct except for one thing. All of the peers one would cite in making such a statement are as anonymous as you are.

Whether we are talking about athletes, actors or soft drinks, the greater the visibility the higher the value as a brand. In our society, what gets attention gets money. It is an unavoidable fact. The inclusion of a well-known actor in the cast of a movie can propel it out of the made-for-DVD realm and into a first-run theatrical release. Well-known actors sell tickets. When an executive sheds his or her anonymity to become known throughout an industry sector, their value goes
up; they, too, “sell tickets” in the form of increased interest in the company’s shares.

Don’t imagine that the visibilty factor is lost on the board of directors. Neither would it be lost on competing companies interested in having a well-positioned icon in their hierarchy. What was “book value” for a position becomes irrelevant as other, extremely important, dynamics come into play when you are well known.

The best advice I could give any executive is to think "Hollywood" where there are no generic jobs, only those that come because one has created a demand for one's specifc identity.

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