Stock Prices and Shareholders

My biggest heroes are the CEOs of big companies who prioritize stock prices and shareholders. Even if that means selling out the customers and employees. I’m sure it’s some kind of rule to be successful.

It’s also a rule that CEOs are supposed to live and die by the company’s stock prices. This makes sense, because when the stock goes up the company is obviously doing well. I’m pretty sure that’s a rule, too.

When the stock is down, the company is probably in the toilet.

Thus, it only makes sense to worship Wall Street, right?

Yes. Obviously.

Wall Street is the best way to measure the success of your company.

It’s all about having the right statistics and profit margins and Q2 sales and accolades on paper (I guess “online” is more appropriate than “on paper”). I’ve always heard that the company’s stock ticker determines the size and pain of a CEO’s stomach ulcer. What can I say — these guys are tough!

Some leaders get sidetracked by the importance of the ever-annoying customer. The customer easily takes second place, though, because your stock ticker is more important than a bad reputation.

And dead last are your employees, of course, who can be replaced as needed.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand…
Shareholders are important, but beware of a company that places them in front of the team members actively fighting in the trenches every day. Prioritize leading the men and women who on your team, and let the customers and shareholders fall in line behind.

Why is it so tempting to constantly prioritize stock prices and strive to make shareholders happy?