It seems everyone's a critic these days.

Business I Am A CEO, and My Incompetence is Not Your Concern

By Sam Tander, CEO

It seems everyone's a critic these days.

Whether it’s investors, board members, customers, environmental protection agencies, or some banal sub-committee of the United Nations, it seems everyone's a critic these days. Oh, that’s adorable—you’ve conducted an independent study of our factory’s carbon emissions and suddenly have an opinion? Great. Here’s what I have to say to that.

I took the reins as the CEO of Globo Corp, LLC not 6 months ago, and already every Tom, Dick and Jane seems to have an opinion on how this company should be run. However, these self-described “business experts,” ‘“environmentalist advocates” and “doctors & scientists” tend to ignore the hours and hours of hard work and networking that have gone into achieving my position, choosing rather to focus on the tip of the iceberg. It simply isn’t fair to consider minutiae like “CO2 regulations” or “average employee wage” without an extensive understanding of the company’s history, and the gradual development of our hierarchy. I’ve put in the time, and to have my decisions as the Chief Executive Officer questioned by people shouting catchy chants and waving around picket signs and advanced legal, medical, and scientific degrees is, frankly, silly.

How can you criticize the manufacturing process of our goods simply by pointing at some “toxic emission readings” or a “soil toxicology report?” Have you walked our factory floors? Have you donned a hardhat while also wearing a suit, and shaken the hands of the loyal team members out on the work floor every day? No. I also went to Harvard Business School. Did you?

I don’t mean to come across as callous. Given your lack of formal training in business (I went to Harvard Business School), it’s forgivable to see why you might think poorly of how I’m running my Fortune 800 company—you simply don’t understand, and that’s not your fault. The reasons behind what we’re doing are simple. They’re straightforward. They’re easy to explain in a sentence or two, and we’re confident in ourselves to deliver that message. The reasons are very, very understandable and real and we could easily communicate them to you.

When you “threaten litigation” on behalf of the small town that’s “been vacated” due to an allegedly “contaminated water table” which has resulted in “noxious, highly viscous tap water”, just remember—I went to business school. My salary is very high, which I hope you can see is an indication of the sort of business acumen I bring to the table. The board has deemed me worthy of this salary; would someone worthy of this salary make mistakes when running a business? No. My decisions to forego regular equipment checks and a specialized (read: expensive) team of hazardous waste managers should be justified enough by my credentials. Yale Undergrad. Harvard Business. 8-figure salary. Two vacation houses. It’s clear that I know what I’m doing, and you should just leave well enough alone and focus on whatever you know about. I don’t show up to your science lab and start explaining science facts to you, do I? So let me run my business as I—a qualified individual—see fit.

In summation: If our factory workers are unhappy with their wages—which an internal study found to be perfectly liveable provided you avoid luxuries like breakfast, not living with your extended family, or going to the doctor—then why did that one foreman shake my hand and pose for a picture with me on my visit two months ago? If the water table is so “toxic” in Bramburgh, PA (allegedly), then how come the employees at our Bramburgh, PA plant are all doing fine mostly? The accusations and critiques simply don’t hold water.

You see, our business is about more than just products—we care. So when you attack us based on “evidence” of tampering with government reports, or exceeding maximum emissions allowed and dodging fines, you’re ignoring what we really care about: Change. Disruption. We’re here for the future, and the now. We’re a company of people. You’re people. Let’s all be people together. So let’s put these lawsuits in the past, and continue doing what we do best: Making business happen at the speed of the future.