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CEO Doubles The Salary Of The Lowest-paid Staff By Cutting His Own

CEO Doubles The Salary Of The Lowest-paid Staff By Cutting His Own

How often are you inspired by the personal example of business leaders? We regularly hear about scandals, waste and failure in the news media. Fortunately, we can all draw hope from Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments.

In March 2015, Price brought in a new pay policy. According to the New York Times, Price’s goal was to “raise the salary of every single person at the company to $70,000.”

Even more unusual is the way that Price is funding the pay increase: he cut his pay to $70,000 from nearly $1 million a year. Price was inspired to implement the policy after learning about the emotional well-being and benefits of earning at least $70,000. Prior to this change, the average pay at the company was $48,000 per year.

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There are several lessons we can draw from Price’s example and the impact he has made on the lives of his employees.

First, he has shown a willingness to sacrifice his own gain for the company’s success. Second, he has shown that he knows how to motivate others – simply put, it is difficult to get by in America with a low income. Finally, we can also take heart that business leaders are able to contribute solutions to the income equality problem.

Rather than placing all our hopes on government, Price’s decisions and leadership show that companies can earn a profit and help people make a good living at the same time. Each and every organization and company can make the world a better place by adopting better policies on pay, benefits and related issues.

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Outside of the challenge of leading a company, what lessons can we learn from Dan Price and Gravity Payments? Consider the following ideas and suggestions to improve your leadership.

1. Respect the market, but make your own decisions

Price has remarked that CEO salaries are very high. Despite that fact, he can choose to act differently from the market in order to address a greater challenge – income inequality. This is another way of emphasizing the importance of being proactive in business decisions, rather than becoming a victim of market forces.

2. Strategic self-sacrifice increases credibility

Putting your money where your mouth is can improve your credibility. Dan Price demonstrated this idea by reducing his own income to fund a pay increase. In a non-profit situation, you might choose to avoid using all of your benefits to help the organization get through a crisis.

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However, one must be strategic in such a decision. Otherwise, you may earn a reputation as someone with a doormat personality.

Tip: Looking for ways to improve your professional credibility? Consider writing a book about your area of expertise. Many companies and professional speakers have grown their incomes and careers after publishing a book.

3. Recognize that money improves happiness but only to a point

To a degree, earning more money really does improve your happiness and comfort. For example, if you are earning $20,000 per year as a student and later increase your income to $65,000 as a professional, you will probably be happier.

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According to a 2010 study, “Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000.”

Tip: Money can improve your happiness if you use it thoughtfully. That’s why successful people use money to buy experiences, rather than more material possessions.

4. Read to lead to improve your leadership

Dan Price was inspired to change his company’s pay policy after reading research about income and happiness. You can grow yourself by reading. For example, you can learn career hacks from George Washington. Fortunately, there are many great books for leaders on the market. Start by going through this list: 15 Inspiring Books Every Leader Should Not Miss.

Featured photo credit: Money/Markgraf-Ave via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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