business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Interesting piece in the Huffington Post, passed along to me by an MNB reader, about how the CEO of Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing, has decided to give $3 million of his $5.2 million bonus and give it to some 10,000 employees of the company.

That works out to about $314 per person, the story says, which might not be much in the US but for these employees in China this could be a month's pay.

Now, to be sure, Yang Yuanqing still walks away with a more than $2 million bonus, and reportedly earned $14 million in salary for the past year. So he's not hurting ... and it is easy to be cynical about the distribution.

But I think the gesture is both symbolic and more so. It suggests that Yang Yuanqing understands that there is real value on the front lines of his company, and that he can only continue to rake in such huge sums of money, and his company can only see double digit profit increases (which it did) if the people throughout the company believe that they have skin in the game and that their efforts will be rewarded.

Some CEOs seem to labor under the delusion that they and their top management teams are completely responsible for their companies' successes, and that the contributions of front line employees are incidental. (Oddly enough, these same folks often believe that their companies' failures can be blamed on front line employees, and that's where cuts are first felt ... while top execs sometimes continue to receive bonuses.)

What Yang Yuanqing did, whatever his motivations and regardless of his personal circumstances, is Eye-Opening - a reminder of what leadership really is all about.
KC's View: