What Have You Done For Me Lately?

By RJI on February 11, 2008 0 Comments

by John C Abell

If you're not working where you can do the media industry the most good, and you are not making decisions that nearly get you fired, what are you doing?

If you are just in it for the money, or are just doing what you need to make the most money you can -- instead of just what will keep body and soul together while you fight the good fight -- what are you doing?

This provocative question courtesy of Vin Crosbie on his Digital Deliverance blog.

Who is Crosbie to ask, you may well ask? Well, his family still runs a newspaper it has operated for five generations. He's a successful consultant who is teaching now for about 1/4 of the $200,000 a year he was averaging as new media adviser. (And, in the interest of full disclosure, Crosbie is a friend and former Reuters colleague dating back to the early '90s).

Crosbie writes that in a business where people routinely risk their lives every day, taking a pay cut or challenging the conventional wisdom are not much to ask of the rest of us.

What right should I have to cash out when during my watch that industry is undergoing challenges that I could otherwise show it how to overcome? What right do you who work in it today, no matter your ancestory, have to cash out in that case despite thousands of your predecessors who've worked to make it succeed?

Partly a mea culpa of his own success as a consultant, Crosbie writes:

"... I realized that lucrative earnings 'trying to take as much money as possible from industries that are challenged by fundamental changes in their environment' is not leadership but exploitation of those industries and the people who work in those indiustries. You might think you are a leader but you definitely are not; you are fooling yourself. You are merely a high-level bureaucrat who is managing decline; you are an incompetent general who is trying to manage a retreat."

Blog post here.