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If the Shoe Fits: Fairness, Trust and Authenticity

by Miki Saxon

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

3829103264_9cb64b9c62_m Kevin Spencer http://www.flickr.com/photos/vek/3829103264/Do clichés annoy you? There’s a good reason some of the tired, old clichés stay around—namely, they work. They say what needs to be said in a way that isn’t left open to interpretation, like ‘walk your talk’ as opposed to ‘authenticity’.

I was reminded of this after listening recently to an entrepreneur.

Here are the salient points of the conversation,

  • he had built a culture based on fairness, trust and authenticity;
  • he worked hard to hire the smartest people available;
  • salary and stock options were based on necessity, i.e., he did what he had to do to land the best candidates.

I asked him what would happen when people learned of the discrepancies between their package and a peer’s; that the approach seemed to fly in the face of his “fairness, trust and authenticity” statements.

He replied that

  • people trusted him to do what was best for the company;
  • he was fair to each person based on their individual expectations;
  • any effort to implement a uniform compensation (salary and/or stock) policy would hobble his ability to hire stars; and
  • it was a non-event because nobody knew anyone else’s package.

I have to admit, the naiveté of his final point cracked me up (I managed to control my hilarity).

Basically, he seems to believe that fairness, trust and authenticity have flexible meanings and that expediency trumps them all.

What do you believe?

Option Sanity™ ensures stock grants walk your talk.

Come visit Option Sanity for an easy-to-understand, simple-to-implement stock process.  It’s so easy a CEO can do it.


Do not attempt to use Option Sanity™ without a strong commitment to business planning, financial controls, honesty, ethics, and “doing the right thing.” Use only as directed.
Users of Option Sanity may experience sudden increases in team cohesion and worker satisfaction. In cases where team productivity, retention and company success is greater than typical, expect media interest and invitations as keynote speaker.

Image credit: kevinspencer

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