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Friday, 8 August 2014

What the Big Boss Man really cares about

For those young shepherds starting their corporate careers, if I ask you what are the 2 things the landowner really cares about when he hires you - do you know the answer?

Put yourself in the shoes of the landowner. If you hire a shepherd, what 2 things you expect the shepherd to do for you?

How much money can you make for me? 

How much are you making for your Big Boss Man? This is easier if you work in sales, marketing, business development, etc.    

Just minus your salary, commissions, bonus, expenses from the gross revenue you bring in and we can get a ball-park figure of the money you bring in to your department, your company, your division. 

That is also why those who bring home the bacon can talk louder. Hence the more wool and lamp chops you bring home, the more you are rewarded.

How much money can you save for me?

Not everyone works at revenue centres. We can still stand out by saving money for the company even if we work at cost centres.

The IT manager that successfully transitioned the company from on-site computing to the cloud - saving a chunk off the annual IT procurement and maintenance budget.

The CFO that proposed and executed the selling of the company's building to a REIT near the top of the property cycle and leasing it back from the REIT for 30 years. Bonus time! 

You no idea right?

You have no freaking clue how much you are making or saving for the company right here right now? 

Don't worry. The majority don't either.

That would mean during salary reviews, you are a price taker. 

How to negotiate when you have no idea on your own contribution in how much you have saved or made for the company? Please don't say how many hours you have slaved... If you are a landowner, would you be interested?

If you have no idea of your own worth, the company most likely has no clue either. Which would make things easier during a retrenchment exercise. You would like to keep those who are making and saving you money right? 

Fundamental investor touchstone

If you call yourself a fundamental investor, and you have difficulty getting a ball-park idea of how much you are either making or saving for the company, something isn't right....

Perhaps you have been using the analysis and summaries of others too often?

Now when others ask show me your workings like in math, you are stumped.

You have the answer but can't produce your own workings to arrive at the answer. 

Maybe you are a technical investor all along? You just follow the crowd as in Trend or Momentum investing?


  1. Hi SMOL

    Usually how much you earn for the big boss is seen more important than.how much you can save for the big boss.

    During retrenchement time, the cost centre goes to shared services while the revenue center goes to the expats. There goes my bonus ooohhhh....

    1. B,


      I've been bot hh sides of the street, Working at sales was much easier than in supply chain to see the "benefits" of my actions.

      I was unashamedly promoting my dept and the savings we made during my time in supply chain. I guess that's why I was recruited by my boss since I know nuts about supply chain ;)

  2. Its true for SME though. In MNC there are always places to hide. ;)

    1. WolfT,

      Don't be too complacent.

      Just look at Microsoft and HP. It sucks to be retrenched when the company is making profits and doing relatively well.

      Well, all to create shareholders' value, no?

      MNCs have learned from the GFC. It's better to trim the excess fat yourself than to let your competitors or market place do that for us...

      You must be below 40. Once you are above 40 and not CLEARLY making or saving money for the company, there will be a bull's eye on your back.

      Your "high pay" now becomes a double-edged sword.

    2. No worries Sir. I am the landowner.

    3. WolfT,


      I "got eyes no see Tarzan"!

      You good better best! Landowner class ;)

      Good help is hard to find right?

    4. 1)smart, 2)integrity, 3)hardworking
      Most only have either 2.
      You know the main difference btw Singaporean and non Singaporean is that the Singaporean is not hungry enough for that job.

    5. Absolutely. Sgp don't see that...they just see foreigners in top mgt and worker level and complain.

    6. WolfT,

      Welcome to my tiny watering-hole.

      Your land-owner perspective can be a good counter-balance to the discussions here. Especially the younger readers who are just starting their careers.

      I'm only an ex-shepherd who thinks from land-owner perspective; but it's not the same ;)

  3. Gasp! U got me!!! Argghhh!!!!

    My job doesn't make money and doesn't save money. In fact, if this an altruistic world and everyone knows what they are doing, my job would not exist.


    1. pf,

      Well, you are already one step ahead of your peers - self-awareness.

    2. But my job help ppl to get shareholders and bankers to pump in money. So, ok lah....won't die so soon. Hehehehe. ... :P

    3. pf,

      No one is indispensable.

      Your counterparts in the west are all coming to Asia where the action is.

      I personally would prefer HK if I am a bachelor; but if I am married with family, then Singapore would be a better choice.

    4. I've did quite a lot of travelling in Asia on my last job. Just prefer to stay in SG. Went for flat viewing yesterday. Planning to buy a hdb when i reached 35 in few months time. ;)

  4. Some lao ti ko boss care about the male or female and the looks....

    1. Rolf,

      That's not for the business.

      It's more for coffee, tea, or me?

      Why do men fight so hard for power and money?

      Why do women doll themselves up with heels, tight skirts, and translucent blouses?

      Willing buyer; willing seller.

  5. Hi SMOL,

    What about self employed people like me? Ownself flagellate own back or ownself dangling a carrot in front? LOL

    1. LP.

      Give me some time.

      I've only been "self-employed" for the last 2.5 years as a nano-hedge fund manager. I need more mileage before I can talk about the self-employed. For credibility sake's mah! I'm not one of those who got 2-3 years track record dare to say: "If you believe me, follow me!"

      Today, I can only share about my past relationships with land-owners, other competing shepherds and sheep.


      You should share about life as a self-employed - no CPF, no medical and dental benefits, no annual leave, no boss to give directions/guidance, etc.

      That should make the majority stick with their day job!


      P.S. Entrepreneurs and self-employed have a lot in common - they are not "regular" anyone and everyone folks.

      The only major difference is that entrepreneurs are better at using Other People's Time (OPT) - they hire shepherds to multiply themselves.

      Self-employed reminds me of that restaurant joke where the waiter, captain, manager, and business owner are the SAME person!!!

      Well, at my nano-hedge fund, I am the MD, money manager, analyst, trader, and client... Talk about schizophrenia!

  6. Hi SMOL,


    My greatest wish is to become a self made renaissance man - can do anything and there's no restriction to how I can express myself :) I'm still working on the 'self-made' part lol

    1. Ah!

      A polymath!

      Now Leonardo da Vinci is one super cool guy!!!

      And I'm not talking about the teenage turtle ninjas ;)

  7. Replies
    1. CW,

      Welcome back from HK!

      A rose by any other name is still a rose.

      We can also call them Land-owner, Puppet Master, The Shadow Hand, Overlord, Chess Master, Pet owner, etc.

      OK, for those with not into wordplay - the Big Boss Man is more commonly known as Business Owner.

      And please hor, a minority shareholder is not Business Owner unless you can hire and fire the CEO.

    2. Oh! You meant Wrestlemania!

      Good times during my NS from 86-87. Watch the VHS videos during lunch breaks and doing duty storeman (Pes C great or what? Others do guard duty, I watch TV).

      Hulk Hogan, Mancho Man Randy Savage, Jake the Snake, etc.

      Not a fan of the Big Boss Man though :(


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