Hear Their Words, But Watch Their Actions: The Real Lessons from Tech’s Top CEOs 

by | Feb 9, 2024

In the high-octane world of tech, giants like Amazon and Meta are not just moving the goalposts; they’re playing a completely different game. Amazon, under the no-nonsense leadership of Andy Jassy, has been breaking its own financial records, turning the last quarter of 2023 into a showcase of what happens when aggressive growth meets ruthless cost-cutting. Yes, we’re talking about the same Amazon that made headlines for slashing thousands of jobs in what was the tech spectacle of the year. And then there’s Meta, Zuckerberg’s brainchild, which despite hemorrhaging billions into the Metaverse, a venture that’s more of a money pit than a gold mine at this point, still managed to charm Wall Street, boosting its profit margins and sending its stock prices on a joyride. 

This isn’t just business as usual; it’s a brutal display of corporate Darwinism in action. These companies have laid bare a new truth: in the tech world, your job is as secure as quicksand. The promised stability and growth of yesteryears have been replaced by a new mantra—adapt or get axed. It’s a wake-up call to the tech workforce: the ground beneath you is littered with pink slips; tread carefully. 

But it’s not just about surviving the cull. The evolving landscape is also forcing a reckoning with how tech leaders communicate with their employees.  

The old playbook of corporate speak and comforting lies needs to be tossed out.  

In its place? A demand for raw, unfiltered truth. Employees are tired of being placated with platitudes; they want the unvarnished reality of what’s going down, even if it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s high time for tech leaders to ditch the doublespeak and get real with their teams. Sugarcoating the bitter pill of layoffs and restructuring with corporate euphemisms just doesn’t cut it anymore. 

For those navigating this cutthroat world, the strategy is clear: be as agile as you are skeptical. Don’t just listen to what your CEO says; watch what they do. The tech industry, for all its perks and innovations, is a beast that feeds on change—and sometimes, that means jobs. It’s a stark reminder that in the tech arena, loyalty is a one-way street, and job security is a myth, perpetuated by those who stand to benefit from your complacency. 

Bottom line: The playbook Amazon and Meta are running with isn’t just for them; it’s a sign of the times in the tech world. The industry’s always on the move, and if you’re not keeping up, you’re falling behind. For those making the calls and those coding away, the message is clear: embrace change, court transparency, and never get too comfortable. Because in this league, your best bet is to arm yourself with information. And guess which companies made arming yourself with knowledge easier than ever? That’s right, the very same tech titans shaking the game up. 

Elsewhere In Culture

Silver lining: The U.S. workforce has more employees over 65 than ever before and it could mean great things for the bottom line

I was recently featured in a Fortune article discussing the evolving dynamics of today’s workforce, particularly focusing on the increasing presence of older workers. Within the article, I emphasized the critical importance of fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace, stating, “We are in a war for talent continually, and that war for talent gets lost, which has a direct effect on the bottom line, if the people at your company don’t feel like they belong.” This underscores the significance of creating inclusive cultures where all employees feel valued and respected, irrespective of age. 

Here the thing, in today’s world ageism remains a prevalent issue, it’s imperative for organizations to take proactive steps towards fostering age-inclusive environments. It’s not merely about meeting diversity quotas; it’s about embracing age diversity as a strategic advantage. My quote emphasizes the need for tangible actions to support inclusivity, rather than mere rhetoric. By leveraging the wealth of experience and perspectives older workers bring, companies can enhance innovation, productivity, and overall organizational success. 

Tech Layoffs Just Keep Coming as Sector Resets for AI

DocuSign’s decision to implement layoffs reflects a broader trend reverberating throughout the tech industry. Following a period of unchecked expansion and exuberant spending, companies are now recalibrating their strategies with a renewed focus on profitability. This shift underscores the imperative for organizations to optimize operations and tighten financial controls, leading to difficult decisions regarding workforce reduction. 

Within this evolving scenario, the integration of AI introduces a new paradigm to workforce dynamics. No longer confined to merely automating routine tasks, AI is fundamentally reshaping job roles and responsibilities. Consequently, cultivating a workplace culture that fosters adaptability and continuous learning becomes paramount. Companies adept at aligning their cultures with the evolving demands of AI integration stand poised for success, while those resistant to change risk falling behind. These layoffs serve as a poignant reminder of the critical role of company culture in effectively navigating technological transformations. 

𝗜 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗼𝗻 𝗺𝘆 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗽𝗼𝗱𝗰𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗖𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀, 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 Miki Agrawal 𝗼𝗳 TUSHY: For People Who Poop. 𝗜 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗻’𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝗶𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴! 

Miki is all about solving real-world problems and lifting people and the planet along the way. This whole conversation makes you think about your roles as leaders and entrepreneurs. 

Are you focusing on creating real value? 

Miki’s journey is a clear sign that success is more about impact than just numbers. It’s about creating products that not only sell but also solve problems and improve lives. 

Learn how to build authentic, purpose-driven brands by listening to her episode here: https://www.jessicakriegel.com/podcast/