I took a major, bold step last week: Our big-boss, the holding-company CEO, wrote a memo addressed to all the staff of the company, highlighting the achievements of the company in the past few months, the challenges that lie ahead, and why our stock price is so down. (I think it now is under-5USD.) I responded and told him of my views of the year ahead.
I emailed back and said that "Sure, 2009 is going to be a challenge of a year - and who knows what's going to happen? But there are opportunities still in 2009 and that we should use these opportunities to strengthen ourselves and look ahead to 2010."
I also said that I believed that our efforts from 2000 till now have positioned us to come out stronger should the US markets become even far more regulated - and that we are in a position to actually come out real strong.
(I checked the analyst's estimates for the next year: P/E is at 8.34 - which is comparable to the competitors, and PEG Ratio is 0.55, versus the industry's 0.83 - which I thought was good. These figures were as of 23rd November. Here's the link, should you be interested.)
But more than that, I think that the company is actually on the right track: we have the right people in place (not that I have met all of them - I am still stuck in middle management... - but at least the people in most of the countries that I deal with, I have a great trust in).
Which brings me to what Seth Godin said in one of his blog entries:
If you take a job, you've bought into what the company does. You're responsible.
If you work for a company headed off a cliff, hey, you're going too. The fact that you're just doing your job doesn't make unemployment any better. And if the company is hurting people or the world you operate in, it doesn't matter who told you to do it, you still did it.
Seth Godin went on and said:
It's not just your job. It's a big part of your life. And you're way smarter than you're giving yourself credit for. Speak up, change things or get out. Whining later is a low-return strategy.
I like what he said. Again, I agree with Mr. Godin: If you accepted a job in a company, it's become your responsibility. No one asked you to be a part of the company you're in - and even if you feel victimized by the environ, it was still your choice to be a part of that company. Get over it.
Make yourself heard. Or be the change - as perhaps, Mr. Obama would say - you want to be
Or get out.
(Oh - and I got a response from the CEO! A pleasant surprise - I guess I thought I would be going into the 'junk email bin' - but it got read. And I got a response. And a "thank-you". Ahh. Little pleasures.)