Larry Ross: A Manager in His Own Words
Larry Ross (not his real name) was interviewed by writer Studs Terkel over 30 years ago. Do you think most managers in the 21st century would describe their jobs in the same way?
I think most managers in the 21st century would describe their jobs in the same way which is manager is a difficult job. Over 30 years ago Larry Ross described the corporation as a jungle in where everybody had to be alert, even the CEO. “You’re thrown in on your own and you’re constantly battling to survive.” “It is a question of living or dying.” And what is happening in nowadays? I believe that no matter where you’re living in right now, you often see people are fight for their jobs, because everyone has their own families to feed. They will step on each others just to secure their jobs. Even if you are the manager, there are always guys that under you trying to take your spot. Especially, who are middle and upper managers, they will be under a lot of pressures. Like Larry Ross said, “ I don’t know of any situation in the corporate world where an executive is completely free and sure of his job from moment to moment. So over 30 years, things haven’t changed so much. Manager is still a very difficult and high- pressure job.
Does Larry Ross provide an accurate and realistic picture of how organizations operate? If you think so, it is true of all, most, some, or only a few organizations? Why did you answer as you did?
I think Larry Ross provide a pretty accurate and realistic picture of how LARGE organizations operate. I believe that many years ago or nowadays, the larger or older a corporation is, the more rigid it is. There are always three classes in every large corporations. First, there are the black or white people who are ambitious, want to be the leaders. Second are the gray people who come from nine to five, do their jobs and don’t care much about anything else. Finally, above all of them are the board of directors who’s...
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