Some weeks ago I got an article of a Dutch newspaper in my mailbox. My first thought was: yes, I’m not the only one who thinks so! Demotion (downgrading) must indeed be considered as an alternative career turn!
Then I started reading, curious about what Alexander Wynaendts (57), CEO of Aegon, had to say about this topic. Maybe he is an ambassador who can help me to break the taboo around demotion.
And then I read:
“That is why we must continue to think about working longer and, above all, being able to retire flexibly. This may go via a less paid job, for instance, someone of 63 wanting to work three days a week? Fine, but that means a lower salary.”
(OK good idea I think)
“You are referring to demotion. Do you know how sensitive that subject is?”
(good question !)
“I admit that I have not yet dared introducing it here in the company”
(confirms again the scope of the taboo!)
“But society-wide and within Aegon we can not avoid discussing it. In my first interview with the Minister of Social Affairs, I would like to raise the subject of flexible retirement.”
“Will you soon set a good example yourself?”
(ah ah now it comes …!)
“Even if I wanted to, it would not be possible for a CEO, but it is possible for many other functions.”
I look up from my screen. I’m out of breath …. Knock out even … Demotion for many other functions, but not for a CEO? …
Should there be evidence that this taboo is still sky-high?
Why can’t Alexander Wynaendts accept this career turn for himself in the future?
Which limiting belief lies at the basis of this statement?
So there are no other CEOs who had to take a step back in their career or who did it spontaneously?
I personally think of Peter Leyman, for example, the former CEO of Volvo Gent, who heads today a workplace for disabled people. And there are certainly other examples …
Or maybe a CEO doesn’t call this a “demotion”, but uses a different name for it?
I would love to discuss this with Alexander Wynaendts!
And also hear from other CEOs what they think about this topic …
To warm up: a reading tip for all … !