How easy is it, to change the world, to influence the fundamental values of the economics and the society? Female Assets are able to achieve many amazing things, including the victories in the realm of corporate warfare, that top spheres of big business. Their determination, decisiveness, self-confidence, professional skills, the precious ability to understand the relationships and to push the right things can bring you vast advantages too, Female Asset.
Sometimes, your decisions can change the whole society, and your actions can influence even the foreign matters. Although nobody will know and remember your name in the end, you will become the active creator of your presence and future. Next time, you won´t have to open any doors with effort – the doors will open before you, because people will understand, how substantial player you are.
However, be prepared for some risky events and even controversy. Your bold actions can have serious consequences not only for your close vicinity. The world often works as a domino. Someone tips over one single piece, and the avalanche will start… and this law applies to the financial branch of business as strongly, as you can imagine.
But many would agree, that to tip over that piece of domino yourself is better, than to be forced to accept the consequences of action by somebody else.
Today, you will learn, how surprisingly easy is to start a national, or even worldwide economic crisis. Meet Clara, the fateful person for many…
When the unpleasant rumors surfaced, that the Corporation will accomplish a massive lay-off, because the top management plans to sell the company to a foreign multi-national investment group, every employee knew, that their professional future is now more than uncertain. It was shortly before Christmas, and many of the people predicted correctly, that this holidays could possibly become really bitter…
Then, at one unhappy and grey Monday, the unknown consultants from that famous consultancy company McKindley came, and they occupied all conference rooms with papers, charts and serious faces. It was real. It was happening. Some employees joked about it, they were confident, that they are too important to be fired, whereas another people, not so sure individuals, started covert browsing on the job market websites. The general atmosphere in the Corporation was tense, and no Christmas trees could change that.
Clara worked as a Senior Risk Analyst in the Risk Assessment department for two years. She graduated in mathematics and psychology, quite an unusual combination, and her task was to evaluate the business operations of the Corporation not only with profit in consideration, as Sales department did, but rather to hold the enthusiasm back, and suport it with clear numbers.
When an unknown man and woman approached her desk, she felt, how her cheeks are getting red. “Are you Clara?” they asked her politely, but their faces and eyes were cold.
“Yes,” she said silently. All colleagues around pretended to work, but you could read in their minds, how glad they are, that it is not them this time.
“Clara, could you please to come with us to the conference room? We would like to talk about your professional future.”
She just locked her computer screen and followed them.
“Firstly, we would like to deeply appreciate your previous work here. You are a real asset of the Corporation, and we are glad to have you here,” the woman started with the experienced effort to make her voice sounding soft.
“However, as you probably know, there are some substantial organizational changes planned in the Corporation, and it means, that the budget for the work force is limited. In other words, we can´t keep a highly skilled professional like you.
Please, understand, that we highly appreciate your professional qualities, really, and we believe in your loyalty to the Corporation and her higher interests. So, we would like to suggest you a solution for this complicated situation for both sides. We hope, that we will find a mutually advantageous way, how to support your next career.
So, this is our offer. We will pay you twelve months salary as a bonus, we will write the best recommendations for you, and we will provide you a six month career consultancy, to help you further. On the contrary, you will sign the voluntary agreement for the termination of your work contract, with the immediate validity.”
And it was out. Clara managed to seem calm. She knew, that they are both watching her, evaluating her feelings and stance, so they will be able to improve their tactics. But one thing was sure – the decision was made, and even if she would fight or complain, nothing would help her.
Although there was a mandatory two months term to terminate the work agreement by the work law, she would gain nothing, and they could really worsen her further career, just by writing a bad recommendation for her future boss. It was not reasonable to revolt. The law protection of employees was one thing – the practice completely another.
“I understand the reasons for this changes,” Clara replied eventually. “It happens everywhere today, and I know, that it is not personal.”
“Your superior John always talks about you only with high respect,” the HR woman confirmed. “We knew, that you will understand us. Thank you. So, can we ask you to sign the papers?”
“I have one favor to ask,” Clara said. “You know, it´s Christmas… it would be nice, if I could receive the money immediately, to have a pleasant holidays, to buy something nice. But I will sign the papers, if you could give me five minutes to read the agreement.”
“We will see, what we can do, but I don´t see a problem in this demand. Here is your copy of the deal.”
Clara started reading, whereas the man left, to make necessary arrangements. She didn´t know, that these HR consultants were promised fat bonuses for any employee, who will be successfully persuaded by them to leave in peace, and on the spot, if possible.
Without any doubts, Clara signed the document.
“Thank you, Clara. Now, we will escort you back to your desk, so you can pack your stuff. Please, return us your entry card and the company cell phone. Your access to the company network was terminated. Any data in your computer are not accessible for you anymore, we are sorry. This is the order.”
They were so generous, that they called a taxi cab for her. It was done. Or… almost.
When Clara was leaving to the lift, she stopped by the table of one of her colleagues, Martin. He tried to comfort her. “I am so sorry, Clara. It should be somebody else! We all know here, how great you are.”
“Thank you for your kind words, Martin, but they offered me quite a generous compensation, so I can take some vacation now, and I will think about my next career later,” she assured him.
“Listen, Martin,” she said discreetly, “I was working on something. It could be important. If you you will have some time, have a look at this data. They didn´t let me to finish this, but I am sure, that you will figure it out,” Clara handed over a flash disk.
Martin wanted to say something yet, but Clara was gone already. He took the flash disk and returned to his table.
It was the evening. All colleagues left for home, and Martin was preparing to leave too, but then he remembered Clara´s last words. So he inserted the flash disk into his computer, and he inspected the data she gave him, just with curiosity.
After one hour, he dialed the number of his superior, John.
“Hello John, sorry to disturb you this late,” Martin apologized. It was really unusual, because Martin was quite nobody in the company, a junior anayst – and even so, he called his superior at eight o´clock in the evening.
Before John could complain to this strange behavior of his subordinate, Martin explained his call with serious tone in his voice: “I think that you should come back to the office. I found something… it could be important,” Martin repeated Clara´s words.
John understood quickly. In thirty minutes, he was back in the building.
“Have a look,” Martin showed him. “According to these figures, tomorrow will happen a slight tremble in the Swiss financial market. And it could influence our own financial assets significantly. Our company owns many of the Swiss bonds, as you probably know.”
John studied the numbers himself, and he checked them. “You are right. This is not looking too good. It could lower the overall value of our ompany. And we can´t afford it right now, just before our merger with the buyer. Who made this financial model? You?”
“No. It was Clara. But they fired her, before she could finish it. I just made some final adjustments. And this is the result.”
“I told that foolish management, that the Risk Assessment is an important department, but they ignored it! And look at the results of their wise decisions… Anyway, I have to make a few calls now. This could be urgent.”
In another hour, a strange event was happening – the luxurious limousines of the top management were entering the garage in the company building. When the CEO´s private helicopter landed on the roof, it was the clear indication, that something big is coming.
During the unexpected meeting, Martin explained the events to CEO himself. The man was listening carefully, and his face was really severe.
“This model indicates, that the conservative estimation of our losses is 26% of the overall company value in one day,” Martin concluded his explanation.
The CEO was known as a decisive man with deep connections to the top state levels. It was no secret, that the core of the Corporation´s capital was from the richest citizens of the country.
“And in monetary value, how much is this loss?” he asked.
“Around 40 million USD,” John said into the silence. “Tomorrow afternoon. But this is just a prediction. However, the numbers seem correct. You can check them yourself again.”
“We can´t afford an unhappy event like this. And you all know, why,” the CEO commented. “Before I will make a final decision, I want to speak with the author of this prediction. Whose work was it?”
“A colleague… who was released from our services today,” John said cautiously.
“You must be kidding!” the CEO was astonished. “I want her to be here immediately. Call her, and apologize her! This is not a game! ”
“Sorry, but we don´t have her private telephone number. Her service phone was confiscated, and we have no other contact.”
“I must be dreaming, team! But you do know, where she lives, her address? Send there somebody immediately! I want to speak with her in one hour. Hallo, people! Wake up! We are talking about 40 million USD, floating in the air, so let´s get moving! Check the figures again, and carefully! What time is it?”
“Almost ten thirty,” somebody informed the CEO.
“OK. The financial market is opening at eight in the morning. Let´s use this time, to make a qualified decision. I won´t allow some foreign troublemakers to spoil the biggest transaction in the history of our Corporation!”
“I am really sorry for all this, Clara,” John said. “I tried to stop them…”
Luckily for him, she was at home, and she was so kind, that he allowed him to come in, even this late.
“Nothing happened,” Clara said with detached smile. “Let´s have a coffee.”
“No time for that, I am afraid. They are asking you to return back at once, and to confirm the numbers. I was ordered to pick you up… sorry for this harsh behavior. But you can imagine, what is the actual situation there. The CEO is completely upset, that you were released. It was not his decision. That foolish HR people made it…”
“Oh, really?” Clara seemed surprised. “Look, I don´t want to play an insulted queen, but that is only your problem now, not mine. I don´t want to get involved, and legally, I can´t access your internal information. There is some law regulation, you know that. So I can make you a coffee, and that is all.”
John excused to her for a moment, and made a phone call. “Boss, she says no. She doesn´t want to get involved, or what.”
“Offer her money,” the CEO said without hesitation. “Offer her fifty thousand USD for seven hours of consultancy work! Or grab her arm and deliver her against her will! I don´t care what methods you will use! You know, what is in stake now! Do something, man! Make me proud of my team again!”
It was six in the morning, and the orange sun emerged at the horizon. The CEO took the word, to announce his decision to the top management.
“I thought about all possibilities. We have a prediction, and it can be wrong. But after my private conversation with Clara, I firmly believe that she is right. And it means, that we will have to make some bold steps, to contain this serious threat to our business operations.
The basic problem is not, what we could lose in the sense of money. That 40 million USD is only a top of an iceberg. Add the fatal damage of our name, of our reputation. We can be completely finished tomorrow, and our competitors will quickly join forces against us. You know the rules – everybody wants larger part of the sweet cake, and the best way is to eliminate a common enemy. If we will be weak, that vultures outside won´t hesitate.
In other words, people – we are talking about the survival of our company, Nothing less. And it forces us to make swift, even ruthless moves. Any decency could make us history, and in the matters of hours. My mission, as the CEO, is to prevent this to happen, using all available means.
So here is, what we wil do. When the market will be opened, our Sales department will try hard to sell all of our Swiss bonds, as fast as possible. We have to get rid of this questionable blessing now. How many people do we have there?”
“Only twelve remaining,,,” the Sales director announced with bitterness. His department was also severely hit with the lay-off.
“OK. They will have to make it. Promise a 50.000 USD bonus to each of them, if 90% of that toxic assets will be sold before 14.00. Don´t explain them, why. Just tell them to do it. I don´t care, how high discounts they wil provide to the buyers. I just want to get rid of that problem, and completely.”
“But our own loss will be too wide this way… it could really destroy us financially,” somebody said with anxiety. “The whole market will know in several hours, what is happening. So the price will be falling sharply. We will lose tens of millions USD… and our buyer will run away certainly.”
“They won´t,” the CEO said coldly. And everybody knew, what was his dark plan. He will use the bonds to start the small market tremble, to launch an avalanche, all investors will be scared, and also the competitors will suffer big losses, because they will be forced to sell their bonds too, under this volatile conditions. In the end of the day, not only the Corporation will be damaged, but their competitors too, everybody around. And their company will have the unique advantage, to be the first, who starts all that risky game, although with vast consequences for even the last citizen of their country.
But it was the only way to save the Corporation, the higher interest of their company. No one of them could care, that they could launch an economic crisis, as the whole economy will suffer from all that tremble. Even the value of their national currency could be influenced negatively this way.
And all that will start with one single decision of a single CEO of a middle-sized Corporation, based on one single financial model, made by Clara, the analyst…
She will be promoted and pampered, as the woman who has miraculous abilities, who saved their Corporation.
We will never know, if she made it as a revenge for being fired, or she was just a loyal employee, who tried to save the values for her company. But in the end, it doesn´t matter, who the “analyst zero” was, and what was his or her real intention and motivation.
Next time, when you will read about a crisis in a newspaper, remember – only a single person can be enough to start it. Not talking about so called “Economic Warfare”, when an enemy deliberately tries to disrupt a foreign economy.
Download as PDF: The Woman Who Changed Our Lives by Alan Svejk