It’s a hot August Friday. I’ve read through hundreds of pages of dense CD&A language in proxies. And I find myself wondering: what if we talked about our diet plans the way companies talk about their comp plans. Here’s my take, based on the format I’ve seen many companies use as they congratulate themselves for changes they’ve made to compensation.
WHAT I’VE HEARD AND HOW I RESPONDED
The scale has spoken and I listened. I recognize that [number intentionally left blank] is an unacceptably high weight. Through meeting with you all, I have learned that the primary reason for recent weight gain has been the consumption of too many calories. Some have also suggested exercise.
What I’ve heard: You are eating too much.
Response: I’m consuming the same approximate number of calories as others, but will carefully monitor this issue. I will continue to maintain rigorous goals, with exceptions at my discretion. The award of supplemental desserts will be limited to extraordinary circumstances.
I’ve also made other adjustments. Going forward I plan to move to drinking diet rather than regular soda. You should all be very proud of me.
What I’ve heard: There have been excessive meals.
Response: I will commit to not consuming more than 4,000 calories in a single setting.
In addition, beginning in 2019 a significant portion of the food I eat will be vegetables.
What I’ve heard: You need to adjust your eating habits to your size and age.
Response: My peer group is entirely appropriate. While I am not currently a player for the NFL I hope to someday be one. Calorie consumption will give me the strength I need for training that I am about to undertake any day. Therefore, those athletes in my peer group can be considered aspirational peers.
Of course this is all silly, a transparent defense of bad habits; but then so is some of what I read in proxy statements.
And remember, what is true for weight is true for compensation as well. It is much easier to never put it on than in the first place than to try to take it off.