When you start a new job, your boss may be more likely to trust YOU than you are to trust him (or her). But if he’s like most CEOs these days, one thing you CAN trust him to do is exit with a big payoff, even if he’s fired.

Recently a CEO of Hewlett-Packard was fired after being on the job for less than a year. He walked away with over $10 million (in addition to the $10 million he got for taking the job in the first place). The head of the Bank of New York took home over $17 million after fighting with board members. The ousted CEO of Yahoo took home $10 million. At a time when so many competent people are looking for jobs, we have to ask ourselves: Are these guys worth it?

In the September 30th edition of the New York Times, Eric Dash quotes Texas representative Lloyd Doggett of the House Ways and Means Committee, as saying that these kids of excessive severance packages are "outrageous," and that "the whole concept that the only way to get rid of bad management is to buy them off is fundamentally wrong."

But no matter what you can trust your boss to do, studies reveal the interesting fact that he trusts you more than you trust him–at least at first. The reason has to with the role that social status plays in relationships. Researchers find that high-status people tended to trust people more in initial encounters than did people with lower status. Researcher Robert Lount says, "In a workplace, that means that bosses, who generally have more status than their employees, may be more trusting during initial encounters. Of course, levels of trust may change as people work together. But that initial encounter is really important because it shapes future behavior. If your first signal is that you don’t fully trust someone, that could undermine future trust development."

Who knows what will happen in the future? If you start out showing you can be trusted, maybe eventually YOU’LL leave with a big payout! Will we discover that time travel is real? Can you imagine a painting made in (what seems like) a mental institution (but which is filled with ex-CIA type agents) as really being a time machine? This is the premise behind Whitley Strieber’s wonderful novel "The Omega Point," which you can get (along with an autographed bookplate designed by Whitley) from the Whitley Strieber Collection.

One thing we KNOW will happen in the future is the publication of Whitley Strieber’s sequel to Communion, his first nonfiction book about the Visitors in a decade. You can be among the FIRST to read it if you pre-order it now, AND once you’ve ordered it, you can receive a special "Communion" bookplate. To find out more, click here.

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