Former Fortune 500 CEO Cries Foul on Lazy Wall Street Driven Layoff Practices

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Donald F. Hastings' new business memoir proves there are big profits in putting people first.

I may be David goading Goliath, but I believe layoffs, in general, are a sign of catastrophic failure on the part of management. To please Wall Street, we are dehumanizing business to a point that is unconscionable. It’s lazy and it’s bad business.

Former CEO Donald F. Hastings led international conglomerate The Lincoln Electric Company out of the worst financial crisis in the company’s history into record sales and profits. How? By doing the unexpected: sharing the risk, sharing the respect and sharing the wealth with all employees.

In his inspirational memoir, “Behind the Mask,” penned with his daughter Leslie Anne, Hastings exemplifies his version of enlightened management and challenges the shortsighted view Corporate America takes today. By setting an example to the contrary, Hastings debunks the myth that organized labor, shipping jobs overseas, extreme wage disparity and layoffs are necessary to earn healthy profits.

“I may be David goading Goliath, but I believe layoffs, in general, are a sign of catastrophic failure on the part of management,” Hastings said. “To please Wall Street, we are dehumanizing business to a point that is unconscionable. It’s lazy and it’s bad business.”

“Behind the Mask” recounts Hastings’ rise to CEO inside one of the most unique manufacturing companies in the world. Hastings blends ingenuity, audacity and finesse with wildly unorthodox programs to get noticed, inspire creativity in the workplace, keep people employed and maintain a healthy bottom line.

Hastings’ controversial leadership style, insisting that employees be treated as assets rather than costs, contradicts today’s conventional corporate mindset. “Behind the Mask” proves that treating people fairly, compensating them for good work and giving them a voice is not only ethical, but highly profitable.

“I believe human beings are the single greatest resource a company has,” Hastings said. “Of course there’s a risk in taking care of your people, but being creative and taking risks is what inspired management is all about!”

“Behind the Mask: Embrace Risk and DARE to Be Better”
By Donald F. Hastings and Leslie Anne Hastings
ISBN: 978-1-49907-128-3
Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and bookstore.xlibris.com. Review available on BlueInkReview.com.

About the author
Donald F. Hastings, Chairman Emeritus, The Lincoln Electric Company, was dubbed the Silver-Tongued Mesmerist by his customers. Blessed (or cursed) with extraordinary creativity and exceptional daring, he scrambled his way from sales trainee to CEO and Chairman of the Board. As CEO, his ingenuity, audacity, and bold ideas ignited the 100-year-old company to rise from the ashes, converting catastrophe into “The Miracle on St. Clair.” Leslie Anne Hastings, a graduate of Stanford University and the voice Behind the Mask, writes of her father’s exploits with a wry wit. “If James Bond had infiltrated the manufacturing world, this would be his story.”

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Andrea Hawman
Bohlsen Group
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