Magazine article The Spectator

Scrub Graffiti

Magazine article The Spectator

Scrub Graffiti

Article excerpt

I am often surprised to see how much it takes to get businessmen out of bed in the mornings. Sir Peter Bonfield, for one: without his daily cocktail of incentives he would just roll over. Most of us are motivated to work by the direct connection between earning and eating. Motivating the man in the top slot is more elaborate. He must have his basic salary (though not so basic as all that) but this is only the beginning. A golden handshake may allure him. He will expect a performance-linked bonus and may get another one, paid at discretion sometimes for doing successfully what he was being paid to do in the first place. He must have his stock options and phantom shares, which can be just as good as real ones, and a long-term incentive plan, too. A decent period of notice will protect him from having all these good things snatched away, and his pension plan will keep him off the streets in his old age. …

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