Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Q: Why is this man smiling?

A: He is compensated to the tune of $740K p.a.
and has dodged, thus far, a salary cut?

(Maybe that's why his arms are crossed?)

The above picture of the CEO of the University of Minnesota appears in the current issue of the Minnesota Daily. Given the terrible situation at the U this seems like a strange pose. Maybe he is anticipating the upcoming football season in the House that Bob Built? This picture accompanies a telling piece: "Bruininks talks tuition increases, job cuts."

Elsewhere in the same issue, the Daily asks in an editorial:

Questions for our budgeteers

Is the well-off leadership at the University not thinking hard enough about alternative cost cutting or are they just not listening?

These questions beg of the University community the following: If our enlightened and bountifully compensated leaders cannot find more novel ways to reduce expenses, are they truly worth the salaries we afford them?

So maybe OurCEO is smiling because he is a fan of the late Steve Cannon. Cannon's famous sign off line was: "I got the money."

Another interesting thing about this picture is the body language. Usually crossed arms are considered a bad sign:

Arms can act as the doorway to the body and the self. When they are crossed, they form a closed defensive shield, blocking out the outside world.

Crossed arms may thus indicate anxiety which is either driven by a lack of trust in the other person or an internal discomfort and sense of vulnerability.

Crossed arms is a very obvious signal and if you do it in front of other people they will likely feel rejected and respond accordingly (including not agreeing with you).

Maybe there is something to this body language stuff?

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