The current debate in Australia about executive remuneration, kept alive recently by the departure of Sol Trujillo from Telstra, about who gets what, and how much is enough, is essentially a spurious debate about supply and demand for executive “talent” colored by individuals successfully marketing themselves as the new messiah.

However, it forgets that human beings are essentially herd animals, generally we want to belong to something that reflects our own values and views much more than we want another luxury car or boat, after the initial “need” is satisfied.

Belonging is a basic motivation that has largely been forgotten, and legislation will only serve to push it further into the background of peoples thinking, but it will not reduce the impact on peoples psychology.

Boards that set out to build an organisation to which people want to belong, will attract better talent at a much cheaper price than one that relies on just money.

Telstra paid Sol a pile, and got little back of the effort beyond a demoralized and “values free” enterprise.

Adios Sol, you took the dough, and added little, but whose fault is that?