The Worker Bee Is Dead

There used to be only one way to climb the corporate ladder: Start at the bottom and work your way up. But the latest generation of workers has changed the corporate climate and the way business is done.

Just how much has changed? On The Early Show Tuesday, George Bisacca, an attorney, Toni Senecal, an Internet entrepreneur, and Watts Wacker, a futurist and CEO of FirstMatter, discussed the latest changes in the work-force ethic. As Wacker puts it, "Look at the world today. I don't think anybody wants to be a worker bee."


George Bisacca is 72 years old and has been an attorney since 1951. Now semi-retired, he specializes in sports law.

"Young people just don't want to pay their dues anymore. They're not interested in working their way up the corporate ladder," says Bisacca. "They're just looking for instant success. Their lack of loyalty to companies and their lack of respect to more experienced workers will hurt them greatly in the long run."

He explains that most get-rich-quick schemes involve using shortcuts, which means that businesses operate with little structure and, therefore, no stability.

"I think when you had the old system -- and believe me, there were abuses in the old system: nepotism, elitism were rampant in the old system.But there was a certain progression which affected your whole life. You had a loyalty to your employer."

He fears that as the business world relies more often on such technologies as e-mail and the Internet, the workplace will lose its last vestiges of humanity.

"It's going to get to the point," he says, "where there won't be that much human contact in the workplace."


Toni Senecal, 30, is an Internet entrepreneur. She studied art in Italy and fashion in France. She also earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from New York University's School of Business.

Since graduating, she has had several jobs that have included modeling, reporting and freelance writing. She was also a vice president of broadcasting at the Bromley Group, a fashion PR firm. She has her own Internet company called

Senecal's belief is that, "It's a new day and older people should respect us for our ambition and willingness not to accept menial jobs. Why should we make copies and do other mundane jobs when we can now own our own companies?"

Above all else, she prizes the freedom that her work affords her. "I get to tavel all over the place," she says. "I may not make a fortune, but I set up a job that allows me to live the lifestyle I want to live."


Watts Wacker is the founder and CEO of FirstMatter, LLC. A best-selling author, lecturer, political commentator and social critic, he is a futurist, examining trends and patterns to draw logical conclusions.

He has helped many major companies "navigate the sea of change that is taking hold in the new millennium," he says. He has been the futurist at SRI International, and spent 10 years as the resident futurist at the social research organization Yankelovich Partners.

"What the world needs," says Wacker, "is the 25-year-old CEO who becomes the chairman and lets the 55-year-old run the show. If they can make that generational gap come together, we solve the problems."

He also points out that the goals of young business people are not entirely centered around money. "It is the big trend, the blurring of the boundaries between work and home life -- corporate napping, taking your dog to work. It's not about people not wanting to work. It's about ensuring that the work you do has some meaningfulness in your life; not only in terms of remuneration, but also in that you get a life."