Enron Summary

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Enron Summary In the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, we get an in-depth look into how greed and the lust for power led to the rise and ultimate downfall of Enron. Starting in 1985 as a merger of two oil companies, Enron experienced astronomical growth behind the leadership of its CEO, Ken Lay, and executives Jeff Skilling and Andy Fastow. However, this growth did not come from hard work alone, as the film details some of the underhanded tactics used by Enron to become one of the largest companies in America. Lay, Skilling, and Fastow created an environment where all that mattered was the bottom line, meaning that anything was in the realm of possibility (no matter how despicable) as long as it brought hefty returns for the company. There were many lessons to be learned from Enron. First off, we learn a great deal about the psyche, and how certain primal urges can cause us humans to do things that would at first glance seem appalling. Also, the importance of company culture and corporate ethics is revealed throughout this film. There was a great deal of negative energy permeating throughout Enron that made it nearly impossible for them to sustain their upward trajectory.
By no means should Enron’s leadership be let off the hook for what they did, but it is important to understand what motivated them to act in such a way. Early in the film, we get a little background information on the company’s leaders. Lay grew up in poverty and learned the value of hard work early on, as he watched his father work many jobs. He would always think about a better life, and how he could use business as a way to attain wealth. The fact that Lay could not enjoy the finer things as a child led him to always push forward and achieve bigger and better things. Perhaps this pursuit of success blinded Lay, making him unaware of the effect that he was having on his…...

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