I've run into a number of people in life who personify the title of this blog post, "when success isn't success." These people have all the trappings and outward signs of success, but in reality, have accomplished very little in life.
The corporate ladder is rife with people such as these. They may hold prestigious sounding positions and make a good amount of money. But actually, their contribution to the company may be minimal, or the contribution the company makes to society is very little.
How about an executive for a tobacco company? Is there anything redeeming about a position such as this? They promote poisonous, additive substances to the masses. Isn't it strange that society looks down at drug dealers, but an executive for a tobacco might garner respect in some circles?
The tobacco industry is an extreme example, but there's many other companies whose contribution to society is minimal. They may get work through favors and contacts, yet the work they produce may actually be of no value. But from the outside, the company's employees appear successful, driving the fancy cars and showing up in all the right places.
I bet there are people working for non-profit agencies who produce 100 times more value than a high-paid executive in your average company. I wish these people received more attention, press, and compensation.