Nepotism existed long before Downtown Abbey deftly displayed its perks. When I interviewed J. Robin Baitz, a Tony award-winning playwright, about breaking in, he said that nepotism is far more pervasive than most folks realize. “There’s this whole world of people who are just connected. It’s your worst fears always, come true.”
It’s easy to resent those who chose their parents more wisely, but kvetching about it is (almost) as obnoxious.
For starters, stingy CEOs, global economic pressures, and technological advances have made it necessary to Do-It-Yourself. Most businesses, even publicly traded Fortune 500 ones, still promote from within. Henry Ford’s great-grandson William Clay Ford, Jr. serves as the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company. The CEO of McGraw-Hill Companies is Harold Whittlesey McGraw III. It’s grating when those with trust funds, clan crests, or Ivy League logos dismiss what these privileges provide. That said, we shouldn’t inflate their value—we should find a way to beat it.