While I don't think outside forces should dictate how corporations deal with their executives, I think it would be wise for companies to require their executives to do some high-profile community work. It could provide good public relations opportunities for them, and it would be a nice way to increase the visibility for a variety of charitable causes.
If corporations require their senior leaders to take sabbaticals to give back to the community, then it would be beneficial for the community as well as the companies. The executives will be given a period of rest where they can focus on helping the community and find relief from the stress of work.
Corporations are beholden to their owners and shareholders, not the members of the local community in which they are located. As such, their charter should be to focus on shareholder benefits as a whole, rather than trying to do good for the local community. If a corporate executive wants to do charitable works for the community, that's admirable and should be applauded. But a corporation has no business requiring its senior leaders to take sabbaticals to do so. Generating shareholder profits, preferably long-term, sustainable profits, should be the primary focus of a corporation.
I strongly agree that senior leaders of corporations and business should be required to give back to the community - especially in light of this current economy where so many people have so little while senior executives are paid so much. The salaries of some senior executives are almost insane, to the point that they should be willing to share a small portion of what they earn in addition to giving some of their time.
Senior leaders should give back to their communities as they are so fortunate to have a lot of money. To achieve this they are working long hours and many deserve the compensation. I'm sure many of them would like to give back but don't have time so companies should them this time. Giving back is a really important part of being a whole person.
The most successful corporations in the United States do not have mandatory requirement for senior leadership to do community service work. The requirement for senior management to engage in public service efforts does nothing to improve the operation and profitability of the company. The first responsibility of management is to operate the company in such a manner that it makes a fair return on the shareholder's investment, while providing job, goods and service to the community. Any additional service to the community should not be at the expense of the efficient operation of the company. Community service activities should be company-wide in scope and not limited to the senior management team.
Successful corporations advance the economy and make the nation stronger. They provide jobs, goods and services, that all improve the quality of life for everyone. Some companies do go too far, get greedy, and do substantial damage to the economy. But, punishing their leaders with forced community service isn't going to make those individuals suddenly become compassionate. A good number of businesses already contribute to fundraisers and public works, simply because of tax breaks and earning a better reputation for themselves. Those sort of endeavors should be encouraged at company-wide levels, instead of targeting the few at the top.
The leadership of a corporation can best serve the community by doing their jobs well by maintaining and growing their company. This will provide jobs and prosperity in the communities they operate in. This is much more useful then what could be achieved with any 'sabbatical'. What is more helpful, a CEO doing volunteer work, or building a new factory with 100 jobs?
Each person should have a choice as to what they want to do to give back to the community. If a senior leader wants to work he or she should continue working. However, he should be given the option to take a sabbatical if he wants to. No one should be forced to give back though.
Anyone who is a top leader in a company should want to willingly offer their services giving back to the community. It would be nice for companies to offer sabbaticals for this purpose, but it definitely should not be a requirement that they use them. When someone does something of their own free will it is much better and actually of value to themselves and those they serve.
Corporate leaders should give back to the community. Few would disagree with that. However, the idea of requiring these leaders to take a sabbatical and do some kind of community service is fraught with difficulties.
First, just who would require this? The corporation? If so, would these corporate leaders be on a paid or unpaid sabbatical? And what kind of community service would be required? Would they plant community gardens? Pick up trash? Rehab abandoned buildings? Teach?--are we quite certain we want our young people being "educated" by these corporate leaders--considering the recent reputation these leaders have acquired?
Yes, corporate leaders should be giving back to the community. So should the corporations. But, in America, charity and community involvement can not be mandated. Certainly not by the government, and probably not by the corporations.
It would perhaps be more advantageous to the "community" if there were a monetary donation from the corporate leader in lieu of time spent working in the community. I sincerely doubt that these leaders would ever do any meaningful work for the community--it would be easy for them to get out of it. After all, they usually manage to avoid jury duty. Is this any different?
While community service is a useful tool in civic organization, requiring corporate leaders to participate does more harm than good by allowing them to write off their participation in activities which harm the economic development of communities as secondary to their brief, limited act of community service. This requirement would actually be a disservice to communities as much more action on the part of corporate leaders is needed in order to foster community growth.
Forcing high profile executive to "give back" would be unfair. Encouraging them to do so would be acceptable, though. People who can give back should, but no one should force them to. Scrooge was cheap, but it was his choice. These people will most likely not be visited by ghosts, but the analogy is the same. Freedom of choice is part of being American. Giving back does have a double purpose though, as it helps to build relationships and resumes.
Forcing senior leader into community service positions seems like punishment; they now have to take their benefits and use them to help others. In other words, you're lowering their benefits through legislation, which is against the enumerated powers of Congress. As a lesson in Capitalism, we should let businesses, and their members, stand on their own two feet. If they are giving and charitable, that will suffice on its own. The key is the media; let the media report how a company acts, but do not let the government impose penalties and mandates on benefits.
Imagine going to a school. Now see the teacher leave for month in the school year to "give back". Never mind they could do this in evenings and weekends, during the summer or on their lunch break. The teacher is pulled from the classroom per a mandated "give back" break. Student performance would suffer as a series of substitute teachers filled in. Back comes the teacher. Life goes on as normal until another subject teacher is interrupted. This is the model you propose.
The concept of mandating sabbaticals is similar to forced furloughs for government workers to cover budget deficits. In many ways, it is even worse because it disrupts the management of private businesses. Shall we mandate forced community service? It sounds interesting and perhaps even attractive in theory. But if the government already takes 10, 20 or even 50% of your pay check, what right does it have to then demand part of your time? No, sabbaticals should be when they are taken voluntarily. And mandatory volunteering like mandatory sabbaticals is an oxymoron that has no place in the real world.