Let me try to explain this so that even someone in management can understand. First off my screen name bbtempfornow: bbt stands for branch banking and trust emp stands for employee for now means I am an employee of bbt for the time being.
As for a peon, it means I am not in management, personally I would not want to be in management at any level I have seen with the company because no one is allowed to rock the boat, and think outside the box. Just a thought, but instead of having bull*hit meetings where everyone can learn the new catch phrases and motivational crap, why not do something productive like make loans, solicit new business, and service customers? Nah, that makes too much sense.
As for the people you used as reference at the top, John Allison does not belong in that group of people, What does Jimmy Buffet have to do with banking, Bob Welch was a decent pitcher in his day with the Dodgers but that does not qualify him to run a bank, I like Nascar but Davey Allison is dead, Bill Gates makes a crappy Operating system full of holes and flaws and Forbes is John Kerry's middle name and I do not want to go there.
Let me see if I understand your post. All the folks you mentioned are or were successful. I am old enough to have been around during their growth. I do not recall any of them whining about their plight. I do recall all of them being positive and succeeding. You, on the other hand seem to know more than 5 men who took a small town bank to it's current heights, and have maintained it during a crucial time in our history, both from a war standpoint, and a reduction in business in all fields due to that war. The growth in jobs continues today with 248,000 new ones in May. The rate of growth in our economy continues as the best in 20 years, with that 20 years being a result of the great Ronald Wilson Reagan, and despite the largest tax increase in our history under Slick Willie of 500 billion in 1993. This of course is a result of George W Bush's leadership. In line with that BBandT has taken steps to also become more competitive. Just as tax cuts take time to show results, BBandT's steps will also take time. Great leaders take unpopular steps because they are great, not because they are whiners. I wish you the best in your career, and urge you to become positive, so that you may direct your energy to become successful. Negative breeds negative, positive breeds success. I know, I've been there done that.