eat what you kill
idiom. The business philosophy that a person who accomplishes something should get the full financial benefit that results from that accomplishment.
eat-what-you-kill adj.

Example Citation:
Most big public companies are run by professional managers who try to foster a cooperative spirit, said Jannice L. Koors, a vice president at Pearl Meyer & Partners, a consulting firm in New York. They tend to link the pay of executives who are responsible for particular lines of business more directly to overall corporate performance than do firms on Wall Street, Ms. Koors said.

"Wall Street has more of an eat-what-you-kill mentality," she said.
—Patrick McGeehan, "Sometimes the Boss Wasn't Paid the Most," The New York Times, April 6, 2003

Earliest Citation:
One factor that may become very important is security. Clearly, the fast-growing institution that features the "eat what you kill" ethic is not designed for, nor will it be expected to provide, long-term security. The question is whether the young and immortal will factor long-term security considerations into their short-term planning.
—Joseph Klock, Jr, "Collegiality Revisited," The American Lawyer, September 1987

Notes:
This phrase comes from the hunting ethic that says a person shouldn't kill anything he or she doesn't plan on eating. Naturally enough, it was taken up in its more general sense by lawyers, who used it to mean that an individual's earnings should be based on how much business that person brings to the firm. The phrase is now quite common throughout the business world.

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