Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I am somewhat surprised that the press has not picked out very highly paid executives and staked them out to photograph their houses, their cars, their planes, and their spending. At some point, I am convinced it will happen, and that will be harmful to society.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
However, we see many examples of a boss proclaiming his or her responsibility, but then continue as though nothing had happened. This is a sad cultural reflection.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
The average age of the Iraq Study Group was 74, yet, most position specs will talk abut seeking people with 10-15 years experience (or 35-40 in the case of an executive). I have never seen a spec which calls for 30 years experience (a 55 year old), and would collapse if I saw one for someone with 40 years experience. Yet, why not? If today's 65 year old is like a 50 year old of a generation ago, companies should be eager to hire energetic, smart and very seasoned executives.
This habit leads people to not only seek, but to assume that everything can be measured by one number. Perhaps this is why the US News & World Reports ranking of Colleges and Universities, although criticized, is relied upon by many.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Many Americans believe that Americans are somehow more patriotic and love their country more than citizens of other countries. Yet, citizens of countries with even the most odious regimes do love their countries. This patriotism allows them to put up with a lot.
Nevertheless, ordinary citizens of other countries do have affection and respect for much in the US - it is simply not always what Americans expect. Citizens of other nations respect America's creativity, energy, economic freedom, as well as Hollywood movies, Levis and Coca Cola. However, they may not always admire the politicians, economists, and philosophers whom we do.
Many citizens of other democracies believe that the US' "first past the post" electoral system, and constant partisan gerrymandering of boundaries is far from democratic. Some other countries have charters of rights which are more modern than the US, which has one of the oldest constitutions in the world. Whether you agree with it or not, it is important to know it.
Friday, January 26, 2007
It would benefit the US immensely if there were a large pool of US citizens who have experienced other countries, languages and cultures through immersion rather than simply visits, however lengthy.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
For example, the Association of Executive Search Consultants recently recommended a firm to help people find jobs. This is so counter to the normal ethics of executive search, that I found it stunning. It represents a major conflict, and furthermore, most of these firms exploit desperate and frightened executives by over-promising and under-delivering.
As Chairman of the Marketing Executives Networking Group www.mengonline.com, I see this dynamic a lot. Ethics are in short supply so often.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
“He’s loud, volatile, insulting, doesn’t listen to the other perspective.” -- Scott Kirby, President, US Airways.
Do we need CEOs like that?
Saturday, January 20, 2007
- Global Warming threatens our quality of life and perhaps life itself.
- Continued and growing use of oil in the US hurts the US and finances its enemies.
- The Iraq war seems to be a quagmire with no easy solution.
- Islamic fundamentalism and other extremism is a threat to freedom.
- Religion continues to divide many in the US.
- Race is an ongoing issue. Not just black and white, but between other groups too - Hispanic and Asian.
- Wars and genocide across the globe do not seem to diminish. Even though fatalities in Iraq seem to be much lower than in Vietnam, much of this is due to improved medicine so that injured soldieers who once would have died, survive.
- Globally democracy is not making gains, and over the past few years has even retreated.
- The US Balance of payments stubbornly refuses to go down in spite of a declining $.
- The US Budget deficit is growing.
- 45 Million Americans are uninsured, even though the US spends twice as much per capita on health care as any other country in the world while getting poorer health care than many other Western countries. It hurtd global competitiveness.
- Income inequality in the US is increasing.
- Education in the US is failing - local funding and control hurts schools while Universities and Colleges are performing poorly although costs continue to climb faster than inflation.
- Illegal immigration is an issue in every Western democracy.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wow! They may be some of the smartest financial people in the world, but do not understand that staium is extremely inefficient for brand equity building. I have been involved in this twice. Once, I succeeded in preventing the purchase of rights in Boston, and then I failed to stop the naming of Reliant stadium in Houston. It is almost always an ego-trip on the part of the CEO. It is inefficient in targetting the market, and the positioning it communicates is rarely appropriate unless you are in the sports business.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Other than the fact that well over $1 Billion has been spent building Cingular as a well-known and differentiated brand, does it make sense to go back to a brand whihc represented "Ma Bell," reliable, but resistant to change? Many argue that AT&T is a name which only means something to older people, whereas Cingular means much more to younger people. Cingular's "raising the bar," tagline is also going to go, as its its distinctive orange logo. I understand that much consumer resesrch has been done to verify that this makes sense. I would be fascinated to see that research.
I wonder if any of the research was used to calculate brand values and to perform a financial payout calculation. If so, it would be unusual. Few companies ever measure their brands on a $ basis. This is a missed opportunity.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
If, as the Tao says, the best leaders are unknown those they lead, how can we find and judge leaders?
Next best are leaders that are loved and praised,
then those that are feared.
The worst are hated and despised.
A.G. Laffley of Procter & Gamble may be one of the rare examples of a great leader. He does not thrust himself to the forefront. Colleagues and subordinates have said repeatedly that they do not know how he does it, but he always gets good results. I believe that had he left P&G and left his career to the power of self-promotion, he would not have been so successful. However, he spent his career in a company which carefully and accurately measures results. Most of the "great" leaders promoted by the business press are at best those in the 2nd category. People who are great leaders are likely to go unrecognized and unrewarded.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Also, be one of the people who is open and honest with those around you. Do not allow someone to make a poor decision because of lack of information.