Leadership and the S-word

Sorry.

How hard is it to say really? Pretty hard for Alan Greenspan, apparently. His now-notorious answer to the question "Were you wrong?"-- he said, "Partially" -- was worse even than staunchly refusing to apologize. Decisive wrongheadedness is still decisive.

It turns out there's quite a body of leadership literature on when to aplogize and what apologies tell us about the leaders who offer them.

Greenspan's is simply another in a long line of non-apologies from the financial world. Meanwhile, at GE, CEO Jeffrey Immelt is singing the praises of regulation. "This notion that the free market solves everything has never been
true," he says. "The government always has been a catalyst for change...and
can be a positive catalyst for change."

Immelt explains to HBR editor Steve Prokesch why companies should stay committed to growth despite the financial climate change. This, I believe, is the next big business story: will companies, in general, retreat to profitability mode and forgo growth until the clouds break, some months or years from now?

Of course, GE's one of the biggest corporations in history. It has some cash lying around. (Though maybe not enough, if you read the story in the previous link), so committing to growth is less onerous for GE than others.

I wonder what Joe the Medium-Sized Business Owner thinks as he hears Immelt talk about leadership as "an intense journey into yourself."

No time for that Jeff. Bills to pay, you know? Unlike large financial services firms, most of us try and pay them.

By Scott Berinato  |  October 28, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch
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Selctive growth are two operative words. There is no question that companies should take advantage of unique opportunities, if and when they have the resources. However, this is no time for aggressive, "go big" strategies. The desire to just "go big" has been proven to be a failure in almost all situations. Immelt and his team seem to be obsessed with this desire. I hope GE gets back to the basics and increases its selectivity and avoid growth for its own sake. In the past six months all companies have suddenly come to the recognition that they have limited resources and must allocate them carefully.

Bill Rothschild, author of THE SECRET TO GE's SUCCESS, the only objective and comprehensive assessment of GE's successes and failures..now in six languages.

Posted by: bill1128 | October 28, 2008 1:10 PM

I HEAR NO APOLOGY FROM OBAMA FOR COVERING UP FOR HIS FAMILY. AND HE IS TO BE THE LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

Why I ask is this story buried in today's Dallas Morning News on page 13A at the bottom of the page? This is appalling! It is short, but to the point. I will type verbatim this news:

OBAMA'S AUNT FROM KENYA IS LIVING IN U.S. ILLEGALLY

WASHINGTON- Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago, The Associated Press has learned. Zeituni Onyango, 56, referred to as "Aunti Zeituni" in Mr. Obama's memoir, was instructed to leave the United Sates by a U.S. immigration judge who denied her asylum request a person familiar with the matter told the AP late Friday.

I ask.......Why isn't this on the front page of every paper? I guess redistributing other people's wealth will include continuing to subsidize the living expenses of his aunt. He has a grandmother living in squalor in Kenya a brother who lives below the poverty line and now an aunt living in public housing illegally in Boston. He doesn't take care of his own family, yet people believe he will be there to take care of them.


Posted by: edleingroup | November 1, 2008 1:15 PM

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