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Monday, January 5, 2009

Great words from Lee Iacocca

'Nuff said:


'Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes? He's now 82 years old and has a new book, 'Where Have All The Leaders Gone?'.

Lee Iacocca Says:

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car.

But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.'

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned 'Titanic'.

I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!'

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.

While we're fiddling in Iraq , the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do.. And the press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the ' America ' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest 'C' is Crisis!

(Iacocca elaborates on nine C's of leadership, with crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born.. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here's where we stand.

We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving.

We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country.

We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy.

Our schools are in trouble..

Our borders are like sieves.

The middle class is being squeezed every which way.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throwing away our shampoo?

We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? - that some bonehead on the news media will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope - I believe in America . In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The 'Great Depression,' 'World Wars I and II,' the 'Korean War,' the 'Kennedy Assassination,'the 'Vietnam War,' the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.

If I've learned one thing, it's this: 'You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a "Call to Action" for people who, like me, believe in America '. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had 'enough.'

Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It's our country, folks, and it's our future. Our future is at stake.

3 comments:

AVENGER said...

Bill, though we disagreed in the past I agree with you on this 110%! Have these politicians, corporation executives etc. no shame? I fear for our country's future...

mnwxchaser said...

Two items along the timeline really concern me. 1) At what point do we bottom out? and 2)Once we do hit the "low point", can we fix it?

So many people are so complacent and sit on their asses thinking the government and everyone else owes them something. All the way from the board room to the shelters, the "what about me?" mentality has got to change.

Looking at the huge budget deficit Minnesota (and along with the majority of the other states)is facing, I'm leaning towards welcoming the cutbacks in human services (i.e. welfare) which is coming as a huge part of spending cuts. Don't mistake me. I'm not totally against public aid under certain circumstances (billion dollar corporate bailouts is nothing more than welfare for the wealthy IMO), but the order of natural selection needs to kick in. My ex-wife has family members who are geniuses when it comes to playing "the system". Now they are having fits because they are going to need to learn to survive like the rest of us....through hard work and MAKING GOOD DECISIONS. Too freakin' bad. Deal with it. This country was built on a strong work ethic. What changed? Was it the WW2 generation? Was it the baby boomers? Was it generation X and Y with their immediate self gratification attitudes? Or a combination the ideals from each creating rose colored glasses which makes reality appear as life being "the good life" or nothing at all? I wish it were an easy answer so the root of the problem could be destroyed so the same mistakes could not be made again.

The US must make some tough choices...now IMO...or the consequences in the future may be even worse. No sense in putting a band aid on a bleeding artery.

I usually try to rather a-political (my self-biased opinions excluded) but I pray to God the incoming presidential cabinet has the wisdom and balls to set the stones in the path were are going down which includes some of the basic principles and ideals this country was built on.

Shane Adams said...

You can blame technology.

The remote control.

The home computer

The cell phone

You can blame everything ever invented to make life easier, not out of necessity but out of laziness. No person under 18 needs a cell phone, and I don;t give a damn about "it keeps them safe". I sure as shit didn't need a cell phone to keep my ass alive when I was a kid.

And since when do we need our music every damn place we go? Sometimes people don't hear that bus or truck screeching it wheels just before they're mincemeat, because they're jamming to the latest crap radio tells them is great.

America bcame what it was (what's so popular to now harken back to) out of necessity. Survival. making it to the next day. But times change. People and places evolve. People need to be entertained, and whether anyone wants to admit it or not, "self gratification" is a key elemtn to human happiness.

I don;t know about anyone else, but I'll be damned if I'm going to take shit from anybody for living my life for ME. Ain't nobody else gonna wipe my ass, so why should every day of my life be for anyone else other than me?

I work hard, and I don't complain. But I don't do it because I feel obligated. I do it because it allows me to have the thing I WANT out of life. These old farts rallying the troops with a few well-penned comments about what's obviously fucked up right now don't phase me one bit.

I'm not going to be outraged over something I can't control. And don't even start with the "every vote counts" bullshit. It obviously didn't in 2000.

I'm not saying the guy's wrong, I'm just saying he shouldn;t be attempting to speak of every American. Like he was quoted: "Storms happen. Deal with it."

Well I am dealing with it. When gas went from $1.50 to $4.00, my income didn;t increase along with it. When groceries went up because of the domino effect from fuel, my paychecks didn't increase to match it. Maybe I don't wave a flag in my front yard (don't have one actually, I rent) but that doesn't make me un-American, just because I'm not caught up in being angry 24/7 because America's turned itself into the other half of what "being free" is.

Where was all the outcry over out-sourcing in the early 00s? Oh hell no, that was great for business. America did a lot of what it's crying over to itself. And as a lowly working class schmo that 99 of 100 middle class women would be afraid of based on my appearance, what the fuck am I supposed to do to right the ship?

I could quit my job, go stand in line for unemployment, and live off the country like so many other assholes in my position are already doing. But nah, I ain't got much but I do have a little pride. I can be poor on my own.

So when I read some shit from an asshole who's never having to worry about money again (book deals must suck), I say: "It's quite easy to access what's wrong from the ivory fucking tower."

Try it knee-deep in shit on the floor sometime.

Goddamn I hate politics, it's not even worth trying to understand.

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