Monday, January 12, 2009

Remember Lee Iacocca? A Must Read!

A friend sent me these words via email. They were so damn good - and so very relevant to today's situation - that I just had to post and share with you all.

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from it's death throes? He's now 82 years old and has a new book, 'Where Have All The Leaders Gone?' and here are some excerpts (below picture).

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 throw 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 debit, 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 Fox News 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 War 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'm 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!!

My closing thoughts:

I hope, after reading, you feel the same way as I did... I believe Lee is speaking many of the same words the masses are thinking, yet tend to keep to themselves - due to the belief that some will doubt their patriotism and/or consider them a radical; others might ostracise and/or criticise; many more are just too damn ignorant to discuss the issue (what? can't we just talk about football or Dancing w/the Stars?)...

But this truly IS an important issue that needs to become mainstream... WE NEED LEADERSHIP, NOT MORE G.D. CORRUPTION!

Am I wrong here? Is it not time for ALL of us to wake up from our slumber and DEMAND honest, accountable government leadership? Isn't it time to DEMAND that they stop lining their pockets while looking out for the best interests of the bankers, corporations and big business - and finally stand up to speak for "we the people"? We're on the downward slide my friends and if we don't start turning this ship around quickly, we're done!

To reiterate a comment made in a previous post of mine - 3rd world America: "I love this country, but feel that if things don’t change soon, we’ll eventually follow the path of the Romans and ultimately will see to our own demise... A 3rd world America."

With all the above said, please allow me to leave you with a 1966 Robert F. Kennedy quote:

"Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change."

Think about it...

Best Regards


Anonymous said...

Are you and idiot ?

JFK was assasinnated in 1963 !!!

You fool !.

1966 ? Was that the year you were born ?

Randy said...

Good Catch - "Are you AND idiot?"

No retort required...

Jim Twamley said...

"Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society..."

Well, Randy, you pass the test! It isn't easy being the messenger and telling the truth - sometimes you get shot at. Heck, I've got enough bullet holes in me that any more they just pass right through :)

Thanks for the lead on Lee! I didn't always agree with him, but I sure respect him.
Jim Twamley

Mark said...

Randy, do you think he's figured it out yet?

I've been reading for over a year and you do a great job. Thanks.

jerry said...

Anonymous--did I miss something? Randy said nothing about JFK. He quoted RFK! First of all it is spelled "assassinated", and the word you should have used was "an" and not "and". At least, idiot was spelled correctly. That must mean something.

Anyway, anonymous missed the entire point of the posting. But instead, he focused on the quote. I guess, that is called unable to see the forest through the trees.

Lee was calling to arms most of America still taking out their credit cards and going further into debt, or those financial bobbleheads spewing crap about how the economy is beginning to look better.

That posting was preaching to your choir. We here seem to be on hyper-alert, even Mr. Anonymous. Even most bloggers, who spend hours and hours reading and writing have a small audience of readers, and typically, they are those who know what is going on.

I really don't know any strategies to get the masses moving and thinking and acting on their own behalf.

i do believe it must be left to those famous people, like Lee Iacocca. If he, and other like minded famous people began to challenge the political establishment into a national public policy that most 10 year olds could figure out, a fire might be set under the butts of our representatives. But, for most of us, we are only a drop in the pond.

Also, I must say, that there really IS a brain chemistry difference, a thinking difference, between the way Republicans think, and the way free thinkers think. Many of them cannot be changed. Many Democrats do pretend to think differently, but only a minority of them really do think differently than Republicans.

Virgo said...

Ron Paul! Ron Paul!

Oh, hell. What's the use. The masses will rather listen to the liars and sweet lies than awake from their deep hypnotic slumber of ignorance and denial. The alarm is ringing in the background and it's getting louder and louder every day. Wake up time will come when homelessness and hunger come knocking.

Soon enough.

Michael said...

It's hard to have hope in America when 99% of American voters voted for McCain and Obama, when there were much better candidates like Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Dennis Kucinich.

I have no doubt that the US will be a 3rd world country in 5 years, because politicians and economists aren't even diagnosing the problems, much less trying to solve them. There is nothing left to keep the economy going. There will be no more bubbles ot cover up the effects of globalization.

In America today, there is Consevative and Liberal, no Republicans or Democrats, only Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, and Israel. That's who really controlls America. About the only good thig about America's downfall is that Israel will die with it. Amen to that.