I recently read an article by Robert Kiyosaki of "Rich Dad-Poor Dad" fame in Entrepreneur Magazine. It struck a chord with me. I'm not in the same league as the BIG THREE...yet, but I took this article as a lesson to learn and to be remembered.
Here's a brief summary:
"1. Leaders should be on the same compensation plan as the sales staff."
"2. Leaders listen to the customer."
"3. Politicians reward incompetence."
As for bullet number 1, he sighted that maybe the Detroit leaders should have only been paid for the number of cars sold. I agree. That would have opened their eyes and made them better businesspeople. Instead, they flew all over the country, gave themselves huge bonuses, and completely stuck their heads in the sand. This is the impression I get from the media, which is not to say is the absolute truth.
The number 2 bullet is important for all of us entrepreneurs and business professionals. Although the BIG THREE listened to the customer and provided SUVs. [This is debatable though. Did the customers want them or were they just marketed into wanting them?] When should they have started to see the writing on the wall? I realize that know one has a crystal ball...but it seems silly to think they didn't see this coming!
The lesson here is to always keep your finger on the pulse of the "next big thing". Is a fear of failure the reasons these big corps always trip and fall on there face? I wonder what Apple is working on? Is Google resting?
The third bullet is the one that is talked about the most amoung my peers...usually over a few beers and some pizza at our wateringhole. Bailouts are just not in my volcabulary. It's hard for me to feel sorry for a huge-mega-corporation that allowed greed to cause it to fail. If capitalism is day then failure is night. Those are the rules. That is the American dream. Why is the playing field titled to favor thes HUGE CORPS and not us...the small entrepreneur. I think we can all throw out a few statements...what's yours?
So, I'll remember these lessons and try to apply them to my business.