We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Executive decision-making is a skill. Good executive decision-making seems to be a talent. These are neither skills nor talents that I was blessed with, but that's probably just as well. I've never been much of a leader, and never a good follower either. My major life decisions have always made me nauseous. Medicine has been the right field for me. Independent work, endlessly interesting, and cautious, careful, conservative decision-making comes easily to me.
From Harvard Biz School, "While elevated narcissism and self-promotion has been shown to result in quicker promotion early in one's career, its negative impacts are revealed in positions of higher authority."
As in the sports world, in the biz world, if you cannot produce winning decisions consistently and with integrity, you will eventually go down. It's rough out there. I hear all of the stories and all of the excuses, but the most talented and honest do pretty well and never make excuses for their disappointments. Competition is a big part of life, and an exciting part of it.
Leadership -- one of the best works on leadership is a book originally intended for teenagers: Shellabarger - Captain From Castile. It takes no prisoners and makes no apology for doing what has to be done to keep the wheels turning.
I love the HBR blog! The study of leadership is endlessly fascinating and entertaining. It is particularly fun to read the comments on each blog article...every theorist receives feedback from the masses and the feedback is just as interesting as the article! It is almost as if the ivory tower has been brought down to earth by the opinion of every commentator.
So, who's right? How do you get beyond anecdote and conjecture, theory and debate? One book I enjoyed recently is Jim Collins's How The Mighty Fall...based on substantial research on good and bad corporate decision making. A real page-turner.
The book also made me wonder how much similarity there is between corporate and personal decision making. It was tempting to draw a close parallel between the two.
As someone who must advice others primarily in times of crisis and transition I commend you, Joy, on your risk-averse and conservative approach. In my experience, a cautious optimism is a good for personal decision making..
When you have a resource-rich war chest of billions of dollars and an army of advisers and staff, you can be Jack Welch and make a bad decision or two and survive the consequences. But individuals, seeking help, often without much of a social net...must be very very deliberate...as you describe.
Interestingly, Mrs. Welch.. Suzy, former editor of HBR and presumably well-read in this area of leadership, has an book about making value based decisions, based on visualizing consequences in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years: 10-10-10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and with Your Family.
Narcissism and self promotion have paid off handsomely for the Corzine crowd. And the negative impacts are bailouts and bailins for the TBTF and all made possible by the narcissism and self promotion of the political class. And all of them voted in by the 47% who won't pay for it and the billionaires who fund it at no expense to themselves. And Harvard Business School is sure to rake in more donations from all of the above except the 47%.