Is Leadership Dead In America? – Lee Iacocca’s View

This week the news has been crazy in the business world.  American Airlines is being driven to the brink of extinction while Wall Street estimates the executive bonus package might exceed $100 Million Dollars if CEO Tom Horton can get the pilots to agree to a deal.  After getting the other two major unions to make significant concessions, the only thing standing between a massive payday for Mr. Horton is the pilots.  The big question is who is bluffing and where is the leadership?

The pilots were rumored to be having a massive Sickout or “No Show” day on September 21st.  Sources tell us that the Allied Pilots Association called it’s members asking them to stay at work. American isn’t the only company still in trouble, it just happened to be yesterdays big news along with the Space Shuttle Endeavor getting a piggy back ride over Los Angeles and Orange Counties at low level on the NASA 747.  The standoff at American is clearly two politicians playing a very dangerous game at a time when a massive pilot shortage is starting.

School Districts and Government offices around the state aren’t exempt either, leadership is lacking everywhere.  School Boards are trying to pass “guilt taxes” with slogans like “put children first”.  State lawmakers are trying to pass other tax bills to take more of your money in one of the longest economic downturns in history.

A little wisdom from Lee Iacocca might be in order, better yet, take a look at his book.  We are a country starving for leadership being stuffed with politicians and corporate raiders.

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 with this so called president? We should be screaming bloody murder! We’ve got a gang of tax cheating clueless leftists trying to steer our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even
run a ridiculous cash-for-clunkers program without losing $26 billion of the taxpayers’ money, much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘trust
me the economy is getting better…’

Better? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned, ‘Titanic’. I’ll give you a sound bite: ‘Throw all
the Democrats out along with Obama!’

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 Afghanistan , Iran is completing their nuclear bombs and missiles and nobody seems to
know what to do. And the liberal 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 thumb up your butt 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 now with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. But our soldiers are dying daily.

We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the world, and it’s getting worse every day!

We’ve lost the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Gas prices are going to skyrocket again, and nobody in power has a lucid plan to open drilling to solve the problem. This country has the largest oil reserves in the WORLD, and we cannot drill
for it because the politicians have been bought by the flea-hugging environmentalists.

Our schools are in a complete disaster because of the teachers union.

Our borders are like sieves and they want to give all illegals amnesty and free healthcare.

The middle class is being squeezed to death every day.

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.

Everyone’s hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping the government will make it better for them. Now, that’s just crazy… Deal with life. 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, look what Obama did 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 Chicago gangsters in Congress. We didn’t elect you to turn this country into a losing European Socialist state. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on NBC or CNN 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 since 9/11.

Want to read more from Lee Iacocca?  You can buy his book on Amazon by Clicking Here.

Where have all the Leaders Gone?
Lee Iacocca – Still Has It

About the author

Scott Neal is an indépendant financial analyst and consultant. He has been managing and consulting on stock portfolio accounts since 1992. His focus is on finding ethical companies that are profitable, and that occasional overlooked deal that Wall Street forgot about.

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