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Ed Ruggero
Author/Speaker

Ed Ruggero

Ed Ruggero, author most recently of The First Men In, helps organizations develop the kinds of leaders people want to follow. His Gettysburg Leadership Experience teaches battle-tested leadership lessons that endure today.

Admit That You're Broken

Other than taking the time to show up in person, there was little the auto execs did right in their first appearance before Congress. By their second visit they were playing catch-up, reacting to Congressional demands and public anger over what they'd done to their companies.

The root cause of their problems is hubris. They thought they were beyond even the most predictable challenges, such as, "What do you plan to do with all this money you're asking for, and how is that different from what you've done in the recent past?" What first-year MBA student would fail to anticipate that question?


Fighting hubris means getting an honest perspective on oneself and one's organization. The opposite of hubris may be humility, but its antidotes are honesty, transparency, a bit of moral courage and a willingness to seek new perspectives.

What the auto executives might have done is an analysis that starts with a straightforward, though perhaps difficult admission: We're broken. (Of course the entire world knows that the American auto business is broken; they're making products for which there aren't enough buyers.)

What remains to be seen is if leaders in the auto industry can admit what everyone else already knows and move on to the tough questions. How did we get here? Where do we want to be and how will we get there from here? What will we do differently?
What help do we need?

If the American auto industry fails, it will be a failure of leadership. If the Big Three survive, it will take more than a re-imagining of their companies, their business models and their products, it will take a re-invention of leadership. That new leadership team -- we're talking new faces here -- must create a clear-sighted vision of the future. And that forward look starts with an honest look at the past, not for the purposes of fixing blame, but as a way to learn from past mistakes.

By Ed Ruggero

 |  December 8, 2008; 6:48 PM ET
Category:  Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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WHY I'D LOVE TO BE THE NEW CAR CZAR, OR EVEN THE USED CAR CZAR.

I FIND THAT LAWYERS MAKE EXCELLENT CAR CZARS AND I HAVE BOTH DOMESTIC & FOREIGN CAR EXPERIENCE, NAMELY, FORD AND GM ON THE DOMESTIC SIDE AND HONDA AND TOYOTA ON THE FOREIGN SIDE

AND I KNOW CHINESE

为什么I' 是D的爱新的汽车沙皇,甚至半新车沙皇。 我发现律师做优秀汽车沙皇和我有两国内& 外国汽车经验,即,在外国边的国内边的福特和GM和本田和丰田

AND JAPANESE TOO.

I'なぜ; Dは新しい車の皇帝、また更に中古車の皇帝であることを愛する。 私は弁護士が優秀な車の皇帝を作る私持っている両方国内&をことが分り、; 外国の側面の国内側面の外国車の経験、即ち、フォードおよびGMおよびホンダおよびトヨタ

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | December 10, 2008 3:07 AM
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Mr. Ruggero's insightful analysis could have mentioned that hubris has been the automaker's model for some time, i.e., that they were just acting in character. This fits perfectly with their attitudes and actions on emission standard, alternative fuels and hybrids. An old adage states that when the pressure is great, managers revert to their basic instincts. That's what we've seen here. And Mr. Ruggero hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Marty | December 9, 2008 5:07 PM
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Mr. Ruggero's insightful analysis could have mentioned that hubris has been the automaker's model for some time, i.e., that they were just acting in character. This fits perfectly with their attitudes and actions on emission standard, alternative fuels and hybrids. An old adage states that when the pressure is great, managers revert to their basic instincts. That's what we've seen here. And Mr. Ruggero hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Marty | December 9, 2008 5:05 PM
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why does no one talk about their use of $$$
to fight higher emissions standards in the 16 states that have passed such legislation and why isnt that reported more?

Posted by: tom | December 9, 2008 4:36 PM
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Completely agree. The industry has taken some hard lumps and it will undoubtedly need to take a few more. It is obvious the public no longer has the faith or trust in the old guard anymore. We need a fresh face to step up, apologize for their predecessors, and take the reigns with a clear new vision. They need to verbalize that we are going to turn this thing around. They then need to have the courage to lead the industry through the tough decisions that we all know need to be made. This industry and country can be great again. Let's get it done!

Posted by: John | December 9, 2008 4:18 PM
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Excellent article and right to the core issue. Let's hope some people are listening.

Posted by: AgentG | December 9, 2008 11:19 AM
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