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Barry Posner
Dean/Scholar

Barry Posner

Barry Posner is Dean of the Leavey School of Business and Professor of Leadership at Santa Clara University.

Get a Vision

To begin with, how about the auto executives apologizing? What would it have taken for them to assume responsibility for what caused them to be flying and driving to Washington, D.C., in the first place? After all, Toyota is successfully building cars in America, and ones that Americans want to buy, so what's the Big Three's excuse?

The car executives have shown the same sense of leadership these past few weeks that they have demonstrated over the past few decades: They bring to the table a vision of the past, rather than some sense of imagination about the future. Yet that's exactly what good leadership requires: taking responsibility for one's own actions, and having a vision for the future.

Yet what are the executives proposing to do differently now that they haven't been doing in the past? If rescued, are they really capable of both building better cars and designing ones we want to own in the future?

I'm afraid we're just making another payment on a well-run bankruptcy!

By Barry Posner

 |  December 8, 2008; 6:39 PM ET
Category:  Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Apologize, Resign and Do Good | Next: Admit That You're Broken

Comments

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I am not offended by corporate jets anymore than salespersons having 'demos' to drive -- which are then always sold as such, unless they exceed 5,000 miles & then they must be sold as a used car.

Often managers at dealerships drive great distances to and from work in major metro areas and the demos prevent excessively high mileage on their family vehicles.

Corporate jets may be SYMBOLIC of luxury, but it wasn't 'the company jet' that caused this kind of bailout need. Incidentally, Honda will soon have its own small business jet to add to its line of cars, motorcycles, etc. and Mitsubishi has always built aircraft and some very good turboprops at that.

THAT SAID, 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 3:16 AM
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Let them go under. Let Toyota and Honda buy up their assets and factories and employees and start producing more Toyotas and Hondas. Americans still need to buy cars. Why MUST they be Chevys, Fords, and Chryslers? Let the UAW's 1000lb Gorilla go under along with the "Not-So-Big-3". Let the market win for a change. It will be better for the car-buyer in the end.

Posted by: Mike | December 9, 2008 4:02 PM
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Vision? It's buzzwords like this that have lead us into the quagmire. What these men--and those who would follow in their offices--need, are scruples. How about teaching that?

Posted by: Brian V. | December 9, 2008 1:37 PM
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Toyota makes 7 cars that get 30mpg or more while GM makes 17, which includes 6 hybrids! Why would anyone think GM needs to make more cars with high mpg's? The fact of the matter is too many people don't want to buy what Detroit makes because they don't like them, they're boring or they don't think they are of high enough quality / value. The sooner people get that the better off we will all be. Forget making more hybrids and flex-fuel cars and just concentrate on making what you already have acceptable to more people.

Give me one model that I like and I'll buy it. Give me a 20 that I don't like and I won't buy, I don't care how many mpg's it gets.

Posted by: Tom Dee | December 9, 2008 12:51 PM
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And Toyota's pension obligations are what again? The Big 3 are health insurance companies that happen to build cars- unless someone helps them break the union agreements that have made American built small cars unprofitable for them for so long- nothing will change.

Posted by: Nick | December 9, 2008 11:54 AM
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There are a couple of different problems here. First should be an acknowledgement that universal health care would save these companies a lot of money. Second, before any money goes to the big 3, they should verify that they will be making small fuel-effiecent cars IN NORTH AMERICA!! Not just importing them from South Korea or something.


Why should I buy a Chevy made in Korea rather than a Toyota made in the US? Who does it help to buy the Korean-made Chevy? The big push "Buy American" seems to have gone off-track with the foreign-manufactured domestic brands. That might have been ok for a few years while the US plants were retooled to build cars the US public wants. But after 20 yrs of this foolishness, the Big 3 are still importing most all their high-mileage cars.

Posted by: Jack Stout | December 9, 2008 10:13 AM
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