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Joanne B. Ciulla
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Joanne B. Ciulla

Joanne Ciulla is Professor and Coston Family Chair in Leadership and Ethics at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, the only undergraduate degree-granting school of leadership studies in the world.

Won't Get Fooled Again?

The auto executives made a passable attempt to show Congress they were taking charge of the situation but they did little to show they were taking responsibility for it.

Chrysler's Robert Nardelli blamed the problem on the nation's "financial meltdown." Ford CEO Alan R. Mulally said the industry needed a new business plan - meaning one that was different from his - and Rick Wagoner emphasized the societal costs of letting their companies fail.


It is difficult to give leaders a second chance when they do not clearly admit they were wrong, apologize, and convince us they will not make the same mistake again. The auto executives attempted to do the later, but their restructuring plans failed to offer reassurance that they were the right people to fix the problem.

While they learned the lesson about flying to a Congressional bailout meeting in their company jets, they failed to demonstrate that they had the imagination to revive their businesses and carry them forward. Their plan focused on the usual suspects, like labor costs, but offered little in the way of innovative plans for creating the environmentally friendly car and auto company of the future.

The three CEO's might have won more support from Congress and the public if, instead of cutting their pay to a dollar a year, they offered to find the best and the brightest leaders in the industry to take their place.

By Joanne B. Ciulla

 |  December 8, 2008; 3:08 PM ET
Category:  Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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UNFORTUNATELY, we always seem to get fooled again. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. But the 'street definition of insanity' is doing the same thing over and over again and still expecting different results. Perhaps another word might be 'denial,' which is not an uncommon thing in the world these days, is it?

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 4:04 AM
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Well Dear Jack, if Toyota is so brilliant, why were their sales off 43% last month?

Joanne Ciulla is about as qualified to speak of the auto industry as I am to speak of building jet engines.

Mr Mullaly's plan is working. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Ford saw a profit in 1st quarter 2008...then the bottom fell out.
Harvard is struggling financially...so I guess it stands to reason that they can't turn out educated leaders nor can they manage themselves.

Posted by: Roddy | December 9, 2008 4:03 PM
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One needs to study the industry and look at the leader - Toyota. What is Toyota doing that GM, Chrysler, and Ford are not doing.
The heart of the Lean system is the perfection ot the TWI system that Toyota learned from us after the war - GM, Ford, and Chrysler need to now learn it from them.

It's mentoring and training every employee as soon as he hits the shop floor. It continues with perfecting the mentoring and the training processes continuously while instituting the 5 whys approach to problems.

It means stop lobbying congress to prevent gasoline taxes but instead pushing for taxes as a source of revenue for rebuilding technology in the US.

It means getting long term loans from the banks instead of relying on the stock market for funding - yes sell your stock but don't base your long term viability on quarterly returns.

Posted by: Jack | December 9, 2008 10:55 AM
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