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Archive: May 31, 2009 - June 6, 2009

Don't Get Political

The president's willingness to expend political capital to protect GM from political pressures--and risk the vagaries of the marketplace--will determine the administration's new role as its dominant shareholder.

By Marty Linsky | June 5, 2009; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

What Taxpayers Want

I don't trust the government to make good business decisions any more than I trust the former leaders of GM. The government's role in GM should be to focus on ensuring good governance and business practices, and not business strategy decisions.

By Bob Schoultz | June 3, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

What We Don't Know

The recent enormous outlays of taxpayer money for General Motors' survival provide a great opportunity for the government to learn to keep tabs on our money and use it wisely.

By Ed Ruggero | June 2, 2009; 12:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Risky Investment

The administration is like the gambler who doubles his bet after every unsuccessful roll of the dice. It has so much invested in GM now that it can't be anything other than the principal shareholder.

By Slade Gorton | June 2, 2009; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (0)

Avoiding the Technical

The government should express its broad desires to see new models that are more fuel-efficient, more environmentally friendly and more in line with the kind of vehicle that fits our future.

By Yash Gupta | June 2, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Stay Involved

The government--and taxpayers--must play an important role in choosing top GM's top leadership and stay involved in matters like oversight, transparency, and emissions. We must ensure that GM is using our investment to make cars people want to buy.

By Warren Bennis | June 2, 2009; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (1)

Set Broad Goals

On a day to day basis, it makes no sense for the federal government to "operate" General Motors. Instead, the administration should set broad goals, establish ambitious energy and environmental objectives and oversee important management decisions.

By Alan M. Webber | June 2, 2009; 9:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Not Our Business

In General Motors' case, the government's actions may result in an oxymoronic situation: although the government pledged not to control GM, taxpayers could ultimately have majority ownership of the company.

By David Walker | June 1, 2009; 3:23 PM ET | Comments (2)

Bring the Best Minds

The government cannot run GM operations, but it can make sure that it has the best possible leadership. One way to do this is to organize an advisory committee that is not dominated by financial types but which includes experts on auto companies.

By Michael Maccoby | June 1, 2009; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)


With the help of outside thinkers, the government should monitor strategic thinking and plan to measure progress in restoring profitability.

By Abraham Zaleznik | June 1, 2009; 1:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Does Competence Trump Charisma?

People skills, or charisma, are as important as competence when it comes to being a great leader.

By Thomas S. Bateman | June 1, 2009; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (6)

"Hands Off" Has Failed

General Motors board members, including Uncle Sam, must demand major changes and accountability for greatly improved performance from companies that made so many bad decisions.

By Elizabeth Sherman | June 1, 2009; 11:51 AM ET | Comments (7)

Governance Traditions

Short of a crisis, owners try to keep their hands off the operations they own. But well-established precedent shows that even hands-off owners must stay vigilant to ensure their mission is achieved.

By Michael Useem | June 1, 2009; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Buyer of Last Resort

Although there will be some conflicts of interest, I think they will prove to be better sound bites for the "drift-toward-socialism" crowd then a significant problem.

By Andy Stern | June 1, 2009; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hands Off? Not Likely

To pretend that a 60% owner of the business will be totally "hands off" is not credible. My suggestion is that the government be honest with both GM and the public on their planned for level of involvement.

By Marshall Goldsmith | June 1, 2009; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

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