February 11, 2009

Please, Let There Be Another Explanation

Please, Let There Be Another Explanation One of the things I was most excited about with an Obama presidency was that it finally seemed as if we had a real leader in the hot seat.  Someone who might actually be able to run an effective government instead of a bureaucracy paralyzed by partisanship.  I still have this hope. But I also hope what we’re seeing around the stimulus bill is not what we’re in for the next four years.  What I’m seeing is a complete absence of leadership around the problem.  Seems to me, taking lessons from the corporate world, that Obama should have done two things that would have gotten the program passed in a bipartisan way much more quickly: 1. Build true consensus ahead of time and make the congressional leaders do the sales job in a bipartisan way.  It’s great that Obama went up to the Republican caucus to talk to them and get their point of view, but shouldn’t he have gathered the top 2-3 leaders of each party and each house of congress in his office (or in theirs) to whiteboard this whole thing out ahead of time, so that those people could be bought […]


January 27, 2009

Symbolism in Action

Symbolism in Action A couple months ago, I wrote about how the idiots who run the Big 3 US automakers in Detroit don’t have a clue about symbolism — the art or the science of it.  Yesterday, I wrote about how I think the non-headcount cuts to G&A that we’re making at Return Path during these challenging economic times will be positive for the company in the long run.  The two topics are closely related. Obama announces on Day 1 that White House staffers who make more than $100k won’t be getting a pay raise this year.  Presumably all of […]


November 5, 2008

Lessons from the Election

Lessons from the Election There will be so many of these posts flying around the web today and in the coming weeks, but there’s at least one lesson from yesterday’s election that really struck me in the context of business leadership:  the importance of authenticity. Obama won — and McCain lost — for many reasons.  But I think one of the main ones is that McCain didn’t run as McCain.  The number of Democrats and Independents who I heard say things like “I would have voted for the McCain who ran in 2000,” or Hillary supporters who said they’d never […]