JUST VOTE YOUR NEO-LIBERAL INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE IN ALL ELECTIONS AND LET'S GET BACK TO BEING A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY!
Corporate governance is really boring but it is just this that has taken us from a thriving economy built on corporate integrity and community partner to naked capitalism that allows for a complete suspension of rules and open breaking of law. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO GLANCE THROUGH THESE ARTICLES! WE NEED THESE CHANGES TO TURN THE COUNTRY BACK TO FIRST WORLD DEMOCRACY!
If you listened to corporate media NPR and APM on corporate WYPR this weekend you see the 1% starting to unroll their vision of our future. International NPR/APM joins with the US Chamber of Commerce as a Radio Free America propaganda machine for global US corporations. Why do we support this with taxpayer money as PUBLIC? The theme this weekend was the global corporation as a Roman empire headed by CEOs worthy of adulation and unquestionable power of decision. THIS IS AMERICAN 'PUBLIC' MEDIA FOLKS ON WYPR! At the same time we are listening to weekend NPR with a new show on TED RADIO that assumes global corporate rule is here to stay and how we will do what they say! that is clearly replacing a democracy with a global corporate DAVOS MOVING FORWARD THEME OF GLOBAL MARKETS. I'll speak of that tomorrow.
Let's just take a look at the really of what citizens of the world think of these global corporations. We are talking about billions of people vs a few million plutocrats (see why Johns Hopkins has devoted itself to all that is surveillance and oppression of dissent?! In the US that number is 300 million to a few million plutocrats. The citizens of the world have learned in years since the economic crash from massive corporate fraud that these few decades of lying, cheating, and stealing have allowed the worst of characters to rise to leadership in government and business. I CALL THEM VISIGOTHS. BEFORE NPR WAS TAKEN CORPORATE THEY CALLED THOSE DRIVING THIS PSYCHOPATHS AS RESEARCHER DEFINE THIS PAST DECADE. So, no one thinks CEOs are godlike deserving complete autocratic control. Yet, American Public Media presented what was at first glance a Monty Python comedic satire of British empire-building only the people being interviewed were serious. THAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH MEGALOMANIACS, THEY DON'T KNOW THEY ARE JUST PLAYGROUND BULLIES DECLARING THEY ARE KING OF THE JUNGLE GYMS WHILE STEALING CHILDREN'S LUNCH MONEY.
THAT IS ALL THEY ARE AND THEY ARE IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS. MARYLAND IS RUN BY NEO-LIBERALS WORKING FOR THESE NUTS!
So, internationally American Public Media brought to us by WYPR proclaimed the movement in business to the autocratic CEO with no middle-managers as they do nothing but waste time. If you look around you see that is what neo-liberals and neo-cons have done to US business and government these few decades under the guise of deregulation----Reagan and Clinton putting this in full force. Getting rid of middle-management means ending oversight and accountability because that is what middle-managers do. This business structure is what made US businesses known for integrity and quality service and product. As we know today the US is known for crippled, criminal, and corrupt whether government or business AND GETTING RID OF MIDDLE-MANAGEMENT IS WHAT DID IT. So now US corporations are selling this failed business model used only by the MAFIA to all parts of the world in which they are expanding.....ergo, international US universities teaching business and government. THE ROMAN EMPIRE-BUILDING CEO ONLY NEEDS SMART WORKERS DOING THEIR JOB AND HECK WITH ACCOUNTABILITY! THIS IS WHAT THE TRANS PACIFIC PACT (TPP) IS ABOUT----getting rid of all US civil law and citizen protections of the last two centuries and bringing us back to MERCHANTS RULE OF THE RENAISSANCE.
This is the reality. The US and Europe experienced massive corporate fraud across all business sectors these few decades moving tens of trillions of dollars from government coffers to offshore accounts and states like Harry Reid's Nevada and Joe Biden's Delaware lead in hiding wealth and pretending to have laws that allow estates to skirt taxes. Rule of Law has been suspended as all Public Justice people in office right now SEE NO FRAUD. THEY LAUGH AT THE IDEA THAT CORPORATIONS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR FRAUD.
The American people know that when government suspends Rule of Law it suspends Statutes of Limitation and when public justice just allows crime to flourish it is Aiding and Abetting.
THESE ARE CRITICAL NEWS ITEMS THAT YOU NEVER HEAR ON CORPORATE NEWS BUT PROFESSIONALS ARE WRITING ABOUT EVERY DAY.
Simply reinstating Rule of Law will bring these Roman empire-building US corporations back to being a regional business the size of Ohio and New Jersey. That is how much fraud has occurred these few decades. We can elect the right people to do the job and this is all reversible. IF WE DO NOT ACT SOON CORPORATIONS LIKE JOHNS HOPKINS WILL HAVE EXPANDED DRONE AND SURVEILLANCE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND WE WILL HAVE A STALIN-LIKE REPRESSION. We already have suspended human rights and a drive to end education that makes for a free nation.
WAKE UP!!!!! WE CAN AND WILL REVERSE THIS INJUSTICE TO A FIRST WORLD DEMOCRACY LIKE AMERICA.
Below you see two examples of the autocratic business style that is being toted around the world. When you see Harvard or Princeton with overseas campuses this is what they are selling. We all know GE's story on its path to wealth-----it is the single-most despised corporation known for excessive fraud and corruption and tax evading policy. IT IS NOT SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF INTEGRITY AND GOOD PRODUCT AS IT WAS BEFORE THIS AUTOCRAT! We all know about Apple and Jobs. He was hated for his leadership style and all he did with Apple is develop the model of using upgraded technology to require consumers to buy a 'next generation' devise rather than allowing the technology to be handled by the equipment the consumer owned. THIS WAS THE SOLE REASON APPLE PRODUCTS SOLD SO MUCH AND IT CREATED THAT MODEL FOR THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY----a bad thing. That isn't genius, that is failure to aspire to genus.
BELOW YOU SEE A CORPORATE GOVERNANCE THAT SHOWS WHAT NOT TO DO-----IT LOOKS LIKE MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE'S GAME PLAN!
& c o m p a n y l l p
Warning signs of Fraud
(1) Autocratic CEOs
(2) Opaque reporting practices
(2) Poor board governance = isolated from the facts
(4) Outside professionals & advisors with conflicts of interest
CEO’s Limited Scope of Knowledge
Jeffrey Immelt, CEO, General Electric:
-- Our generation of business leaders
succumbed to meanness and greed
-- Harmed the US economy
West Point, December 8, 2009
“I felt like I should have done more to anticipate the radical
changes that occurred”
AIG Board Action
AIG annual meeting,
Chairman Robert Willumstad: The giant global insurer's directors stood behind management, including Chief Executive, Martin Sullivan, fending off concerns raised by investors frustrated by two quarters of record losses.
Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, Former head of American International Group Inc, voted against the re-election of the company's board Directors had not met expectations. Asked in the interview if Sullivan should be replaced, Greenberg said “The results speak for themselves.”
Reuters 26 May 2008
Corporate Status Today
Attila the Hun slaughtered many with his sword
While he ravaged whole regions at the front of his hoards. But if you wish to see how whole nations can be gored, then look to the companies,
it’s the boards,
it’s the boards,
it’s the boards.
& c o m p a n y l l p
It really matters that Americans see what has created the downfall of the US as a global leader and it is first and foremost deregulation and the adoption of CEO as autocrat able to do anything regardless of law. The Ivy League universities riding this philosophy are now exporting this model overseas as they try to grow into global empires and AMERICANS SHOULD BE SHOUTING TO STOP IT. THIS IS WHAT CLINTON AND OBAMA HAVE DONE AS NEO-LIBERALS AND IN MARYLAND ALL POLICY IS THIS NAKED CAPITALISM OF NEO-LIBERALS.
JUST VOTE YOUR NEO-LIBERAL INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE IN ALL ELECTIONS AND LET'S GET BACK TO BEING A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY!
The United States and the EU: Capitalisms Compared Which model of corporate governance is doing a better job of striking a balance between the needs of business and the need of society, the U.S.’s or the EU’s?
By Stephan Richter, May 18, 2012 Credit: Yu Lan/Shutterstock.com
- The U.S.-UK alliance is finally cracking. The "old country" is no longer prepared to toe the American line on the extraordinariness of executive talent.
- The biggest battle over capitalism in the age of global democracy concerns the competing interests at stake between corporations and society at large.
- The rot currently afflicting many developed economies has a lot to do with other nations still following, even aping, many elements of the U.S. corporate model.
Remember all the talk — much amplified by the mainstream media — that CEO talent is so rarified that its price can only be measured in double-digit millions per annum? That audacious proposition, trumpeted confidently from media towers in New York City and London, used to be a core tenet of the U.S.-UK consensus on the global economy.
The evidence, meanwhile, is undeniable that plenty of that presumably extraordinary talent is imbued with many shortcomings. CEOs aren’t so superhuman after all. From launching failed corporate strategies, egregious errors of proper oversight, gross infidelities with staff, pumping up resumes in the style of blustery 19-year olds (who really do not yet know better), the C-suite increasingly seems like a comedy of human failings.
To be sure, CEOs are put under great pressure. But these are tough times for most people working in large corporations. The difference is that certain “talent” has been indoctrinated since the days of business school that they are something special — and, unlike the rest of the corporate workforce, certainly deserve something very special: namely, exorbitant compensation.
But on this front, the U.S.-UK alliance is finally cracking. Just as is the case in the field of banking, the “old country” is no longer prepared to toe the American line either on the uniqueness of the financial sector or the extraordinariness of executive talent.
A long time in the making, there is finally solid pressure on restricting top executive pay in London. That is long overdue, all the more so as the political cultures of both countries, Britain and the United States, traditionally pride themselves of being such exemplary democracies.
Wherever their special democratic character can be found, it certainly is not in the corporate world. U.S. CEOs often reign supreme in a near-autocratic manner, imbued with multiple titles — from Chairman to Chief Executive to President — and all-encompassing powers. No separation of powers here whatsoever.
How about annual shareholder meetings? You must be kidding. They are about as significant as rubber-stamp sessions in Soviet-style parliaments. Often lasting less than an hour, they are merely a perfunctory exercise so that the corporate secretary can tick off a box. “Annual meeting?” Done. Check.
Any real debate at shareholder meetings about items that are essential to the future vitality of capitalism in democratic societies are, as much as possible, prevented. A vote about levels of executive pay? Motion denied. Not debated here.
The prevailing mindset is this: “You, Mr. or Mrs. Shareholder, give us your capital and we then set our pay. You ought to be grateful that I serve thee as chief executive. It’s your privilege, not mine.” And they call that “shareholder capitalism?” SHT — or Shareholder Hostage Taking — would be more appropriate.
It’s no better when one looks at the role of boards of directors. Ever since the days of Enron, it’s been clear that these are important bodies that can — and should — prevent bad things from happening. But in the United States and Britain, they are still largely “friends and family” affairs, meaning they are packed with like-minded cronies, if not in fact the CEO’s own friends.
The German model The biggest battle over capitalism in the age of global democracy, quite irrespective of all the Occupy Movements, isn’t even over preventing disasters like the meltdown of Enron. Rather, it concerns a proper weighting of the competing interests at stake between corporations and society at large.
If corporations largely act in a vacuum, if there is no real control over them from society’s perspective, then things can become truly unhinged — such as in the case of exorbitant executive pay.
Read most news reports about U.S. corporations in the newspapers and you will find that it’s almost always about reducing staff size, reorganizing the corporate structure and the like. Optimizing corporate strategy for the future, working with employees to make the most of existing or future business opportunities? Such things happen all too rarely in the largely top-down American corporate model.
With the media largely complicit (dependent as they are on corporate advertising dollars), corporations see any advances from society on issues such as executive pay and corporate strategy as untoward attempts to soil the heavenly domains of The Corporation.
Yet, the results are clear enough. The U.S. model of corporations, put in a global context, is better only in what it delivers to the insiders at the very top of the corporate hierarchy. For them, the corporate till is for the looting, provided the board has approved it.
Compare that, for example, to large German corporations. Historically, Germany hasn’t been known as a bastion of democracy. And yet today it is — and nowhere more so than in its boardrooms. You are reading this right. In Germany, these august bodies are half filled with representatives of the workforce.
Little wonder then that they cast a much closer eye on corporate pay. In fact, the mere presence of company workers and unions representatives in the boardroom does much to prevent the more egregious, self-serving propositions from ever seeing the light of day which top executives, left to their own devices, might come up with. Whatever the “it” is, they realize it would never pass even the most basic smell test with the unions.
Nor does oversight in Europe end at the boardroom. Moves to reign in the C-suite are taking on steam in the European Parliament, which has increasingly become a reform engine for a more accountable capitalism globally. Just this month, the EU’s top financial services regulator, Michel Barnier, launched initiatives to curb “morally indefensible” pay and to reduce the disparity between executive and ordinary work pay in Europe’s financial institutions.
The United States has not yet caught up with (or caught on to) these efforts. The very self-absorbed and self-referential debate (or, worse, the lack of any true debate) that has become the hallmark of U.S. corporations has done much the weaken the case for capitalism in democratic societies.
If the practice of corporate power constantly exhibits core traits of the feudalist era, as it does in the U.S. case, rather than pursuing a more open, democratic and enlightened model, then it goes to show that the rot currently afflicting many developed economies has a lot to do with other nations still following, even aping, many elements of the autocratic U.S. model.
The relevance of society at large in that model is about as significant as the role of finance was, at least until recently, in the made-in-America macroeconomic models — that is, not at all. Both excel by their absence.
In short, it is high time to push the U.S. corporate model from the pedestal on which it still stands. To a large degree, its elevated status is no longer a function of actual performance and what it delivers in a larger societal context, but just a result of the benefits it offers to the insiders at the top of the corporate pyramid.
I want to show one example of what is missing in US operations, whether business or government and it is why nothing gets done right, there is no documentation to follow failures, and staff now work in an environment that is unorganized and full of workplace abuse. It all has to do with these two decades of dismantling management oversight to maximize profit or as with government to hide fraud and corruption. See what the comedies on TV reflect-----THE OFFICE is propaganda shown to make middle-management is a farce.
THIS IS WHAT WE NEED TO REVERSE AND THE 1% ARE EXPORTING THE BAD MODEL AND NOT THE GOOD.
Middle management is the intermediate management of a hierarchical organization, being subordinate to the senior management but above the lowest levels of operational staff. Operational supervisors may be considered middle management or may be categorized as non-management staff, depending upon the policy of the particular organization.
Middle management may be reduced in organizations as a result of reorganization. Such changes include downsizing, delayering and outsourcing. The changes may be made in order to reduce costs, as middle management is commonly paid more than junior staff, or the changes may be made to make the organization flatter — empowering the employees and making the organization more innovative and flexible.
Oversight Position Checklists-
Oversight Manager Checklist
The Oversight Manager oversees all activities related to providing disaster relief efforts in a standardized and consistent manner throughout all LAC operations. The Oversight Manager is also responsible for the Oversight Team.
1. Oversee the operations of the Oversight Team
2. Communicate with EOC Director and/or Recovery Coordinator to determine locations and standard operating hours for all sites
3. Serve as representative for the Deployment Phase Subject Matter Experts’ communications
4. During the initial site set-up, coordinate with state and federal representatives to secure their presence at LAC
5. Coordinate with Human Resources to develop a schedule for LAC Managers and staff
6. Be a conduit of information to and from LACs
7. Collect daily information from LAC Managers
8. Resolve issues beyond the control of LAC Managers
9. Compile daily reports
10. Coordinate with the Recovery Coordinator and/or Recovery Manager
11. Discuss procurement related decisions with the Purchasing Representative
12. Discuss financial documentation requirements with the Finance Representative
13. Develop, initiate and oversee the Demobilization Plan
Activation Phase Actions
□ Notify regular supervisor of LAC work schedule
□ Review position responsibilities and clarify any issues regarding your authority and assignment
□ Verify contact information
□ Check in with the lead Deployment Phase Subject Matter Expert
□ Establish communications with LAC Managers
□ Establish hours of operation and communicate with the Human Resources Representative and Community Liaison to notify departments and coordinate staff for LAC opening
□ Provide LAC operating information to the Media Relations Manager
□ Contact Oversight Team members to report for duty
□ Meet with Oversight Team to establish operational plans for establishing LACs
Operational Phase Actions
□ Review position responsibilities
□ Attend daily and/or weekly LAC staff meetings when appropriate
□ Refer all media to the Media Relations Manager
□ Collect and review LAC statistics reports for decision-making and advanced planning
Oversight Position Checklists-
Oversight Manager Checklist
□ Prepare report for Recovery Manager/Coordinator using LAC daily statistics
□ Function calmly in situations requiring a high degree of sensitivity, tact, and diplomacy
□ Communicate effectively with a variety of individual representing diverse cultures and backgrounds
□ Develop LAC Demobilization Plan
Deactivation Phase Actions
□ Coordinate with Oversight Team plans to demobilize the LACs
□ Coordinate with Oversight Team plans to demobilize the Oversight Team
□ Initiate the LAC Demobilization Plan
□ Conduct a final debriefing session with all LAC participants to review operational pros and cons
□ Prepare and distribute report documenting operational procedures and items requiring resolution
Many will remember the Facebook IPO release and its dismal failure, but few knew that it involved deliberate fraud that maximized profit for a few original shareholders at the expense of all of the others that can on board with the listing. The IPO was toted as the highest value when in fact it was all smoke and mirrors. The only value was for the few that invested in making it look like a successful business model. What happened? EVERYONE'S PERSONAL DATA BECAME THE PROFIT MODEL AND WE ALL LOSE OUR PRIVACY.
Openly breaking the law to reap profits is not a business plan and it is why everyone around the world views US business as second-rate and criminal.
Markets | 2/14/2012 @ 4:04PM Forbes
Zuckerberg A Dictator? ISS Blasts Facebook's 'Autocratic' Governance
Is Mark Zuckerberg an autocrat? The folks at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) definitely think so. In a recently released research note, the corporate governance watchdog criticized Facebook for adopting “retrograde government practices,” particularly by offering a dual class share structure that gives Zuckerberg voting control that is “wildly disproportionate to [his] economic interest.”
Facebook filed for what many have called the IPO of the century on February 1, giving no indication of how many shares it planned to float but making it clear that founder, chairman, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will retain “the ability to control the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval, even if he owns significantly less than a majority of the shares.” Expectations are that it will be a relatively low float IPO, with about 5% to 7% of shares outstanding, Felix Salmon reported. (Check out a slideshow of the smallest low float-IPOs of the last decade, which include Google, Caesars, LinkedIn, AT&T Wireless and others).
ISS takes issue with what they call an “autocratic model of governance.” They call it a “governance profile with a defense against everything except hubris.” From their research note:
Facebook appears to have taken the same outdated dance lessons as many other recent tech sector debutantes. Dual-class common shares—in keeping with the recent trend in the IPOs of LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga, and others, and in striking contrast to the long-standing desires of the institutional shareholders whose cash Facebook hopes to take—are a cornerstone of the corporate governance regime trumpeted in the company’s S-1 filing.
The major problem is about moral hazard, or incentives. By curtailing shareholder rights and board accountability, and specifically by splitting share class with drastic differences in voting power, Facebook risks creating two distinct shareholder bases with divergent interests. This, in turn, may and probably will (according to ISS) fuel proxy contests and boardroom/family struggles that ultimately will screw common shareholders.
Citing the cases of Benihana, Telephone & Data Systems, and Magna International, ISS’ research note highlights the perils of giving founders voting control. In all those cases, dual class structures were ultimately collapsed into a single, unique class structure with equal voting power. That happened because at some point “an autocratic model of governance makes it less viable than a competitor whose governance gives owners a voice proportionate to the economics they have at risk.” And again, in all those cases, common shareholders faced a dilution of their economic interest that was disproportionate to how much voting power they ended up getting.
ISS recognizes Zuck’s capacity to lead the company. They write “giving the founder of Facebook voting control may seem tactically wise at the moment the firm goes public. His uncompromising vision for the company, after all, is largely credited as the key driver of its success thus far.”
At the end, argue ISS’ researchers, dual class structures “divide ownership interests into potentially opposing groups” whose “early fractures can widen into fault lines, eventually resulting in a costly, distracting, and potentially unpopular restructuring.”
By creating two opposed shareholder bases, dual structures create a conflict of interest where “individual actors acting to maximize their own self interest collectively diminish or destroy the resources they share.”
Friday, February 11, 2011
Does an autocratic CEO perform better than other CEOs?
A LOOK AT THE MOST SUCCESSFUL CORPORATIONS OF THE WORLD – AND HOW THEY ALL HAVE AUTOCRATIC HITLERS AT THE VERY TOP, WHO ALL BELIEVE THAT HUMANS CAN NEVER BE PRODUCTIVE UNTIL THEY ARE WHIP-LASHED, AS HUMANS ALWAYS CHEAT AND SHIRK WORK AT THE FIRST INSTANCE... SURPRISINGLY, I ACCEPT THAT!
Hold on! Before you burn me at the stake for invoking the unforgivable fanatic, allow me to confess that I have no love lost for this clipper megalomaniac. And I’d hope that none ever follows the narcissistic madness of the man known for many years as Führer und Reichskanzler. Well, political correctness aside, truth in the real world is quite to the contrary. Despite whatever the world might wish for, the fact is that there is at least one quintessential and ubiquitous quality of this Austrian born German deuce that is followed to the tee by leaders of some of the largest and most successful corporations of the world – a quality that had, before WWII, led to Germany becoming the superpower it was; a quality that now is assisting leaders to ensure that their corporations are amongst the most productive and most efficient business units this world has ever seen! Read on and you might catch on to the wave. William Clay Ford stepped down as Ford’s CEO in 2006, the carmaker was all drenched in a big bowl of hot soup, with the worst market scenario. Detroit had totally given up on Ford. The world had too. William Ford tried hard, but there were no respectable names in the auto space willing to take charge as Ford’s CEO and digest the numbers that threatened Ford’s very existence. Imagine this: During the first half of 2006, while Nissan earned $1800 per vehicle, Toyota and Honda pocketed about $1,400 apiece. Fly westward, and the numbers turn turbid. While GM lost $333 per unit, DaimlerChrysler lost $1,100 during the same period. And Ford? It bled the most – a disquieting $1,400 per vehicle.
Given the state then, what followed in the succeeding years was baffling – despite Ford being the first one expected to crumble first, since December 2008, GM and Chrysler were the ones forced to live through the ignominy of a Fed bailout plan of $110 billion. As for Ford, it managed to become the first one to bounce back into the black sans a revival package, having made $2.72 billion in net profits during FY2009 – the very year GM & Chrysler filed for Chapter 11!
And how in heavens did this astounding turnaround happen? The answer, the single change agent, as experts and researchers globally have accepted now, was the recruiting of one man – the most authoritarian CEO that Ford had ever seen after Henry Ford – Alan Mulally. This man, a veteran engineer at Boeing (who was in charge of the Boeing 777 development project), took up the task to play Captain America for Ford Motors in September 2006. Forget about never having been exposed to labour issues in his life (Ford had had enough of it with the UAW in place), or even having never seen a car being assembled before, this new boss of Ford, had never had the chance to make a single pitch as a salesman during his entire career. But what made him victorious was not just his desire to win, but in his viewpoint that what he – and not his team – believed was right. His style was autocratic and simply “results oriented”. When Mulally walked in as CEO, Ford was known as a maker of pick-up trucks and the Mustang. Despite popular displeasure, he forced his strategic planning teams to get a line of more efficient & smaller engines in place. It worked for the company. In his first two months at the company, he went ahead pledging $23.6 billion against Ford’s assets including its logo. Ford’s management disagreed. But Mulally was convinced, and that was enough. The idea of doing away with Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo, was his brainchild.
During his first day at work, Mulally went ahead to check Ford’s product lineup. When the engineers laid it out, Alan enquired why the iconic Taurus brand was missing. “Well, we killed it. We made a couple that looked like a football. They didn’t sell very well, so we stopped it,” said one Ford official. To this, Mulally retorted, “What do you mean, you killed it? You stopped the Taurus?!? You’ve got until tomorrow to find a vehicle to put the Taurus name on because that’s why I’m here.” Mulally had no statistics to justify why he wanted the Taurus back in the 21st century. He didn’t need one, because that was him – the authoritarian saviour of Ford, the latest rage in Detroit.
Mulally wanted results. Period. Today, Ford’s employees in US carry plastic cards with four goals printed on one side (which Mulally puts as the “Expected behaviors”) and “One Ford” written on the flip side. “This is me. I wrote it. It’s what I believe in. You can’t make this sh!# up.” He loves taking daily reports and every Thursday, starting 8 am, you can see all there is in the name of bashing up of non-performers in the conference room that Ford’s employees call “the Thunderbird Room”. There are eight clocks on the wall, each representing one time zone and the chair he sits on, he likes calling it the “Pilot’s seat”. Did someone mention narcissistic again?
Under Mulally’s reign of a little over four years, Ford’s Mcap has increased by 370.31% – enough reasons for shareholders to love this 65 year-old imperious monocratic boss.
Mulally is only one of umpteen despotic CEOs who have prospered and made billions for their companies. Steve Jobs, the face of Apple, is unmissable. Once out of Apple after a power struggle with the-then top management (the top brass considered him a “control freak”), he struck back, and is today the strongest living example of how an insistence on total control over your company and employees (call it totalitarian leadership if you like) and a focus on innovation can keep the clock ticking, with the sound getting sweeter by the second. There was a time when during late 1997, only a year after Jobs had taken over as Apple’s Interim-CEO (he had returned to Apple in late 1996), someone had asked Michael Dell during a conference what he would have done had he been in Jobs’ shoes. Dell’s reply to this was, “I’d shut Apple down and give the money back to the shareholders.” Then, Apple was just worth $3.1 billion, while Dell was worth $28.1 billion. 13 years later, Dell has become smaller with an Mcap of $26 billion (as of February 8, 2011), while Apple’s Mcap has grown by 10,456.13% to touch $327.24 billion and it is today the most valuable IT company in the world, and the second most valuable on the bourses (after ExxonMobil).
What Jobs did was to use a tyrannical leadership style – fire and force at will – to ensure that his employees delivered products that consumers lusted after, in an ever-evolving digital world. It has worked so far. Writes the American author Andrew Keen’s in his best-seller titled, The Cult of the Amateur, “There’s not an ounce of democracy at Apple. That’s what makes it a paragon of such traditional corporate values as top-down leadership, sharply hierarchical organisation and centralised control. It’s Steve’s company – pursuing his vision, at his pace, with his team, making his products. Without Steve Jobs’ authoritarian leadership, Apple would be just another Silicon Valley outfit...”
There are many names from history books that testify why oppressively domineering leaders stand for excellence, not mediocrity. Even today, ExxonMobil’s dictatorial CEO Rex Tillerson runs the oil major in the same way it has been run for years by the likes of John D. Rockfeller and Lee Raymond – preeminent and absolutist control over decision-making, whether it comes in the form of a justification as to why Exxon should not bet on non-fossil fuel or why the company should continue betting on Qatar for more than 13% of its reserves. The credit for the highest profits made by any company in the history of mankind goes to Rex of Exxon. Under him, despite fluctuating oil prices, during just the past 4 years, Exxon has reported total net profits of $142.61 billion. Today, Exxon is the most valuable company in the world – with an Mcap of $423.23 billion.
Even research supports the cause of authoritarian leadership style, especially during times of crisis. A 2006 Harvard Business School case, titled, Harley’s Leadership U-Turn, proves how under Rich Teerlink (ex-CEO of Harley-Davidson), the organisation took a U-turn from near extinction. It says, “When an organisation is under extreme pressure – so much so, that one wrong move can mean its collapse – authoritarian leadershipmay very well be necessary.” In another paper titled, Is Servant Leadership Part of Your Worldview?, by Dr. J. Howard Baker of University of Louisiana, he states, “An authoritarian, command and control model of leadership may be very effective for stopping something, destroying something, or conquering something...” He goes on to praise Jack Welch, the authoritarian former Chairman & CEO of GE, one of the most successful CEOs of all times, under whose 13 year-long tenure, GE’s market value appreciated by 2,828.5% to touch $410 billion. [This is something which Jeff Immelt, his democratic-participative leadership styled-successor has failed at; GE is valued at $221.9 billion today – down by 45.9% in a matter of six years.] Enough proof that authoritarian leadership does much good for investors.
From Larry Ellison, who has been written about as being an autocratic indomitable CEO (in one such book titled, ‘The Oracle of Oracles’, by Florence Stone, he has been described as “Ruthless, volatile, arrogant, impatient and autocratic”) to IBM’s former CEO Lou Gertsner whose shout-and-command policy helped save IBM (when he became the CEO in April 1993, IBM was struggling to survive, having lost tens of billions since 1990; under him, IBM’s Mcap increased by 476.67% in a decade to $173 billion, while its stock price increased sevenfold, to $101), there are names that have become immortal as leaders who have used lashing at will.
The CEOs I have mentioned embody the typical American ego, and they only have two bad habits – a hard-to-believe vision and an unbelievable fantasy for total control. And the reason all this despotism works is because experience has shown these iconic legends that humans, in general and most of them, will cheat and shirk work at the first possible instance. Of course, there will be exceptions – like you, obviously – who would not shirk work and who would not need to be threatened, to be productive. But these will remain, as the saying goes, exceptions. Once you truly start believing that the only way an organization can be ruthlessly productive and profitable is to be as ruthless to its people, that’s the moment you’ve qualified in my diary as one of the world’s best CEOs.