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Inspiring:Iacocca's Ideas on Retirement
Old 06-01-2007, 04:15 PM   #1
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Inspiring:Iacocca's Ideas on Retirement

Has anyone read Lee Iacocca's new book on leadership? I've just completed it, but for our purposes...Chapter XX pages 237-255 are IMO must reading for all anticipating ER...very informative and inspirational. Much food for thought. I'd be interested in the group's feedback.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:18 PM   #2
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I read his biography awhile back…interesting fellow…although he spent too much energy festering about how Ford treated him….Loved his recent tv commercial with Snoop Dog….
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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Has anyone read Lee Iacocca's new book on leadership? I've just completed it, but for our purposes...Chapter XX pages 237-255 are IMO must reading for all anticipating ER...very informative and inspirational. Much food for thought. I'd be interested in the group's feedback.
I was given the impression that it's a multi-hundred-page rant but now you've piqued my curiosity. Although my first thought is what the %^&* does an 82-year-old know about ER, anyway?

I'm #15 in the local library's queue... this could take a while.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:52 PM   #4
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I think we may have something to learn from the "old man". I guess with age comes wisdom. I became interested in the book when I saw him in an interview on C-SPAN a couple of weeks ago discussing the book.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:57 PM   #5
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Has anyone read Lee Iacocca's new book on leadership? I've just completed it, but for our purposes...Chapter XX pages 237-255 are IMO must reading for all anticipating ER...very informative and inspirational. Much food for thought. I'd be interested in the group's feedback.
While waiting for people to get their hands on the book, can you summarize the chapter?
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Old 06-02-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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Here is a great summary of Iacocca's new book. He seems to have nailed it pretty well.

He also claims to have no political aspirations. Too bad.
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My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention.
He describes some of the root causes for the pending decline of the US due to its administration & their policies ...it's a pity he constrained himself to only one letter of the alphabet (C).

He'll probably be ignored and accused of being a curmudgeon. If we're very lucky, he'll be hailed a refreshing drink of Curiousity...Creativity...etc. in the harsh wilderness of broken dreams that may soon be the legacy of George, Dick and Rummy.
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Old 06-02-2007, 04:17 PM   #7
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He lost me with his third sentence. This is the same man who had to go to the Feds to bail him out of his own business failure. Now he wants to rant and rave because we don't have a "hybrid car." Why didn't he leave us with one when he had the chance? That's a very self-serving rant of his, IMO.

Speaking of bozos, I think that Lee will find another one in his bathroom mirror...
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:34 AM   #8
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This is the same man who had to go to the Feds to bail him out of his own business failure. ...
Is this a different form of history you have read. What I recall is he was brought into Chrysler from a position of success at Ford. He negotiated interim government funding but paid it all back within 3 years after turning the company around.

I think he was one of the first CEOs to agree on $1 salary so he would have got nothing without being successful (unlike today's CEOs except Steve Jobs). His performance and sole stock-based compensation made him rich.
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:17 PM   #9
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Is this a different form of history you have read. What I recall is he was brought into Chrysler from a position of success at Ford. He negotiated interim government funding but paid it all back within 3 years after turning the company around.

I think he was one of the first CEOs to agree on $1 salary so he would have got nothing without being successful (unlike today's CEOs except Steve Jobs). His performance and sole stock-based compensation made him rich.
I could have stated it better, I think...but his solution was to go crying to the government for bailout of a private business failure. It strikes me as hypocritical for someone who has ever taken that kind of deal to criticize any kind of government spending. And I still wonder why we haven't had a Ford hybrid car for over 20 years if this guy is so concerned that the government hasn't provided him with one. It sounds as if he expects that research and development money to come from the government also. IMO, the man is a hypocrite and should stop his name-calling ASAP.
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Old 06-03-2007, 02:27 PM   #10
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And I still wonder why we haven't had a Ford hybrid car for over 20 years if this guy is so concerned that the government hasn't provided him with one. It sounds as if he expects that research and development money to come from the government also. IMO, the man is a hypocrite and should stop his name-calling ASAP.
Actually Ford has a hybrid SUV. But your point is still a good one because Lee ran Chrysler.

Name calling is never very statesmanlike. I cannot help thinking he was just trying to sell some books. He does have a good track record for being a good marketer. And that just might make him a hypocrite after all.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:10 AM   #11
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Has anyone read Lee Iacocca's new book on leadership? I've just completed it, but for our purposes...Chapter XX pages 237-255 are IMO must reading for all anticipating ER...very informative and inspirational. Much food for thought. I'd be interested in the group's feedback.
OK, Ferco, I got the book from the library and read those pages. I'll give you this post for free, but for having to read those pages you owe me 15 minutes of my life back.

Lee's 260-page rant book isn't exactly the "Little Book of Leadership" but he's learned a few things. I think that his message is aimed at execs, not necessarily even white-collar workers (let alone blue-collar workers or entrepreneurs). The problem is that the message is lost in his delivery. As KCowan's link shows, Lee's a very angry guy.

He's a horrible name-dropper. In just 11 pages of a 5"x8" book I learned about Tex Colbert, George Steinbrenner, John Heinz, Robert Casey, John Murtha, James Carville, Henry Ford II, George Fazio, Ben Hogan, Claude Harmon, Arnold Palmer, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Cahn, Kirk Kerkorian, Warren Buffett, Steve Wynn, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Frank Pace, Henny Youngman, Bob Hope, Sid Caesar, and Red Buttons. There's more afterward but I believe it's already some kind of name-dropping record. By the way did he mention that he saved Chrysler? Only about six times.

He pooh-poohs rumors that he was forced out of Chrysler, claiming that he wanted to retire at the top of his game, but his strident insistence makes me wonder what really happened. Stripping out the dropped names leaves a couple dozen paragraphs of a stunning revelation: he failed retirement because he didn't have a clue. After years as a CEO (whose staff took care of everything) he had no idea how to be a regular guy doing regular things. He had no idea what to do with himself and his (soon-to-be-ex-) wife wasn't ready to help him. But he had plenty of offers from other whose names he could drop! Realizing that he didn't want to golf, he flailed around for a few years with consulting for Chrysler, trying to buy out Chrysler with Kirk, running a restaurant chain, and developing an electric bicycle. Luckily for us readers he solved his problems.

So his first pearl of wisdom is "Have a plan". He says we should figure out how much we need for retirement and maybe work part-time, but even if we're financially secure: "You've got to DO something. You've got all this knowledge and experience. You've probably got a heck of a lot of energy if you're in your sixties. If you retire early as part of a buyout, you're really not ready for the rocking chair on the front porch. So, what are you going to do?"

His solution for a life plan turned out to be learning, earning, and finally returning: philanthropy. He really lauds Buffett for giving it all away, and the Iacocca Foundation is trying to cure diabetes. He says that philanthropy is a business requiring focus, a plan, and a great team. Even without money (or a personal foundation) we can still give back with volunteering. He says it makes him happy & energized to know that he's making a difference.

The rest of the chapter's paragraph headings:
- Count your blessings (America, health, family, friends).
- Don't disengage from life (mental challenge, physical activity, seek out people, have a purpose).
- Figure out what will make you happy (ask other people's opinions and reflect on your own heart).
- Hang around with young people (grandkids & 20-somethings).
- Live the hell out of your life - now (racing with Carroll Shelby)
- Say your prayers (be aware of your own mortality, pay attention to the spiritual leaders).

Good advice from a guy who just can't turn it off, but I'm pretty sure that Lee doesn't surf. I wonder how much he was around to help raise his kids, too.

I won't be reading the rest of the book.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:33 AM   #12
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Nords, glad that your number came up.

Thanks for the summary of what you read. You confirmed my suspicious that any book written by a CEO would not apply to us mere mortals.
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Old 07-30-2007, 05:57 AM   #13
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Thanks Nords and BCC:
My only purpose in posting the aforementined pages from Mr I's book was I thought "the message" in the pages was significant, not necessarily the messenger. Sometimes we miss out in life but judging the book by its cover.Sometimes a single sentence or paragraph in an article or book can have make a great impact on our lives. One man's meat is another man's poison.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:03 PM   #14
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If you retire early as part of a buyout, you're really not ready for the rocking chair on the front porch. So, what are you going to do?"
Thanks for the summary Nords. Now I won't make the same mistake (getting the book). This quoted phrase seems to sum up the problem. He comes from a different generation than we do. And the book is a major illustration of that gap.

Any ERs here using a rocking chair on their porch lately?
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:34 PM   #15
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Here is a great summary of Iacocca's new book. He seems to have nailed it pretty well.
I think he's generally incorrect based on what little I just read. As someone else pointed out, seems a little self-inflated and preachy.

And I agree with the other postings. Any goof that is able to acheive ER, can handle identifying how to spend that ER in pursuit of their continuing goals and dreams. Kind of insulting to presume otherwise.

-Mach
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Enough is enough
Old 07-30-2007, 07:50 PM   #16
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Enough is enough

His first book was enough for me to last a life time.....
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