Originally Posted by ferco
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.
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.