Childhood Experiences Often the Foundation for SuccessPosted on April 24th, 2012
When I was teaching Marketing to 60 executive MBA students I was presented with a problem when trying to explain the concept of a highly focused niche marketing strategy. Nearly all of the students worked for large public corporations. Few, if any, had had experience with this business method. To support my discussion, I drew upon a military analogy. "You folks need to read a book entitled Marine Sniper by Charles Henderson. Henderson profiles the enormous accomplishments made by one young Marine sharpshooter, Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, during the Vietnam War. Hathcock is often viewed as the finest marksman this country has ever produced. His task...
Mulally of Ford; Tebow of The JetsPosted on April 3rd, 2012
According to a Wall Street Journal article, the chief executive of Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally, had the highest compensation package among all executives in the automotive industry. This is not surprising given the achievements he has made at Ford. In an recent cable news program about Mr. Mulally, it was mentioned that early in his tenure he had a meeting with his senior executives to discuss the need to improve Ford's product quality. One of the attendees said something to Mr. Mulally along the lines of "[you don't understand] a Ford motor vehicle has 3,000 parts." In other words, he...
Political Leaders Need to be "Certified"Posted on March 15th, 2012
Most professions in this country certify their members. After rigorous training, for example, accountants who wish to qualify as being "certified," must pass the CPA exam. Lawyers who practice law are required to pass the bar exam. And so on. But there are two professions that require no certification: politicians and journalists, both of whom have a major influence on our economy and society in general. It is astonishing to me that the people within these two groups are not required to prove their competency at least in part by being formally trained in several primary subjects. At a very minimum those who obtain...
Be Careful When Analyzing the NumbersPosted on February 21st, 2012
A bookstore once asked five Atlanta based authors to participate in a Saturday morning book fair. As I entered the bookstore, I noted that one of the other authors was also a radio talk show host, Neal Boortz. I understand that his morning show is one of the most popular nationwide. He looked at me and said, "Dodge Ram pickup truck, lowest price per pound." Mr. Boortz was referring to the material found in Appendix 2 in my book, The Millionaire Next Door. It contained the rankings of new motor vehicles in terms of the retail price per pound of...
Encourage Leadership; Reap SuccessPosted on February 16th, 2012
Ron Chernow's book, Washington: A Life, has been well received by most critics. In an interview published in The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Chernow said of President Washington: You don't have to be the brightest or the most original mind on the block . . . but what Washington's life shows is the clarity of vision, the tenacity of purpose and character, and how much can be accomplished in life if you keep your sights on your ultimate goals. In The Millionaire Mind, I cite the work of two scholars in the field of intelligence and human performance. Fred Fiedler and Thomas Link concluded: Cognitive...
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