Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Energy & Careers - Work To Be Done

Ric Taylor is a recruiter friend of mine and the Managing Partner and CEO of a firm called Taylor-Rodgers & Associates in Stamford, CT.

Ric has both passion and compassion on a lot of levels, and maybe these are some of the traits that make him so effective as a recruiter.

Among the things that Ric understands is the fact that life is about giving as well as getting. He lives up to this ideal in a number of ways, including going out of his way to provide information or help to the senior-level executives who make up his involvement with what he calls, “SENG -- Senior Executive Networking Group.”

The information that he shares is mostly focused on market trends of one kind or another that help people to look at things on a more macro level, and more often than not these are things that while they are not secret are not necessarily articles or white papers that we would run across in mainstream media.

The other day, I got the note you see below from Ric, which if read becomes pretty self-explanatory.

Here's what he had to say:

"Our Country never ceases to amaze me with its lack of common sense. Here we are facing great energy supply challenges in a dangerous world and so many are lashing out at all the alternatives that can help free us from dependency. Pressure on Congress has once again doomed chances for drilling in ANWR in Alaska. Monday night's NBC political drama The West Wing was an hour-long attack on nuclear power, one of the best and safest alternatives we have. Not to be left behind, the New York Times had a front-page story yesterday morning railing against the natural gas industry, one of the industries doing a fantastic job of meeting our energy needs. The Times wants their taxes to go up! There's a great idea - let's penalize the industry by sending profits that can be used to find more natural gas to bureaucrats in Washington who can't fuel anything!

The two tragic coal-mining accidents in West Virginia this year have unleashed an attack on that industry as well in spite of the fact that safety records are greatly improved over the last 30 years. In short, the only energy alternatives that seem to be getting any press are solar and wind - but they aren't "perfect" either. The Kennedy family opposes a "wind-farm" in Nantucket (Teddy could fuel it by himself!) because it won't look nice. Meanwhile, how are we supposed to fuel economic growth and keep our families warm? Our people have perfected saying "no," and as a country our "idea tank" seems to be running on empty! Like JFK in the early 1960s when he called for ‘putting a man on the moon and bringing him back safely by the end of the decade,’ our President needs to call for energy independence from unstable foreign sources by 2012!

This can be accomplished; this is not ‘pie in the sky.’ Might I suggest that you read a recent white paper by Mr. R. James Woolsey who was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1993-95, one of the four Presidential appointments that he has held in two Republican and two Democratic administrations; these have been interspersed in a career that has been generally in the private practice of law and now in consulting. This presentation was given to our clients last week. It is the same presentation that he gave to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on 11/15/05.

The white paper, prepared by both Woolsey and Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz deals with the dangers of petroleum dependence and some immediate solutions that can be implemented. The paper is a must read for anyone interested in global balance, national security, economics, business and personal planning. This is a white paper that I hope to get into as many hands as possible; I would encourage you to forward it to others."

So what does this all have to do with executive careers? I think it simply is something that underscores even more why when we have surveyed the recruiting community for the past 14 years and asked what characteristic is the most sought after by their clients the resounding answer is leadership. And while one of the key roles of any leader is to motivate, leaders need motivation too. If you're a leader, you should take the time to read what Woolsey had to say. There is work that needs doing.

The link to download this 10-page paper is: here

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