Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio?

I guess with the title of this post I am showing my age, but what the heck, if you didn't see the movie (i.e. The Graduate for those who might not recognize the line) , it's well worth it no matter what your age.

I picked the line from the Simon and Garfunkel song because it is a line that laments the loss of ideals and values and seeks guideance from a "leader." Even in the context of the movie, it isn't that much of a stretch to translate the message to the corporate and/or political arena and the headlines we unfortunately see all too often.

If you asked around our office here at ExecuNet, anyone will tell you that I am not a Yankee fan, but when our days become as filled with Bear Stearns and Spitizer as they have recently, it is understandable that there are indeed lots of folks who are wondering where Joe D went.

With all that in mind, maybe that is part of the reason I was so struck by a quote attributed to Jeff Immelt of GE that I have had tacked up on my bulletin board ever since I found it.

When I see it, especially after hearing about some other CEO taking a "perp" walk, it helps to remind me that as disappointing as all that stuff is, there are far more leaders who understand what Immelt is saying and do all they can to build organizations where what he suggests represents the cultures they believe in.

If you have not seen this quote before, if it resonates with your value system, maybe you'll find a spot for it on your bulletin board too.

Manage by setting boundaries with freedom in the middle.

“The boundaries are commitment, passion, trust and teamwork. Within those guidelines, there’s plenty of freedom. But no one can cross those four boundaries.”
Jeff Immelt, CEO, General Electric

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