Senator Shelby Recuse Thyself

Occasionally when consulting with Boards of Directors, especially on matters requiring a vote, it is necessary to recuse or withdraw a member from a position of judging so as to avoid any bias or appearance thereof. This past week as the Senate debated the automotive bridge loan, I watched with a tremendous amount of frustration as Senator Shelby of Alabama continued to unabashedly destroy the domestic automotive industry. The fate of our entire nation rests in the hands of a man that simply wants the Big 3 to fail.

Why would that be a priority to Shelby?

At the end of this entry, I have given you a link to see what automotive industry currently resides in Alabama. When you look at this list, it appears as though you might be reviewing an industry site in Japan. Here are some of the automotive companies in Alabama; Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Yachiyo Manufacturing, Kwang-Sung, Hwashin and more. Not one General Motors, Ford or Chrysler. Now it is abundantly clear why Shelby has that continuous grin that looks strangely familiar to the one my cat gets when she has destroyed another Christmas ornament.

Admittedly, in the last ten years these, non-Big 3, companies have brought 35,000 new jobs to Alabama. Again, let me remind you that I talk to people about the need and importance of setting their personal and professional priorities and Shelby has his; protect 35,000 jobs in Alabama and kill 2-3 million automotive associated jobs elsewhere in the United States.

Then Senator Shelby makes a statement about how the Big 3 can’t design or build the cars that Americans want to drive. Rest assured the Senator hasn’t driven a CTS, Tahoe or a Corvette

My Corvette in the Garden of the Gods

My Corvette in the Garden of the Gods

lately. When he makes statements like that, it’s obvious he also hasn’t taken a test drive in the Malibu, G-6 or Mustang. The Big 3 also offer some of the best trucks in the world, and people want them!

Don’t get me wrong! Many American companies lack the true leadership to get through tough times. An old Economics Professor at U of M told us there are two ways to grow profit: Increase revenue or decrease cost. Many of today’s “leaders” take the ostensibly easy way and cut costs. Layoff people, cut quality and/or quantity, reduce programs and training…cut, cut, cutting their way to profitability. Significant changes in the leadership must be made and perhaps a strong “Car Czar” is a good idea.

Don’t get me started on greed! There is more than enough to go around. Company executives and the bonuses are merely out of control. The UAW has “United” itself out of working on autos. Both sides better get real, real quick. Everybody needs to cut back, but not just in automotive. Everything from Dockers to Doctors needs to reduce their pricing. Greed is aplenty and we will not survive if we allow it to cloud our vision as we set our priorities and make important decisions.

That brings me back to the Senator from Alabama.

This article might likely cost me a speaking gig or two because it will upset someone in a key decision making position. But, in difficult times, we ALL need to stand up for what we believe. Whenever we find ourselves entrusted with a leadership position, we cannot let greed and individual priorities get in the way of doing what is right and just for the greater good, not just for my business, or your industry, or the Senator Shelby’s state.

Another point must be made in this regard. If Carl Levin, D-MI were in a leadership role on this committee, I would also recommend he remove himself from facilitating the discussion on this topic. He too would have such a vested interest in the outcome that his judgment would be clouded and overly biased.

In closing, let me say it is apparent that Senator Shelby believes in doing what’s good for Alabama and has made that his priority. He certainly is not focused on what is necessarily good for the people of the entire United States.

Senator, shouldn’t you recuse yourself?


See The Alabama Industry Profile:


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Take Negotiations to the Dogs

Whenever I am working with sales teams, the topic of effective negotiations often arises. In my thirty years of sales experience, I have attended many hours of negotiations training. For the record, the best was from the Karrass organization and my friend Frank Mobus, but I digress.
Another rich negotiation experience was when I served as a Labor negotiator for General Motors with (or against) the UAW. Keep in mind, I don’t teach negotiation skills, but I often share several of the best tips I have learned over the years. One of which is what I call “the confused dog look.” Whenever your customer or the “other side” offers a counter-proposal or a concern, just simply tilt your head and don’t say a thing. Most of the time they will drop their issue, recant there statement, or better yet simply agree with your proposal.
Why this topic today?
This morning I saw the best example of how to teach this technique. So thanks to YouTube, here is a great 30 second video example of the “Confused Dog Look.”   Enjoy!
If improving your effective negotiation skill is a high priority for you, and why wouldn’t it be if you are in sales, try this…it works!

“Coming of Age In Corporate America”

Since I commonly talk to multigenerational workforces and associations, a free-lance journalist recently contacted me for my opinion on how people can overcome leadership and work-related challenges. See the article here: Brooke has done a nice job of covering a multitude of perspectives and she sites Jack Welsh, me (T.J. Wisner) and several other experts in the article.
Bottom line, for the average worker in America today, its more important than ever that you
Be Your Own Chief Performance Officer.
Life is too important…”Don’t Just Do It!”