Saturday, February 13, 2010

"The Doctor is In"

Not a lot of people in the world's limelight come to me for advice, but maybe they should. It seems to me that when you become rich and famous, you tend to lose your way. You surround yourself with a gaggle of sycophants who tell you basically what you want to hear. They will never tell the Emperor he's not wearing clothes because, like the little Remora fish who swim with the big sharks, the Emperor is their meal ticket. There was one American President (I can't recall who) who had someone on his staff whose job it was to always tell the truth, no matter how much the President may not want to hear it. Now there was a smart man. In case they come to their senses and seek me out, here is what I would advise the following folks:

President Obama - Stop reading the polls and listen to the voice of the American people. You are our President, and what we want should be important to you. Come to grips with the fact that the terrorists who plot to destroy our country are enemy combatants, not civil criminals whose rights we must respect. Abandon this dumb idea of wealth redistribution. Find a way to create jobs so that citizens have a way to earn their own money instead of taking some of mine. Forget about pushing for a government run health care system. The system we have now is not perfect but it works pretty well...if we turn it over to the government bureaucrats, it will cost more and not operate nearly as well as our flawed private system. (After you take care of these items, come back to me and we'll talk about welfare reform, Social Security, education reform and energy policy.)

Governor David Paterson of New York - You have painted yourself into a political corner and it's probably too late to salvage another term. When Elliot Spitzer, the Love Guv, stepped on his Johnson, you found yourself thrust into one of the biggest political jobs in the country. At first you seemed like a nice enough guy, but you know what Leo Durocher said about nice guys. You took the helm at an impossible time, when the economy was in the tank and New York's tax revenue was disappearing faster than a plate of meatballs at the Pavarotti family reunion. You were indecisive and tried straddling the fence, always a dangerous strategy because you tick off people on both sides. Your own party, including the President of the United States, is pressing you to step down. Your parking space in Albany now has Andrew Cuomo's name on it. From a selfish point of view, I wish you would run because almost any warm body the Republicans run against you will win. But I'm giving it to you straight Dave, turn off the lights on your way out.

Tiger Woods - Look into yourself and find out what your priorities are. If you are truly sorry for the heartache you have caused your wife and family, then do what it takes to start making it right, even if it means missing a year or more of golf. Your wife seems like she is willing to give you another chance...don't blow it if you have any hope of regaining her love and respect. If golf is your priority, then get back to the game. The first of the major tournaments you want more than anything to win is less than two months away. If distracted, you will never be able to focus and practice the way you should if you expect to compete at this high level and break Jack Nicklaus' record. If this is your priority, tell your wife as much so she can decide what course she will follow. Trying to fix your family life while at the same chasing wins in major golf tournaments is not going to work, and you will fail on both fronts.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda - You need to dig really hard into the embedded processes and people in your organization that suppressed the problems you were having until they exploded into the headlines. Whose decision was it to not act on customer complaints about sticking accelerators and faulty brakes until the bodies started piling up? Your corporate culture needs fixing. Usually, when people start behaving dishonestly or unethically, it's because such behavior is modeled, or at least tacitly approved, by their superiors. Root out the bad apples, no matter how high up you have to go. Toyota worked too hard for too long to build its market share based on quality, and it's not too late to recover. Get all the problems out into the open more letting them drip out week after week in the papers. Fix the known problems fast and give loyal Toyota customers a generous credit toward future new car purchases. Your current bottom line will take a hit, but your company will survive and prosper again.

Now that I've solved the world's problems, you'll excuse me while I try to get my own life in order. Sadly, we don't get do-overs in life. We make our mistakes, live with them, and hopefully learn from them. It must be so hard for people in the public eye whose every mis-step is covered ad-nauseum by scandal-seeking media ghouls. Hopefully, if they read "Braindrops" they will learn that help is just an e-mail away. The Doctor is in.


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joe del broccolo said...

If my may, just how popular ARE Pavarotti's meatballs?

Jim Pantaleno said...

Have you ever seen Pavarotti??