Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Emperor's Club

Two lessons come to mind in light of recent news of Elliot Spitzer (soon-to-be former governor of NY) and Adm. William Fallon (soon-to-be former Commander of CENTCOM).

First, planning is essential:

For business people,especially entrepreneurs, the Spitzer tragedy makes clear the necessity of planning for the unthinkable. As I told my management class this morning, when people are involved, and they always are, unthinkable stuff happens. That is not to say that the plan will be perfect (as Guy Kawasaki, Dwight Eisenhower, the USMC, and Herman Count von Moltke have all pointed out, while planning is essential, plans may be worthless). Be sure to spend some time and energy (not too much , but some) thinking about how you will respond if one of your people (or you) do the unthinkable. In my career, I have encountered addicts and drunks, embezzlers, bosses who impregnated secretaries, and suicides. All part of the human condition; none anticipated, but all foreseeable. So think, plan, and be prepared for the stuff to hit the fan.

The Emperor's New Clothes (to be cont.)

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