"Leadership is not the same as reaction. Even a cat will jump off of a hot stove. Leadership involves prediction."
[loosely quoting] W. Edwards Deming
The big three auto companies are clarifying their request for $25 billion to bail them out.
GM"s CEO will drive to DC in a hybrid car.
Ford's CEO will work for $1 if the auto industry gets $25 billion. (Which, oddly enough, suggests that if his company has less money he'll ask for more pay.)
These two were sharply criticized for flying to DC on private jets, asking the American taxpayer for money. And Ford's CEO, Mulally, said that he thought his $21.7 million compensation package was okay, even when the company he was leading needed to be bailed out.
I guess this shows that these CEOs can be shamed into changing their behavior. But it also seems to affirm that they are merely lurching from one reactionary move to another. And in an industry where developing a new model car can take 3 to 8 years, leadership by reaction is far more of a liabilty than high gas prices or tight credit markets.
It seems doubtful that these CEOs have a bold vision of the future or have any real connection to the average consumer. Given that, it is not obvious how they'd be able to put $25 billion to good use. I say invest the money into mass transit instead.