Friday, March 17, 2006

What comes around goes around

This Washingon Post article highlights the congressional Republican rebellion against President Bush. There are plenty of other cliches to apply here including "don't burn bridges", "Never trust a person who is Dr. Jekyll to those above him and Mr./Ms. Hyde to those under him", etc. Whether you are a Bush supporter or not, these are lessons you can apply to business. That is, when you are in a position of power, it can be easy to be arrogant or abusive and you can get away with it...for awhile. I've seen it personally and heard of many examples ranging from Apple to Microsoft to Yahoo/AOL (during the dotcom heyday) to most recently Google. Since I never worked on the so-called monopoly businesses at Microsoft (i.e., Windows and Office), I would be appalled when I'd hear some stories of what people in those businesses would say or do. Unfortunately for Microsoft, a lot of that came to light during the DOJ case. Likewise, these things usually trickle out years later when the perceived bully loses some of their power and it's payback time.

I'm a globalist which is one of the reasons I've had concerns about the approach we have in U.S. Foreign Policy/"Diplomacy". I'm 100% sure there are countless under-the-radar examples where U.S. companies are at greater disadvantage than they've ever been to compete in the global market. It's "death by a thousand paper-cuts" that is introducing friction for American companies in an incredibly competitive global market. I'm convinced we will hear about these more in the years to come. I'll end with yet another cliche -- those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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