Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is the United States a Dinosaur?

Back in the late 80s, early 90s there was a revolution in the corporate world. Competition went global and high-tech garage shop start-ups were beating the pants off the big corporate giants. Individuals driving this change thought differently, worked differently and had the vision and guts to change our world.

I worked for one of those corporate giants… Texas Instruments, and I can vividly remember the day a magazine article compared my company to a Dinosaur and forecasted our extinction. All I thought about was if I was going to lose my job and what the President was going to do so I would be OK. I didn’t feel any responsibility for the outcome. I was paid to a do a job and felt no responsibility for the “Company’s” problems.

As I look back on those early bleak days and the decisions the leaders of TI made to save the company, I can’t help but compare it to our economic and political arena of today.

Twenty years ago I was asked to do more with less, think out of the box, automate, outsource, downsize and CHANGE. It wasn’t easy. People lives were impacted. Sacrifices were made. Personal agendas had to be set aside for the greater goal... A strong, focused company that had a strong bottom line, a competitive portfolio of products and intellectual capital better than their competitor.

Today…well it’s hard to look to the future when you’re just trying to swim to shore. But folks, if we focus on today and the short term, it might be OK for our life time, but what about our children, what about our future.

I do believe we are facing extinction if we all don’t take personal responsibility. It’s so easy to point the finger. Pull the entitlement card. Bury your head in the sand.

I’m desperately looking for leaders that can step up to the plate at all levels of government and impact CHANGE from the status quo of “what’s in it for me, my constituents, my state and my political party.”

BUT, BUT, BUT… you and me and over 280 million U.S. citizens MUST also step to that plate and VOTE, demand accountability, ask questions, get involved, educate ourselves…

An ‘in my face’ blast from an old boss that I will never forget: DON’T COMPLAIN IF YOU’RE NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION.

Kathy Charlton

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