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GM Claims Success by Lowering Expectations

Several years ago I was approached by a client who wanted to co-author a book with me. His idea was to write about an alternative approach to succeeding in business, and his working title was: “Manage your Way to Success by Lowering Expectations.” I was pretty sure at the time that it was an approach I wanted no part of, and so I declined to participate. However, it now looks like my client was ahead of his time.

Last week, as I was listening for a local weather report while getting dressed for work in an Ohio hotel room, the local ABC news affiliate announced proudly: “General Motors is back on top!”. He went on to explain that for the first time in years, GM had actually sold more automobiles here in he United States than its chief rival, Toyota. It caused me to remember that about a year ago, General Motors was actually airing commercials stating that “GM quality is now as good as Toyota”.

Shame on General Motors! As a career-long American manufacturing professional, I find it humiliating to hear the flagship of US manufacturing, which was the largest manufacturing company in the world – by a wide margin – has been cowed into such a sycophantic relationship with a Japanese auto company. US automotive manufacturers began to fall behind the Japanese back n the 1980s, when Toyota introduced a monumental improvement in manufacturing operational efficiency called the Toyota Production System (TPS). Dubbed “Just-In-Time Manufacturing” in those days, many elements of the system were adopted in the United States. Some of the TPS methods included setup time reduction, statistical process control, focus on cleanliness and orderliness of the workplace, and most importantly a total devotion to eliminating waste of all kinds in the manufacturing environment. While US manufacturers have made great strides in adopting many of these techniques, automotive manufacturers have been behind the 8 ball consistently, losing ever-larger percentages of world-wide market share since that time to foreign competitors, even here at home.

About a year before GM declared bankruptcy, I authored a letter to the CEO of General Motors imploring him to make changes before it was too late. In that letter, I pointed out that GM has had every conceivable advantage: from sophisticated information management systems such as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to sweeping materials technology advances like composites, fiber optics and ceramics to unprecedented availability of automation and robotics. Even so, GM leadership demonstrated again and again over 3 decades that they could no longer effectively manage their own operations. The letter was – of course – ignored, and the rest is history.

Now, after bankruptcy, an unimaginable Government bailout, and the closing down of major product lines including Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn, General Motors has the unmitigated gall to boast about selling more automobiles in the United States than Toyota. The United States Government still owns over 25% of GM stock! There is little satisfaction in the fact that GM’s CEO was ejected during this debacle, especially when one considers that essentially the replacement CEO has been President Obama. Just today, a new Gallup poll was published that makes it clear Obama is even worse for our country Han a failed General Motors. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/152129/Economy-Toxic-Issues.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines%20-%20Politics). With the least private sector experience in recent history, President Obama’s team has driven US debt levels far beyond any point in this nation’s history, and even presided over a lowering of our credit rating. He has instructed the Department of Justice to refuse to enforce our nation’s laws (the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA). He has refused to do anything the stem the tide of ileagle immigration. He has wrung his hands and watched as the unemployment rate hovered between 8% and 10% throughout his term in office. Joseph Curl’s recent Washington Post article expertly recounts the numbers. (http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/22/curl-the-truly-dismal-state-of-the-union/?page=all

Now, as we enter the most heated part of The American political cycle – a Presidential election year – it seems fitting somehow that the rhetoric from companies like General Motors so closely mirrors the heavy spin coming out of the Obama campaign. But fitting as it might be, it is no less sickening.

What do you think?

Separation of Church and State?

Here are excerpts from the Preambles of the constitutions of each of our 50 United States:

Alabama 1901, Preamble

We the people of the State of Alabama , invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution..

Alaska 1956, Preamble

We, the people of Alaska , grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.

Arizona 1911, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Arizona , grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution…

Arkansas 1874, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government…

California 1879, Preamble

We, the People of the State of California , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom…

Colorado 1876, Preamble

We, the people of Colorado , with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe…

Connecticut 1818, Preamble.

The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.

Delaware 1897, Preamble

Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.

Florida 1885, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Florida , grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution…

Georgia 1777, Preamble

We, the people of Georgia , relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution…

Hawaii 1959, Preamble

We, the people of Hawaii , Grateful for Divine Guidance … Establish this Constitution.

Idaho 1889, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Idaho , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings.

Illinois 1870, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil , political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble

We, the People of the State of Indiana , grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.

Iowa 1857, Preamble

We, the People of the State of Iowa , grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution.

Kansas 1859, Preamble

We, the people of Kansas , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.

Kentucky 1891, Preamble

We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties..

Louisiana 1921, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Louisiana , grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.

Maine 1820, Preamble

We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity … And imploring His aid and direction.

Maryland 1776, Preamble

We, the people of the state of Maryland , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty…

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble

We…the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction

Michigan 1908, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Michigan , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, establish this Constitution.

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Minnesota , grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:

Mississippi 1890, Preamble

We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.

Missouri 1845, Preamble

We, the people of Missouri , with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness – Establish this Constitution…

Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution..

Nebraska 1875, Preamble

We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom. Establish this Constitution.

Nevada 1864, Preamble

We the people of the State of Nevada , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution…

New Hampshire 1792, Part I.. Art. I. Sec. V

Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.

New Jersey 1844, Preamble

We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

New Mexico 1911, Preamble

We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty..

New York 1846, Preamble

We, the people of the State of New York , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.

North Carolina 1868, Preamble

We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those…

North Dakota 1889, Preamble

We, the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain…

Ohio 1852, Preamble

We the people of the state of Ohio , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common.

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble

Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2.

All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble

We, the people of Pennsylvania , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance…

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble.

We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing….

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble

We, the people of the State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

South Dakota 1889, Preamble

We, the people of South Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties.

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III.

That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience…

Texas 1845, Preamble

We the People of the Republic of Texas , acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.

Utah 1896, Preamble

Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.

Vermont 1777, Preamble

Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man.

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI

Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other

Washington 1889, Preamble

We the People of the State of Washington , grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution

West Virginia 1872, Preamble

Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ….

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble

We, the people of Wisconsin , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility….

Wyoming 1890, Preamble

We, the people of the State of Wyoming , grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution…

Makes one wonder how organizations like ACLU and liberals in general have managed to drag us to a position where school prayer is outlawed.

What do you think?

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