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Leadership & Business Wisdom

DEMANDS ON POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

BEWARE CHARISMA.

Charisma is “hot” today. There is an enormous amount of talk about it, and an enormous number of books are written on the charismatic leader. But, the desire for charisma is a political death wish. No century, and never have political leaders done greater damage than the four giant leaders of the twentieth century: Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, and Mao. What maters is not charisma. What mater is whether the leader leads in the right direction or misleads. The constructive achievements of the twentieth century were the work of completely uncharismatic people. The two military men who guided the Allies to victory in World War II were Dwight Eisenhower and George Marshall. Both were highly disciplined, highly competent, and deadly dull.

Perhaps the greatest cause for hope, for optimism is that to the new majority, the knowledge workers, the old politics make no sense at all. But proven competence does.

ACTION POINT: Seek out the competent people in your organization, not necessarily those with the most charisma.

SALVATION BY SOCIETY

THE END THE BELIED IN SALVATION BY SOCIETY MAY EVEN LEAD TO A RETURN TO INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY.

Surely the collapse of Marxism as a creed signifies the end of the belief in salvation by society. What will emerge next, we cannot know; we can only hope and pray. Perhaps nothing beyond stoic resignation? Perhaps a rebirth of traditional religion, addressing itself to the needs and challenges of the person in the knowledge society? The explosive growth of what I call “pastoral” Christian churches in America – Protestant, Catholic, nondenominational – might be a portent. But so might the resurgence of fundamentalist Islam. For the young people in the Muslim world who now so fervently embrace Islamic fundamentalism would, forty years ago, have been equally fervent Marxists. Or will there be new religious? Still, redemption, self-renewal, spiritual growth, goodness, and virtue – the “New Man,” to use the traditional term – are likely to be seen again as existential rather than social goals or political prescriptions. The end of the belief in salvation by society surely marks an inward turning. It makes possible renewed emphasis on the individual, the person. It may even lead – at least we can so hope – to a return to individual responsibility.

ACTION POINT: The human resources department is not responsible for taking care of you; you are: Know what you are good at, make sure your results are equal to your expectations, and manage yourself. Continually ask yourself, “What should MY contribution be?”

The reality is that business and investment spending are the true leading indicators of the economy and the stock market. If you want to know where the stock market is headed, forget about consumer spending and retail sales figures. Look to business spending, price inflation, interest rates, and productivity gains.

MARK SKOUSEN

Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy.

ALLAN SAVORY

One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute.

WILLIAM FEATHER

I am not criticizing investing in the stock market; I am an investor.

GRACE NAPOLITANO

The difference between playing the stock market and the horses is that one of the horses must win.

JOEY ADAMS

I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.

WARREN BUFFETT

Anyone who thinks there’s safety in numbers hasn’t looked at the stock market pages.

IRENE PETER

Some calamities – the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 – have come like summer lightning, as bolts from the blue. The looming crisis of America’s Ponzi entitlement structure is different. Driven by the demographics of an aging population, its causes, timing and scope are known.

GEORGE WILL

You get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don’t understand that’s going to happen, then you’re not ready, you won’t do well in the markets.

PETER LYNCH

I will never be in the stock market. It’s just gambling. I’m a gambler, but I’ll gamble on the practicality of things.

JEREMY RENNER

Everyone has the brainpower to follow the stock market. If you made it through fifth-grade math, you can do it.

PETER LYNCH

The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible.

BERNARD BARUCH

I don’t know where the stock market is going, but I will say this, that if it continues higher, this will do more to stimulate the economy than anything we’ve been talking about today or anything anybody else was talking about.

ALAN GREENSPAN

Once the brokerage house, rather than the bank, became the locus for American savings, that money would find its way into the stock market, because the broker was someone with a much higher tolerance for risk than the banker.

RON CHERNOW

One of the very nice things about investing in the stock market is that you learn about all different aspects of the economy. It’s your window into a very large world.

RON CHERNOW

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

HUNTER S. THOMPSON

If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock, not selling advice.

NORMAN RALPH AUGUSTINE

I hate weekends because there is no stock market.

RENE RIVKIN

Every portfolio benefits from bonds; they provide a cushion when the stock market hits a rough patch. But avoiding stocks completely could mean your investment won’t grow any faster than the rate of inflation.

SUZE ORMAN

The stock market has an insidious effect on C.E.O.s’ moods, because of its impact not just on their companies but on their own bank accounts.

JAMES SUROWIECKI

Normally I would not recommend a book that tells you how to make money in the stock market. Most of these books are aimed at gullible folk, and they usually make much more money for their authors than they do for the investing public.

GAVYN DAVIES

The stock market to me was like a video game. When it went off, it was like turning the game off. It wasn’t something I’d think about until I’d turn the machine on again.

JO NESBO

But we have to ask ourselves, what’s the purpose of the stock market? It’s supposed to be a source of capital for growing business. It’s lost that purpose.

MARK CUBAN

I have invested in the stock market since I was very young.

CHRISTIE HEFNER

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