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Harmonize the Immediate Long-range Future

A manager must, so to speak, keep his nose to the grindstone while lifting his eyes to the hills-quite an acrobat feat.

A manager has two specific tasks. The first is creation of a true whole that is larger than the sum of its parts, a productive e more than the sum of the resources put into it. The second specific task of the manager is to harmonize in every decision and actions the requirements of the immediate and of the long-range future. A manager cannot sacrifice either without endangering the enterprise.

If a manager does not take care of the next hundred days, there will be no next hundred years. Whatever the manager does should be sound in expediency as well as in basic long-range objective and principle. And where he cannot harmonize the two time dimensions, he must at least balance hem. He must calculate the sacrifice he imposes on the long-range future of the enterprise to protect its immediate interests, or the sacrifice he makes today for he sake of tomorrow. He must limit either sacrifice as much as possible. And he must repair as soon as possible the damage it inflicts He lives and acts in two time dimensions, and is responsible for the performance of the whole enterprise and of his own component in it.

ACTION POINT: Develop a system of performance measures that will lead o maximizing the total wealth-producing capacity of your organization Include both short-term measures and long-term measures, as well as quantitative and qualitative measures.

Misdirection by Specialization

“I am building a cathedral.”

An old story tells of three stonecutters who were asked what they were doing. The first replied, “I am making a living.” The second kept on hammering while he said, “I am doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire country.” The third one looked up with a visionary gleam in his eyes and said, “I am building a cathedral.” The third man is, of course, the true manager. The first man knows what he wants to get out of the work and manages to do so. He is likely to give a “fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. But he is not a manager and will never be one. It is the second man who is a problem. Workmanship is essential: in fact, an organization demoralizes if it does not demand of its members the highest workmanship they are capable of. But there is always a danger that the true workman, the true professional, will believe that he is accomplishing something when m effect he is just polishing stones or collecting footnotes. Workmanship must be encouraged in the business enterprise. But it must always be related to the needs of the whole.

ACTION POINT: Develop a process whereby each person in the organization understands his or her contribution to producing the products and services of the enterprise.

The notion of using something other than copper or glass to provide telecommunications services is certainly beginning to gain greater acceptance, and I would argue that wireless’ inclusion as a requirement in the bid is validation of that.

John Grady

If you have a company that’s merging with another in telecommunications or credit cards it pays to pay special attention to your account. Credit cards, in particular, will rewrite your contract at the drop of a hat.

Joe Ridout

We serve a market that’s probably 250 billion in size, if you take into account all the telecommunications and data communications systems being built. Investors are looking at our historical execution and saying that they believe in our ability to capture that opportunity.

Mike Volpi


Even when Lincoln hanged draft dodgers, he made public his deviation from the law and imposed martial law. There is no analogy and no precedent for clandestine surveillance of domestic telecommunications without a court order.

Philip Russell

The third cylinder of economic growth is beginning to fire, … The other two cylinders are inventory swings and consumer spending. Outside of telecommunications and airplanes, business capital spending has begun to improve already, beginning in the first quarter.

Sung Sohn

Leadership in telecommunications is also essential, since we are now in the age of e-commerce.

Michael Oxley

General Dynamics has had a great partnership with the Army for many years, from modernizing telecommunications systems at Army bases worldwide to building communications networks inside the Pentagon. We are pleased that the Army has once again chosen General Dynamics’ expert engineers and IT professionals to support its information technology requirements.

Mike Chandler

Smart businesses do not look at labor costs alone anymore. They do look at market access, transportation, telecommunications infrastructure and the education and skill level of the workforce, the development of capital and the regulatory market.

Janet Napolitano

In my role as Wikileaks editor, I’ve been involved in fighting off many legal attacks. To do that, and keep our sources safe, we have had to spread assets, encrypt everything, and move telecommunications and people around the world to activate protective laws in different national jurisdictions.

Julian Assange

Since 2000, we have lost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs, of which 500,000 jobs were in high-tech industries such as telecommunications and electronics.

Jerry Costello

I am seriously troubled by the proposed rapid consolidation in the telecommunications marketplace.

Conrad Bums

The action is the most efficient way to conclude Iridium’s restructuring negotiations, … We are confident that Iridium will emerge from this process as a stronger and more vibrant company in the telecommunications marketplace.

John Richardson

The tech sector is where the money seems to want to flow. You can just look at last week’s action, when all the averages were up, the money flows into technology, primarily in telecommunications. And even though the valuations have been high all of these quarters and still are, I guess if you want to do well in the market you’ve got to have some of your assets in technology, definitely.

Robert Stovall

China has made one-way concessions across the board in agriculture, manufactured goods, services, technology and telecommunications, … structural changes within China will be necessary to change China for the better in the long term.

Jesse Ventura

My innovation involved taking an idea from the telecommunications and banking industries, and applying that idea to transportation business.

Frederick W. Smith

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