I came across a lovely speech my Bob Lutz of General Motors which he delivered at the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce. It’s extremely candid, optimistic and he makes his point quite well to all the people who spell doom for GM and their products.
Here are some excerpts:
Well, we don’t care what the newspapers, or the radio, or our kids tell us. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; we’re not going to listen to the naysayers — we’re going to listen to our customers( He quotes a nice little story to make this point).
Perhaps you have heard the economic parable about the old man who sold hot dogs on the street corner. He was hard of hearing so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers. But he sold good hot dogs.
He sold so many that he increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of his booming business. Business was so good he brought his son home from college early to help him out. And his son said:
"Father, haven’t you been listening to the radios or reading the newspapers? The economic situation is terrible. All of our jobs are going away — we’re headed for depression. This is no time to be spending like this."
The father thought to himself, "Well, my son’s been to college, he reads the papers and he listens to the radio, so he ought to know."
So the father cut down his meat and bun orders, took down his signs, and his hot dog sales plummeted almost overnight.
The father said to the boy, "You’re right, son, we certainly are in the middle of a great depression."
If you are a leader, you got to believe in your goals, plans and your vision. Don’t worry about what the world feels, thinks and says. If you are convinced, execute with great passion and don’t worry about the results.