Here PDL AE rant of the week www.autoextremist.com
SO YOU WANT TO GET “CANDID,” MARY? OKAY, LET’S GET CANDID.
DateTuesday, October 28, 2014 at 08:21PM
By Peter M. De Lorenzo
Detroit. The PR offensive orchestrated on GM CEO Mary Barra’s behalf by GM’s PR handlers continues on unabated this week with “roundtable” interviews given to the local media and other entities in an attempt at getting Ms. Barra’s message out about the definitive change going on within GM.
And what is that message, exactly?
That Mary Barra is, candidly, encouraging the top 300 global executives who aren’t happy and who don’t agree with her plan to shake GM out of its perennial three steps forward and five back dance of mediocrity, to move on. As reported by David Shepardson and Melissa Burden in The Detroit News, GM's CEO had this to say:
"If you don't believe in this plan, then you clearly have other things you could do. And please do so, because the task is hard enough if we all are aligned — and if we're not, it will be even more difficult. If you believe there is a different strategy, there's probably some company you can go work at and execute what you think is right. ... The conversation's not even hard, because why would you want to be here if you don't believe in where we're headed or you don't believe we're taking the right steps?"
All eminently logical, I’d say. Yes, why not leave if you don’t believe in the mission?
"You are not really being nice if you don't say the truth in the meeting and you say it behind someone's back later. I think we just have to get candid," Barra continued, saying she wants employees to be accountable and drive for results, as The News reported. "This is not a company of best efforts. It's got to be a company, if you say you are going to do something, get it done."
Barra added: "There's only so much time where you can say 'ya, ya' and it doesn't get done, and that's where the accountability piece comes in. It isn't best efforts or it isn't explaining why the dog ate your homework." She continued: "My God, you're a senior executive. You could do other things. Why — life is too short — stay and do something you don't believe in?"
Why indeed. Life is too short, especially when you’re unhappy with your professional situation which, I imagine, applies to at least half of the senior leadership at GM. As I said, it all makes such perfect sense that to argue with the refreshing logic of Barra’s words is both futile and just plain stupid. A fool’s errand, in fact.
But - and there’s always a “but” in this business – if only it were that easy. Mary Barra, Dan Ammann and Mark Reuss are tasked with so much more than encouraging top executives who aren’t happy to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Although it would be nice to be able to flip a switch and watch wave after wave of disgruntled executives exit the building - sort of like Lester Burnham in American Beauty - the reality is much different.