Charlie Rose and Harvard Friends Discuss Leadership

Harvard’s Centennial Panelists with Charlie Rose

Celebratory discussions by several Ivy League educated panelists were the order of the day, when world renowned Harvard University School of Business, known for producing innovative, futuristic leaders, celebrated its centennial.

Captured by America’s late night elite Mr. Charlie Rose on his self-titled show, Rose has been known for years on late night television, for mentally stimulating discussions on his critically acclaimed syndicated show.

The positions of the extremely educated panel, transcended normal talks of leadership so that Joe the plumber’s fear would be allayed, by receiving answers to his question of leadership, and how to resolve the financial crisis in the 21st century.

Joe and a financially shaken public flanked with cameras and an arsenal of questions, eagerly received some of America’s most innovative thinkers offering the most basic explanations to the current crisis.

American people are running their homes in an inordinate fashion. Americans are thirty percent more in debt than they were ten years ago. We have become saddled with debt and are seeking reasons and solutions.

Panelist Meg Whitman, one of the world’s most influential women, former CEO of Ebay, and current co-chair of the current McCain campaign offered her perspective first.

The question was “Is enough being done to solidify the right consumer base in America?”

Whitman warned that, if the consumer pulls back, companies will lay off causing consumers to pull back more.

Ivy League Business school graduate Anand Mahendra, vice chairman of Mahendra & Mahendra, communicated his position on the crisis and what leadership should not do, with much flair, and a well received comedic twist.

He effectively communicated to Charlie and the audience, that nationalizing banks would not be the answer to the financial crisis.

Mr. Mahendra said that people should not become too worked up over the financial situation because America is such a lucrative country that we will recover quicker than most.

Jeffrey Emmel, chairman and CEO of General Electric, stated that “the issue of illiquidity, plus 10 percent unemployment,” are the culprits of consumer and entrepreneur dissatisfaction. Inventory, financing, supply chain, small businesses go first, after the negative financial aspects take hold in the small business arena, the effects are bilateral; big business and of course employees suffer.

Emmel went on to state, “if you don’t fix liquidity, and these small businesses can’t get credit, the problems persist. He felt that if we can get liquidity back in the system, there will be enough momentum to prevent a long recession.

The austere John Doer who throughout the discussion took in food for thought is America’s most famous venture capitalist and a participant in the green room revolution. Mr. Doer offers more than a blueprint when providing steps to securing small and big businesses on his website( for seeking out potential investors.

In reference to the current financial state of America he states that, “the big picture is that America is borrowing money from China for jet engines, buying oil from the Middle East and burning it, throwing it up in the atmosphere.

As a result of these careless economic acts Dooer warns, “a global carbon crisis will make the economic crisis look like a walk in the park.”

To provide insight into the minds of small business owners and entrepreneurs, Mr. Doer says that the areas of most interest to investors will be ventures that do not require much start up capital.

According to Doer, the Internet ventures of digital engineers have seen better days but are not totally done. Biotech engineers are booming in the medicinal industry. Green engineers working with oil and bio fuels are now all the rage because investments we make in green are not capital intensive. Dooer adds, these are all primarily equity driven businesses, (

After Doer discussed entrepreneurial possibilities to Joe the plumber, Mr. James David Wolfenson explained to the audience how spending what we don’t have is affecting America.

The wisest of the panel, former president of the World Bank Mr. Wolfensohn says, household debt to income is one hundred thirty percent more.

And in response to Emmel speaking about illiquidity and the lack of credit available to the public, Wolfensohn inquires into Americas borrowing capacity?

To which Mr. Wolfensohn provides the answer, “we borrowed eight hundred billion more than we earned last year, we have to move towards innovation.

The guy, who was not seated on the panel Joe, finally understood.

It is Mr. Wolfensohn who offered what was most compelling and what is of paramount importance to America, and that is the ability to learn to live within our means, or we are finished as a society.

America does not need solid answers regarding global and national affairs when it is available to us nightly by internet and syndication. The Charlie Rose show is presented by an objective reserved host who has been a household name for years, Charlie Rose.

In the midst of media hype and reality shows, I tune into the Charlie Rose show to stay abreast of what is important.

Leadership and the economic crisis:

By Tameka Bankhead