Real leadership asks real questions.

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?I think that Lee Iacocca is firing on all cylinders with this excerpt from his new book: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

This is making its way around as a viral e-mail. I thought I’d post it again here (it’s from the Amazon excerpt) I’m smart enough to leave his words alone- and just ask for your thoughts-

Had enough?

Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, “Stay the course.”

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I’ll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don’t need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you?

I’ll go a step further. You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged. This is a fight I’m ready and willing to have.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, “Lee, you’re eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people.” I’d love to — as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I’m going to speak up because it’s my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I’ll tell you how I see it, and it’s not pretty, but at least it’s real. I’m hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don’t vote because they don’t trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.


Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them — or at least some of us did. But I’ll tell you what we didn’t do. We didn’t agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn’t agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that’s a dictatorship, not a democracy.

And don’t tell me it’s all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That’s an intellectually lazy argument, and it’s part of the reason we’re in this stew. We’re not just a nation of factions. We’re a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.

Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?


I’ve never been Commander in Chief, but I’ve been a CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the top. I’ve figured out nine points — not ten (I don’t want people accusing me of thinking I’m Moses). I call them the “Nine Cs of Leadership.” They’re not fancy or complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that every true leader should have. We should look at how the current administration stacks up. Like it or not, this crew is going to be around until January 2009. Maybe we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008. Then let’s be sure we use the leadership test to screen the candidates who say they want to run the country. It’s up to us to choose wisely.

So, here’s my C list:

A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of the “Yes, sir” crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place. George W. Bush brags about never reading a newspaper. “I just scan the headlines,” he says. Am I hearing this right? He’s the President of the United States and he never reads a newspaper? Thomas Jefferson once said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.” Bush disagrees. As long as he gets his daily hour in the gym, with Fox News piped through the sound system, he’s ready to go.

If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn’t put his beliefs to the test, how does he know he’s right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you just don’t care. Before the 2006 election, George Bush made a big point of saying he didn’t listen to the polls. Yeah, that’s what they all say when the polls stink. But maybe he should have listened, because 70 percent of the people were saying he was on the wrong track. It took a “thumping” on election day to wake him up, but even then you got the feeling he wasn’t listening so much as he was calculating how to do a better job of convincing everyone he was right.

A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. You know, think outside the box. George Bush prides himself on never changing, even as the world around him is spinning out of control. God forbid someone should accuse him of flip-flopping. There’s a disturbingly messianic fervor to his certainty. Senator Joe Biden recalled a conversation he had with Bush a few months after our troops marched into Baghdad. Joe was in the Oval Office outlining his concerns to the President — the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanded Iraqi army, the problems securing the oil fields. “The President was serene,” Joe recalled. “He told me he was sure that we were on the right course and that all would be well. ‘Mr. President,’ I finally said, ‘how can you be so sure when you don’t yet know all the facts?'” Bush then reached over and put a steadying hand on Joe’s shoulder. “My instincts,” he said. “My instincts.” Joe was flabbergasted. He told Bush, “Mr. President, your instincts aren’t good enough.” Joe Biden sure didn’t think the matter was settled. And, as we all know now, it wasn’t.

Leadership is all about managing change — whether you’re leading a company or leading a country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt. Maybe Bush was absent the day they covered that at Harvard Business School.

A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I’m not talking about running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I’m talking about facing reality and telling the truth. Nobody in the current administration seems to know how to talk straight anymore. Instead, they spend most of their time trying to convince us that things are not really as bad as they seem. I don’t know if it’s denial or dishonesty, but it can start to drive you crazy after a while. Communication has to start with telling the truth, even when it’s painful. The war in Iraq has been, among other things, a grand failure of communication. Bush is like the boy who didn’t cry wolf when the wolf was at the door. After years of being told that all is well, even as the casualties and chaos mount, we’ve stopped listening to him.

A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” George Bush has a lot of power. What does it say about his character? Bush has shown a willingness to take bold action on the world stage because he has the power, but he shows little regard for the grievous consequences. He has sent our troops (not to mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens) to their deaths — for what? To build our oil reserves? To avenge his daddy because Saddam Hussein once tried to have him killed? To show his daddy he’s tougher? The motivations behind the war in Iraq are questionable, and the execution of the war has been a disaster. A man of character does not ask a single soldier to die for a failed policy.

A leader must have COURAGE. I’m talking about balls. (That even goes for female leaders.) Swagger isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t courage. George Bush comes from a blue-blooded Connecticut family, but he likes to talk like a cowboy. You know, My gun is bigger than your

gun. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn’t mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.

If you’re a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know it will cost you votes. Bush can’t even make a public appearance unless the audience has been handpicked and sanitized. He did a series of so-called town hall meetings last year, in auditoriums packed with his most devoted fans. The questions were all softballs.

To be a leader you’ve got to have CONVICTION — a fire in your belly. You’ve got to have passion. You’ve got to really want to get something done. How do you measure fire in the belly? Bush has set the all-time record for number of vacation days taken by a U.S. President — four hundred and counting. He’d rather clear brush on his ranch than immerse himself in the business of governing. He even told an interviewer that the high point of his presidency so far was catching a seven-and-a-half-pound perch in his hand-stocked lake.

It’s no better on Capitol Hill. Congress was in session only ninety-seven days in 2006. That’s eleven days less than the record set in 1948, when President Harry Truman coined the term do-nothing Congress. Most people would expect to be fired if …

What are your thoughts?

A new sports and concert arena in Montgomery County?

Conventions, Sports & Leisure International is sending out e-mails to do some research on a new arena:

“Subject: Possible New Sports Arena Off I-75

Dear Ohio Resident,

We would like to share some news regarding the potential development of a new sports arena in Montgomery County.  The arena is envisioned to host minor league sports, concerts, family shows, commencements, other sporting events, including collegiate sports, and a variety of other educational, cultural and entertainment events.  Additionally, the arena is expected to operate as a component of a larger development that could potentially include a mix of unique uses including retail, commercial, hospitality and residential.

As your thoughts and opinions are extremely important to our initial development decisions, we would like to invite your participation in a 10-minute internet survey as part of a strategic study that will help shape our plans for the prospective new arena.

Your time, insight, and advice are deeply appreciated and will help determine the future of sports entertainment venues in Montgomery County.  Thank you.


Lawrence King
CSL International
5741 Legacy Drive, Suite 310
Plano, TX  75024”

Jumping over to their website- they have a bit about themselves:


Founded in 1988, Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL) is a leading advisory and planning firm specializing in providing consulting services to the convention, sport, entertainment and visitor industries. CSL was established for the specific purpose of providing a source of focused research and expertise in these industries. Services include new/expanded event facility feasibility studies, organizational reviews/performance enhancement studies, destination master planning, industry benchmarking, negotiation assistance and related services.

Could this be a red herring? Part of the UD Master plan?

A bold move at Miller Lane or by the Dayton Mall? The first steps toward “Sportsplex” or a companion facility to the Dragons in “Ballpark Village?” Anyone want to ponder what’s going on?

What you can do with your old technology- Earth Week

Check out this link on DealMac for ways to properly dispose of old technology- their site has all the links.

Gadget Recycling Programs –
Free Service
These services will recycle your old tech for free.

United States Postal Service
Recycling your old devices is now as easy as sending snail mail thanks to the USPS and Clover Technologies. The two have teamed up to create the USPS’ Mail Back program. This program lets you recycle old Blackberries, digital cameras, used ink cartridges, and even your iPod for free. At the moment, the service is only offered in select cities, but the program is expected to go nationwide this Fall. All you need to do is swing by a participating postal office, pick up the free, postage-paid Mail Back envelopes, and load them up with your used tech.

Suffering from gadget gluttony? Goodwill Industries and Dell have partnered to create the Reconnect program. This program lets consumers recycle their unwanted computers, printers, and scanners by dropping them off at participating Goodwill stores or Goodwill drop-off sites. Any brand of computer is eligible, and components that can’t be refurbished will be recycled. You can find participating Goodwill locations in seven states including California and New Jersey. Just remember to wipe out that hard drive before dropping off your system.

Although they were once a notable e-waste contributor, Apple has since made a barrage of earth-conscious strides in the way they design their products. As part of its “Greener Apple” campaign, the Cupertino-based company currently recycles old and damaged iPods for free, while giving customers a 10% credit toward the purchase of a new iPod. Just simply drop your old device off at any Apple Store location. In addition, Apple will also recycle your cell phone free of charge regardless of the model and manufacturer.

Money-Back Service
Help mother nature (and yourself) with these cash-back services.

Staples’ and Costco’s Trade-In & Recycle Program
Only one thing is better than going green, and that’s going green and getting paid to do it. Anyone with a closet-full of gadgets can take advantage of Staples’ and Greensight’s trade-in program. Simply find the gadget you’re looking to recycle from this list and follow the drop-down menus to calculate how much cash you’ll get back. (Staples pays you with a Staples coupon that’s good for up to 6 months after being issued.) Some items, like CRTs and fax machines, have no trade-in value, but Staples will nevertheless pay to pick up and recycle your item for free. Frequent Costco shoppers can take advantage of a similar plan from GreenSight here and receive Costco cash cards for their recycled items.
What You Can Expect: $40 for a used iPod Photo
From your outdated Palm PDA to your bricked iPhone, the folks at can turn your electronic trash into cash. The site will buy your used, new, and even broken electronics and give you cold, hard cash in return. They currently accept iPods, cell phones, PDAs, Zunes, and game consoles with plans on broadening their services soon. They typically offer competitive prices (i.e. they offered $106 for a used Xbox 360 Core System compared to Staples’ $92) and claim to pay within 48 hours via PayPal or check.
What You Can Expect: $48 for a used iPod Photo

If you’re the type of fanboy that upgrades every few months, then you might want to check out TechForward. This company will buy back your outdated devices so you can purchase new models when they’re announced. To participate you’ll need to purchase a “guaranteed buy-back plan,” which locks in the trade value for your device. So rather than get $100 for your old Dell laptop when you sell it a year from now, you’ll lock in a guaranteed buy-back fee if and when you sell your laptop. (The fee decreases per year.) In addition, devices in excellent condition receive 15% bonuses. (Likewise broken devices will decrease the value of your trade-in.) When you’re ready to cash in your laptop for a new model, TechForward will send you a pre-paid shipping box to return your unwanted device, which then gets recycled.
What You Can Expect: Buyback Plan for a MacBook: $29 (one-time fee)
Buyback rates for a used MacBook: $480 (if sold in Oct 2008), $330 (if sold April 2010).

They aren’t expected to launch until later this Spring, but ecoNEW is already generating buzz with its forthcoming gadget trade-in program. The company is partnering with retailers like Best Buy and Wal-mart to let technofiles drop off their old, used, and worthless tech at participating stores — even if they weren’t purchased there. You’ll then receive an in-store gift card for a predetermined amount based on the condition of your device. Alternatively, you’ll also be able to fill out a form online and ecoNEW will pick up your device and pay for the cost of shipping.
What You Can Expect: N/A

Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown get what Dayton, Xenia, Springfield, Troy etc don’t.

Photo of banner on Carnegie Ave. for Cleveland PlusI was driving out of Cleveland yesterday and saw this banner. Apparently Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown are getting the concept of regionalism better than Dayton, Centerville, Kettering, Huber Heights, Trotwood, Oakwood, Moraine, Beavercreek, Harrison Township, Miamisburg, etc…

Not only is it a brand that registers- it is their version of “Get Midwest”– and it shows what the Dayton Development Coalition should have got from the Turner Effect for their $900,000.

The site is and their little video will make you forget that they are in the same boat we are.

Another meaningless debate

I just watched the Obama/Clinton debate and came away wondering if there was anything said worth hearing. I must admit, Hillary wins as a stand-up comedienne, with a few good quips. And the “how would you use George W. Bush as a statesman” question was an open door that neither took.

Yet, I was hoping for more, waiting for something that said hands down, one is a winner- and it wasn’t there.

I’m sure when it’s either one of them facing McCain the answer will be clear, but, in choosing between these two, it’s easy to understand that people have their own quirks which favor one or the other which is fine and dandy.

I thought both of them failed miserably on the early question of taking each other as running mates (to which I’m absolutely opposed to).

If there was one time when I really wanted to jump through the set and go for the jugular- it was when Clinton blamed her faulty memory of gunfire in Bosnia as she got off the plane on “lack of sleep”- I was waiting for Obama to say- well, I guess when you get the call at 3am your judgment might not be so hot, eh?

For me, it’s still clearly Obama, just because of the wider support base, the swearing off of the PAC money and the move away from dynasty politics.

An astute politico that I know, thought this would be the debate where the gloves came off. It obviously wasn’t.

I’m thinking the problem lies in the structure of these “debates” which are more like interviews than true debate. Needless to say, if you are in Pennsylvania right now, it must suck watching TV with the constant barrage of political spots- and robo-calls ringing off the hook.

If America really wants change- it’s time to really consider changing this process altogether. Let’s take the money out of it, limit the length of the campaigns, make sure the popular vote matters and maybe even start throwing the bastards out when they get caught lying to us.

Thoughts from you?

Is Cox about to launch a free weekly to kill off Dayton City Paper?

There has been a rumor for a while that the Dayton Daily News would launch a free weekly- to kill off Dayton City Paper. The relaunch of “Active Dayton” as a site for the bar crowd was a first clue.

Today- peeking into the new Dolcessa on Brown Street (not quite open yet) I saw the next clue: a wire newspaper rack- with an “Active Dayton” sticker for the nameplate. A little snooping online doesn’t confirm it- but read the demographics for yourself and think what else could it mean?

Cox Ohio Publishing. Newspapers, websites, products, services, rates, history, audience, contacts and more. – Active Dayton

Southwest Ohio is home to an impressive group of active young adults with a wide variety of interests which can make reaching them with your message very difficult. delivers this group, providing them with information about local night life, comedy clubs, movies, music and restaurants.

Catering specifically to adults aged 25-34 looking for entertainment and with money to spend, gives them what they need: information about news, events and merchandise in the local area. And it gives you what you need: their attention!

With Publisher Kerry Farley living in Yakima WA, and just losing his associate publisher- we may be seeing the wheels falling off the Dayton City Paper cart premature to Cox’s shot across the water.

Anyone want to confirm when “Active Dayton” print edition will roll out?

South Park Neighborhood of the Year 2008? Nationally!

The Dayton Daily News has the good news for once:

Local neighborhood among finalists for national award
The Historic South Park Neighborhood Association is a finalist for the 2008 Neighborhood of the Year Award.

The award is presented by Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA), which announced finalists on Monday, April 14.

NUSA, which says it is the oldest grassroots organization in America, works to support neighborhood groups and presents yearly awards recognizing outstanding achievements by neighborhood organizations, businesses and municipalities.

The Historic South Park Neighborhood Association, representing the historic district south of downtown, is one of five groups being considered in the “physical revitalization” category…

…Representatives of South Park and other neighborhood nominees will put on presentations about their projects at the 33rd NUSA Conference on Neighborhood Concerns to be held May 21 to 24 in Hampton, Va. Winners are to be announced at the conference.

When I bought my house in 1986, I hardly thought I’d be in it more than 5 years- or in Dayton for that matter. Now, I’d have a hard time living in a different house, in a different neighborhood.

South Park is truly a remarkable place to live- with amazing people committed to creating a “neighborhood” with sense of place and a community spirit. NUSA couldn’t be too far off in making this neighborhood a finalist.

Dayton rally for Darfur

If the holocaust was happening today- what would you do to stop it?

Well, it’s happening- in Darfur.

Protests aren’t a lot- but they’re a start:

Saturday April 19th from 1 to 4
ere will be a march from Courthouse Square to  the Convention Center
In th
e event of bad weather, the entire event will be at the Convention Center
Speakers will be Nick Clooney and a Darfuri refugee.

It’s a chance to act to end genocide and aid in the establishment of treaties needed for a lasting peace.

More info  at

Dayton Daily gets hip to local dining

The Dayton Daily News decided to start featuring local eateries in yesterday’s go. Guess they’ve been reading this site for a while and thought it was a good idea. If you want to know what makes Dayton different than any place else- and market it, one of our main points of differentiation is our local restaurant scene.

They broke their article up into three pieces- but, I’m putting links here for you to explore- and add what would make your list.

Have you discovered Dayton’s hidden-gem restaurants? We have
Then there are those other eateries in out-of-the-way places or sometimes simply tucked into the back of your mind. They keep a low profile, work hard to serve up excellence on a plate and often succeed in attracting a loyal clientèle — usually without an advertising budget.

The Miami Valley is blessed with a slew of hidden restaurant gems. We’ve discovered some of them — and we want to share.

Here are some of the restaurants they featured- and if you click on the name- you’ll get to the DDN capsule review

Some not-too-pricey, not-too-cheap hidden gems

Bahn Mai Thai Café

The basics: 725 Lyons Road (just off Ohio 725) in Washington Twp [Map]. (937) 435-0624. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, dinner only on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Bosco’s Grill & Tavern

The basics: 5900 Bigger Road, Kettering [Map]. (937) 436-1128. Open seven days a week. no site link available

Chin’s Ginger Grill

The basics: 965 W. Main St., Tipp City [Map]. (937) 667-6664. Open Monday through Saturday for dinner, lunches on Thursday and Friday only. Web site:

Coldwater Cafe

The basics: 35 E. Main St., Tipp City [Map]. (937) 667-0007. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Web site:

K-Village Inn

The basics: 8794 Ohio 274, Kettlersville, northwest of Sidney. From Dayton or points south: I-75 north to Ohio 274, head west. The restaurant is about four miles from the interstate [Map]. (937) 693-6432. Open daily. No Website provided

Trattoria Da’ Francesco

The basics: 3 E. Market St., Germantown [Map]. (937) 855-2111. Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. No Website provided

Treasure Island Supper Club

The basics: 4250 Chief Woods Lane, Dayton [Map]. (937) 299-6161. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays. No Website provided

Hidden dining gems on a budget

Cedarland Bakery & Restaurant

The basics: 4515 Linden Ave., Dayton (across from Carroll High School) [Map]. (937) 610-2888. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. No website provided

Christopher’s Restaurant

The basics: 2318 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering [Map]. (937) 299-0089. Open Monday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Web site:

Culp’s Café

The basics: 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton [Map]. (937) 299-2277. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Web site:

DiSalvo’s Deli & Italian Store

The basics: 1383 East Stroop Road, Kettering [Map]. (937) 298-5053. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Web site:

Evan’s Café

The basics: 1939 N. Main St., Dayton [Map]. (937) 276-2556. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The restaurant also runs a catering business — Erica’s Catering. For more info on catering, call (937) 854-4359. no site link available

The basics: 1001 Brown St., Dayton [Map]. (937) 424-1784. Bar is open Monday through Sunday; the kitchen is closed on Sundays. Web site:

The basics: 4770 Airway Road, Dayton [Map]. Call (937) 252-1857. Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner; closed Mondays. no site link available

Nelly’s Chicken

The basics: 37 Alexandersville Road in Miamisburg (Rand Plaza, visible from Ohio 725, west of I-75) [Map]. (937) 859-5555. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Web site:

The basics: 336 E. Fifth St., Dayton [Map]. (937) 223-9205. Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner. Open for dinner Saturday, closed Sundays. no site link available

Taqueria Mixteca

The basics: 1609 E. Third St., Dayton [Map]. (937) 258-2654. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. no site link available

Now you and I both know there are a lot more places in Dayton that have rockin food for those who are on a budget- or are a bit more adventurous than Friday’s or Applebees. The South Park Tavern has the awesome Pizza Factory Pizza, John Henry’s has an amazing bar menu. Lets go out and support local restaurants tonight!

And if you want to know why sales tax revenues are decreasing…

If you’ve heard any of “Team Montgomery County” talk (that’s what the three county commissioners are now referring to themselves as), you’ve heard “We live and die by the sales tax.”

So, if you are wondering why the county is feeling a squeeze, look at online sales:

Report: Online retail sales could reach $204B – Dayton Business Journal:
The National Retail Federation is forecasting $204 billion in retail sales over the Internet in 2008, while the rest of the retail industry expects sluggish growth.

According to the NRA’s annual survey, The State of Retailing Online 2008, the expected $204 billion is a 17 percent increase over last year.

The sales categories expected to do the best include apparel, with $26.6 billion, computers at $23.9 billion, and autos at $19.3 billion.

If you buy from, you aren’t paying sales tax. Same goes for any other business that doesn’t have a physical presence in Ohio.

That’s why I believe we need to institute a national online sales tax- at one simple rate, say 3% and put it all into education doled out per student. A nice equitable way to help balance education funding across the nation.