I once heard James Baker say that the only way to know how a person will perform as President of the United States is by being President. In other words, there is no way to test how a person will respond to the stresses and pressures of the most important job in the world. Unfortunately the same appears to be true when selecting a person to run a large multi-national company. Further, you really do not know what tone a person will set until they set it.
Witness the tone set at Barclay’s by Robert Diamond which led to the scandal surrounding the manipulation of the LIBOR rate. But even more amazing than the tone that Diamond set at Barclay’s which led to the company agreeing to pay a $450 million fine, has been public statements of Diamond since he agreed that the company would pay the fine. Diamond has basically blamed everyone else in the world for the problems that he created, even now raising the “everyone else was driving above the speed limit, so why should you pick on me” defense and further that the British government knew what was going on all along and turned a blind eye if not winking through the entire process. Does the word arrogant come to mind or simply the movie title Clueless?
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