Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meeting of the Minds - The Future of Capitalism

I watched a CNBC original called Meeting of the Minds The Future of Capitalism yesterday and it was very interesting. The show brought together some prominent business minds to talk about some of the issues surrounding our current environment.

What will capitalism look like going forward? What will prosperity mean? And ultimately, how will businesses navigate this uncharted landscape?

There were a few things that I found intriguing about the show. First and foremost, I always enjoy watching leaders interact with eachother. Who better to learn from than some of the finest business leaders our nation has to offer. I am always amazed at how much the topic of government is discussed when talking about business. I guess some of the questions were tailored to spark some discussion of the business/government dynamic, but I am sure it would have arisen regardless. The leaders, although all relatively similar with regard to their practicing of business, had political views that ran the gamit of the political spectrum. The short one hour program revealed quite a bit surrounding the leaders political views. Although their political views varied wildly from leader to leader, there was almost unanimous consensus that growth is the answer to get our nation out of the financial prediciment it is in today.

The leader that I found myself most drawn to was Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. I have listened to his audiobook before, but seeing him interact and share his views on this program solidified my belief that the guy is a real leader. Some people might not be able to look beyond his fiery personality, but many of the things he stands for resinate with me personally. In the program he used the word meritocracy. He spoke about how we need to not be ashamed to be business people. He said that the overwhelming majority of businesses and business people are inherently good. His answer for getting our nation out of the crisis was establishing and rewarding the winners while taking care of the losers. Not total cutthroat capitalism, yet a recognition that winners and the opportunity to succeed are what makes our country great. He really seems to celebrate personal responsibility and establishing systems that distinguish only based on merit; very noble ideals indeed. Check out some video footage of the show below. I highly recommend checking out the entire show.

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