Fair warning here — if you're not into the industry navel-gazing, you'll probably just want to run along to another post — because this one'll be a doozy. I digitally opened up the Detroit papers this morning, ready to sink into some meaty auto industry news when I ran into something both strange and bizarre. It was none other than the pundit of automotive pontification for The Detroit News, Danny Howes. Now normally I enjoy reading Danny playing the conservative role for the adoring anglo-saxon fan base of the the metro region's conservadoxic paper, if only that it gives me a good chuckle. But today the role-playing D-town automaker lap-dog was going after another Dan — Dan Mulhern — husband to Michigan Governor Granholm, with a level of vim and vigor I haven't seen since I got my puppy his first beef-flavored chew-toy back in high school. Apparently Dan (to distinguish between the two, I'll be calling Mr. Mulhern, "Dan," and I'll be using "Danny" for the guy from the Detroit News), in his most recent weekly leadership e-mail from the Office of the First Gentleman, made the following commentary:
Because I am married to the great governor of Michigan, I have had the chance to be a fly on the wall (generally a quiet and unobtrusive one) during meetings with executives from Toyota. These Toyota execs are like those I have gotten to know from Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For," in that they get totally fired up when they start talking about the culture in their companies. The Toyota folks and the great company folks know that "culture beats strategy" every time. They have strategies to achieve results. But they know and constantly verbalize that the only way you get results is through people. For these folks it's not just that people are the necessary means, but that people are ends in themselves. It's not just that the employees are there for the company's success, but at some really deep level, they believe the company is there for the employees' success. So they pay attention to people. They have a "what" of results they're pursuing, but they pay primary attention to the who and to the how.
"...do we need the first gentleman, husband of the governor who ostensibly will "go anywhere and do anything" to create jobs, opining right now on the blockbuster leadership techniques of the foreign archrival kicking Detroit's collective behind?"
Say what? Gov's hubby gushes over Toyota's way [Detroit News]
Dan Howes: "Top GOP Leaders To Big Three: Drop Dead" [internal]