Monday, June 08, 2009

90th IMA Conference: Days 1B and 2A--Ethics on Parade

Started my IMA conference yesterday at 1 pm (some activities occurred before then). Opening speaker James Owen talked on "Cowboy Ethics," which he identified as: live courageously each day, take pride in your work, finish what you start, do what needs doing, keep your promises (he put special emphasis here), ride your brand, talk less and say more (not a widely held skill among academics), make sure that some things are NOT for sale and know where to draw the line. I was quite impressed with the simplicity and practicality of his speech.

The second speaker was Norbert (Nobby) Lewandowski, former baseball player and CPA who now operates a motivational company on the topic of "Leadership, Ethics and Success." Nobby started the program by singing "New York, New York" (he is a respectable singer), then explained that he sang to help cope with a stuttering problem. His speech was filled with slogans, examples include "ATTITUDE: All the time integrity, tenacity, understanding, determination and enthusiasm," "Seven Cs of leadership: confidence, consistency, character, competence, communication, charisma and compass" and "leadership words: you did a great job, what do you think, I was wrong, thank you and we." Mr. Lewandowski was very well received by the audience and unquestionably is an impressive man and an amazing speaker given his stuttering issues--yet I was a little disappointed that ethics (at least for me) clearly was a third priority; I felt that IMA should have shown this more as a motivational speech for leadership and success.

This mornings speaker was David Walker, one-time Comptroller of the U.S., speaking on "Keeping America Great." Mr. Walker had an impressive grasp of facts and indicated that the US would have endure short term (higher taxes, reduced spending, etc.) to avoid greater crises in the future. His diagnosis of problems in the American political and financial system was impeccable. His solutions indicated a greater confidence in the U.S. government to fix problems than I have; nevertheless, it was reasonable and would make a good starting point for a platform for a centerist third party (think John Mc Cain, ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, etc.) which I believe is almost inevitable at some point in the not distant future.

One final comment: I would like to thank Smartpros (whose news service I sometimes use for post on Tick Marks for being an exhibitor at the IMA Conference.


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