Saturday, February 21, 2009

A lesson on self-accountability

I’m spending the weekend at Texas Tech with the two dozen entrepreneurship faculty who run the 2300-member Entrepreneurship division of our academic professional association.

The biggest news here in Lubbock this week was about the contract negotiations for TTU’s unconventional but successful football coach, Mike Leach, signed a five year contract extension. On Thursday afternoon, Leach went mano-a-mano with chancellor Kent Hance, a former congressman and state utilities commissioner high-powered attorney. When the dust settled, Leach signed a contract extension and both sides were claiming success.
In between boring (but essential) meetings, one of the highlights was the visit Friday night to the 8,000 square foot chancellor’s mansion. I had a chance to talk with Hance for about 10 minutes, who (unlike most academic administrators) clearly has what Tom Peters once called a “bias for action.”

In our conversation, the question of the economy came up, including various frauds and scams that have been in the news. Hance quoted some advice he received from late Trammel Crow, who reshaped downtown Dallas on a series of handshake deals. I wasn’t running my tape recorder, but this is a paraphrase of what he said:

Trammel Crow said that if you don’t understand a deal, it’s either crooked, or you’re too dumb to make it work.
We are all socialists nowThis seems like an ideal lesson in individual responsibility — words to live by.

Of course, in today’s economy, with bailouts for every fool, crook and idiot, the idea of accountability has gone out the window (along with the billions of taxpayer dollars being wasted). I guess we don’t have to worry about accountability anymore, since we’re “all socialists now.”

No comments: