|Arthur Sulzberger Jr.|
On 29 Mar 2012, at 08:42, McNeil, Donald wrote
The Times is in labor turmoil. Journalists are openly angry. Even the sacred Page One meeting has had a protest.
The company has no C.E.O.
Arthur has cancelled his annual State of the Times address.
He didn't even speak at Anthony Shadid's memorial. Jill "greeted us in his name" as he sat there.
And don't forget what Bloomberg observed on Jan. 27: "In the meantime, the 60-year-old chairman is serving as interim CEO amid internal concerns about his travels overseas, according to two people familiar with the matter. In the last 19 months, Sulzberger has attended at least a dozen conferences and panels in Istanbul, Beijing, Munich, London, Paris and Switzerland where his girlfriend, Claudia Gonzalez, works."
So where is Arthur these days?
At the small dinners he is having with staff, he offered an answer: He has found a new management guru, Michael Useem. And he is going trekking with Mr. Useem in the Himalayas soon.
Michael Useem is the author of "The Leadership Moment" and "The Leader's Checklist." http://www.leighbureau.com/speaker.asp?id=134
He offers annual "Himalayan Leadership Treks": http://leadership.wharton.upenn.edu/everest/wj98_trek.pdf
The next begins on May 27:
Quick history lesson: over the last 20 years, Arthur has adopted a series of management consultants. First there was W. Edwards Deming, who led workshops having NYT staffers form "quality circles."
Then there was one whose name I forgot who had us all post plastic-coated cards with "The Rules of the Road" on our desks.
(For a reality-bending trip down memory lane, read the company's web page about those rules of the road: http://www.nytco.com/careers/mission.html Read especially carefully the part at right called Ten Reasons To Work at The New York Times Company. One reason: "You Are Valued," which ends: "And to cap it off, the Company maintains a rich retirement program that helps you build a prosperous financial future.")
Then there was Jim Clemmer and his "Put the Moose on the Table" philosophy that led Arthur to bring the infamous stuffed moose to the town meeting that finished off Howell Raines.
Enter guru No. 4.
A Nepal trek is very Arthur, since he's a rock climber and Outward Bound tripper.
(He discusses that on YouTube here)
But to learn leadership? Shouldn't a 60-year-old corporate chairman already know whether he's a leader or not? Shouldn't that have been decided by age 35 or so?
And a trek now? In mid-crisis?
We put out a great newspaper every day. But outside the newsroom, at the corporate level, we're sailing on a ghost ship.
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