Gary offers observations on the continuing saga of former GE executives running Boeing changing the culture from engineering-driven to Wall Street-driven. Also thoughts on good manufacturing leadership.

Some people have nothing to lose in the game. They have no skin in the game.

The Milton Friedman school of economics says top executive need to have stock in the company so that they have skin in the game. Of course, that led to excesses like Jack Welch at GE and his protogés at 3M, Boeing, Home Depot who all ruined thriving companies by playing financial games in order to maximize their stock options in short term gains. Did they have skin in the game? Well, would they lose anything if the stock didn’t perform? Probably not much since they also negotiated large salaries and golden parachutes.

Skin in the game would have been if Elon Musk had sat inside the Cybertruck when they shot at it to test the bulletproof construction.

Soul in the game is when you care. Robert Pirisig writing his essay on quality in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance talked of the mechanic who cared about the quality of his work. Obviously the executives at Boeing had no soul in the game.

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