September 1 2002 by Chief Executive
Street Parking Fight
Thanks for the article on the streetparkingexchange.com, or SPE, but I really think columnist Joe Queenan (“Remembering the Glory Days,” CE: June 2002) got everything wrong.
First off, it’s too early to tell if SPE will be a success or not. We started at the end of April. We wanted as many members as possible to test the validity of the idea, so we ran a free offer for over a month. By putting flyers on cars on New York’s Upper East Side, we had several hundred people sign on for free.
During this test we learned that people liked the idea, but we had too many parkers in the morning and too many spaces in the evening. During the day it was just about even.
We made major changes as a result of our test market. As an old (71 to be exact) packaged goods marketer and consultant, I can tell you that is the way to bring out successful new products. Nothing falls in your lap on the first effort. Like anything else, you’ve got to make it work.
Our new program starts Sept. 9. We now pay drivers who leave a space $5 and we charge parkers $5 for getting them a space. We increased the membership fee to $35 a month from the low $20′s. People can park using this service for about $1 a day, which is very inexpensive compared to garages and meters. We make nothing on the $5 debits and credits. It’s being done just to provide an incentive to let us know where and when a space is available so we can direct a parker there.
We also found that 30 minutes was too brief a time span to find and get a member into a space, so we increased it to 60 minutes.
I don’t know if the SPE will ever work, but I’m signing up new members right now and giving myself enough time to register new members and get on the golf course-where they also refer to me as Ted the ParKING.
President and Founder
New York City
Rank and File
All of us here at The Home Depot were truly honored to rank so well in your “Top 20 Companies for Leaders” list in the June 2002 issue. It’s a real team effort and we are working passionately.
I want to compliment you and your staff on the quality and content of each publication and I certainly look forward to continuing my relationship with Chief Executive. Best wishes.
Chairman, President and CEO
The Home Depot
Truisms about Leadership
I loved the “Top 20 Companies for Leaders” article in June, especially the nine things CEOs need to know about leadership. So true, I plan on forwarding the list to my team to guide them in their quest of true leadership traits. Thanks.
Chief Technology Officer
Global Services Operations
GE Transportation Systems
Another Side of IBM
I’m a retired IBMer. I have also worked there as a contractor twice.
I find your article, “The Top 20 Companies for Leaders,” in the June issue, in which which IBM was named No. 1, disgusting!
My view is that IBM treats people as expendable objects. Furniture lasts longer! Please, before creating another article, contact those who may have a better, but opposite viewpoint, than you may have. You are welcome to contact me.
Name and Company Withheld
I’m surprised to see that of your nine judges for the “Top 20 Companies for Leaders,” none were women. Not sure what this says about the leaders in the field of leadership development.
Company Name Withheld
For Men Only?
I read your March issue with great interest. It’s a very interesting and informative magazine, but something made me feel strange: There was not a single picture of a female CEO. The only female picture in the whole magazine was in the Wilmington Trust ad. Another glance showed me a few female names on the 2002 CEO of the Year selection committee.
I can’t believe that there are no female CEOs worth talking about. Though your articles might be interesting, I feel this is a magazine for men only. Gender mainstreaming issues obviously have never even passed the horizon of your world. This is embarrassing!
Head of Division
International Economic Relations South Ministry of Commerce of
Career Stamina of Mature Directors
Interesting and timely article by Michael T. Harris (“Fish or Cut Bait,” CE: May 2002). The various corporate scandals popping up like spring flowers these days have given rise to many similar thought pieces, all quite valuable.
Even so, I’ve yet to read one that addresses the potential of maintaining or adding directors who are in their 70s, pending an evaluation that their mental and physical health are satisfactory. Substantial improvements in overall health technology have extended people’s “usefulness” significantly when compared to age levels in past decades. It shouldn’t be only Michael Jordan (or athletes) who can consider a comeback!
Richard M. Clarke
A “70-something” CEO and Director
The Nash Engineering Company
Route to the Top Can Be Blocked
There are many blockages on the route to the top (“Success Express,” CE: February 2002), but one of the most common is a lack of creativity. The whispered remark about the senior executive lacking creativity is, “Too dull, can’t lead.”
The best tips for increasing creativity are: re-build an open mind; don’t censor yourself; move on from mistakes; keep active; be involved; put diversity back into your life; leave things alone when it’s too hard; and act on the idea, make it happen.
To get ahead in leadership today, you need more than technical or professional skills. You need to be more than a well-read lawyer or accountant, more than an MBA, and more than a management expert-you need the ability to get your message across.
Many of us have created “mirages” in our minds about what creativity and successful communication are. Many of your colleagues are not looking for entertainment-style communication, but want real and easily understood information. Most of the people we admire as good communicators have actually been through some form of training. If they have learned the art of communication, why can’t you?
To develop as a leader, get out of your seat. Talk to someone. Talk to employees you’ve hardly even met. Talk to your family. Communicate. The future awaits: What are you going to do?
Author of You Can Communicate; PR Secrets for Personal Success
KPMG LLP was misidentified in “The Whole Truth” in the July issue. KPMG LLP is a U.S. accounting and tax firm.
The name of the president of the Institute for Global Ethics, Rushworth Kidder, was misspelled in “Global Profits, Ethical Perils” in the June 2002 issue.
Chief Executive regrets the errors.