Daniel Quinn Mills is the Albert J. Weatherhead, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus. His tenure at Harvard lasted from 1976 to 2007. He consults with major corporations and governments and lectures about management, leadership, strategy, economics and geopolitics. He is an expert on the differences between Asian and Western leadership styles. An American, Mills is also a member of the Innovation Council of Malaysia, a ministry level council chaired by the Prime Minister.
Mills has been interested in early stage businesses and as a director and investor has helped develop several firms. He has been a director of a publicly listed company, chairing its audit committee for several years. A thought leader, Mills has written books on leadership, geo-politics, investments, capital markets, business strategy, network organizations, demographics, marketing, empowerment, and union relations. His most recent book is Master of Illusions: Presidential Leadership, Strategic Independence and America’s Public Culture, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. The book explores America’s role in the world in the aftermath of the second Iraqi War.
Widely and often quoted as well as seen in the national media, Mills has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and been quoted in articles in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Business Week. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.
Question: How will this age be remembered?
D. Quinn Mills: I think the last 50 years in the United States will be remembered as an age of missed opportunities on an enormous scale. Well, before the Vietnam War, we had began a process reconciliation broadly in the society what we called a Civilized Movement. A process of trying to lift out of poverty most of the society what Linden Johnson called the great society in the war and poverty and all that. Almost all of that for a variety of reasons got side track, very seriously. So, here we are in 2007 and we see civil rights, demonstrations in parts of the country, we know racism is not really been the country is actually probably more segregated residentially by race and ethnically than it was 50 years ago, I think we have that technology to do more of listings with education and yet we have been going backwards on most of the educate. So, I think you gave me a field and I will tell you where the missed opportunities are. We just have not done what we could of done, I think it is the great failure of my generation in the Baby Boom generation, that is so much that might been was not done. In the world as a whole, I think it is going to be viewed as an enormous success for the reasons that I talked about, the real awakening and the improvement of living standards conditions, health and etcetera in so much of Asia.
Recorded on: 9/27/07