What should we be doing?
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: What should we be doing?
D. Quinn Mills: I think we need, let me talk with the United States first. We need to clean up our act. If we are going to provide leadership to the world then free speech ought to mean something other than protection for pornography for example. I think we got an very confused about these kinds of things and I think our act is pretty bad. If you are outside the United States and you look it, what you see primarily is our popular culture, which is sex, drugs and violence. We had somehow come to some kind of an accommodation with that, much of the world doesn’t minding to do with that and they have a very good reason for that. In the world outside the United States, we do not have an effectively operating international system at this point of time, I don’t think that something like UN, which is kind of or it is useful to have an agency for discussion, but it is not a decision making effective body. So, we need some kind of a better accommodation in a better system among the great powers to try to keep peace. Now, it is difficult to do that right now, because we are not sure to great power are anymore and the Russians are trying to get back in the group, the Chinese are trying to resort themselves much more stronger and that is going to be a very difficult period of time for us in the next couple in decades, that is the biggest single problem, geopolitically in the world. Individually I think each of us should be trying to improve ourselves. Our skills, our character, I think that should go on, I think we should each look beyond and that should go on all over lives. Secondly, we should look beyond our immediate relationships in families to a role in a broader community. I think we should have some curiosity and interest in the things that would go on in the world about us. So, those are the things and that requires us to overcome what is an enormous I think suspicion of the broader society of the political, not that it does not deserve it to some degree, but a kind of an enormous cynicism that exist in the society.
Recorded on: 9/27/07
We need to clean up our act, says Mills.
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