Update: I don't know how to spell “Plagiarist.” I'd rather be a bad speller than a plagiarist.
Here is the original blog that exposed Raytheon CEO William Swanson's plagarism. I discovered his “33 rules” in Business 2.0 magazine, which wrote about it some time back. His list was wildly popular, Raytheon was giving away a ton of copies (300,000) and the CEO was getting quite a bit of positive press and praise for it.
These bits of wisdom included the following points:
- “In dealing with customers and outsiders remember that you represent the company … be careful of you commitments.”
- “Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.”
Oops, be careful of your commitments and statements… turns out these points and others were ripped off word-for-word from an obscure 1944 book. An HP engineer discovered this and blogged about it. Next thing you know, it's in the NY Times and the CEO is being punished (slapped on the wrist?) and has to be embarrassed about it.
It's a sad sign of the state of integrity in our business “leadership” community.
They say (said):
“Imagine a lifetime's worth of executive wisdom, boiled down to a handy pocket-sized guide. Corporate leaders and management executives alike are clamoring for it – and the author is none other than Raytheon's own Chairman and CEO Bill Swanson.”
“In 2001, Mr. Swanson gave the staff member a file of material to help prepare a presentation, and the file included Mr. King's book. Mr. Swanson didn't realize that so much of the finished product came from the book, rather than his own notes. This may well be true, but it certainly isn't consistent with Mr. Swanson's previous boasts about how he came up with the rules. In the book, he wrote that they had come from advice from others and his own thoughts. In any event, he has failed his own integrity test. ” ‘Integrity,' to me,” he writes, “is having the fortitude to do what is right when no one is watching.” “
Update: Mr. Gross was quoting the New York Times on his blog without really citing it directly. How ironic?
The Raytheon board isn't really punishing Swanson much at all. He won't get a raise this year. Boo hoo. I guess business results and “vision” matter more than leadership and integrity and taking responsibility. Should Swanson resign or be fired? I don't know if it's THAT serious of a situation, but I'm almost as disappointed with his and Raytheon's response to all of this.
Maybe it's a lack of corporate integrity and lack of leadership that's killing American manufacturing, not cheap overseas wages?
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