Women in Leadership

Leading an Economic Counter-Insurgency

Ted Hebert asked:

General David Petraeus would be a rock star in the business world today. He is a man that knows how to turn the worst situation into a success relatively quickly. Gen. Petraeus took over command of the Iraq war at the start of 2007, and led what was called “the surge” of troops into Iraq. Most fully expected the General and his strategy to fail miserably. Most were wrong. A “surge” is needed in business to get our economic woes turned around.

Think back to January of 2007. The Democrats had just taken control of Congress, and they put heavy pressure on President Bush to get out of Iraq. The war had become extremely unpopular, and we were losing 30-40 soldiers every month. The consensus was the U.S. should never have invaded Iraq, and had now lost the war. It felt like Vietnam all over again.

Instead of urging retreat, Gen. Petraeus drew up the surge strategy to win the war. I don’t know about you, but I was skeptical at the time. The one thing the General had going for him was that he knew he was right, and passionately believed our troops would prevail if given the right orders. He believed to his core he could turn the horrible mess around. A little more than 18 months later there is no one who can deny our brave men and women in uniform have soundly beaten the terrorists in Iraq. Thanks to the General, and his ability to go against what was popular, we are close to actually saying mission accomplished. For real this time.

It was General Petraeus’ maverick thinking that turned a complete military debacle into a success. Even if you didn’t agree with going to war, you have to believe once there it is better to win than lose. The General went directly against what nearly everyone in the government and the military thought was the best course. He took a massive risk, not only with his military career, but more importantly with the lives of U.S. soldiers. The risk paid off, and General Petraeus is regarded as a modern-day U.S. Grant.

Who will be the generals to solve our faltering economy? Who will be the maverick thinkers that can pull us out of the mess we’re in today? Is there a new Steve Jobs or Bill Gates out there? Is there a new Warren Buffet with great new ideas that will spur on new industries, and revitalize others?

We cannot rely on the government. They create problems, they don’t solve them. All the government will do is tax the success of the men and women who drag the economy back from the brink. However, we control who runs the government, so our job as citizens is to be sure our leaders get out of the way and allow new ideas and businesses to flourish.

I believe the new generals of business will be the many creative people who are working daily to find new, cheap, and clean forms of energy. Their efforts will change the way we power our cars, homes, businesses, everything. We are on the verge of an energy revolution that will change all our lives significantly for the better.

The technology new energy develops will likely overlap into virtually every industry, such as manufacturing, transportation, electronics, bio tech, and health sciences. As with the computer revolution in the 1990’s many other creative individuals will take the foundation built by new energy, and create fantastic new products. Think of the ways new energy will change computers, televisions, cell phones, etc. There is limitless potential.

For instance, all over the internet you can find something called an HHO Generator for automobiles. There are many variations to be found, but basically an HHO generator is a container filled with water that has either two small sheets of metal or two coiled wires that dip into the water. The wires are connected to a power source in your car’s engine, and a vacuum hose runs from the jar to your engine’s manifold intake.

When you start your car the metal coils are charged with electricity which then causes a reaction in the water resulting in the production of HHO (hydrogen and oxygen) gas. This gas will burn just like gasoline vapors. The hose running to your manifold intake then mixes this HHO with the gasoline vapors your engine burns. The result, if done correctly, is an increase in gas mileage of roughly 40-50 percent.

Believe it or not it actually works. I’ve done it myself on my SUV, and went from 15 MPG to 27 MPG. At $4.10 per gallon that’s quite a savings. I like my big SUV, and now it is cheaper to run. In addition, the HHO Generator actually reduces the emissions from the engine because when HHO is burned the byproduct is only water.

This is not a new idea. This technology has been around since the 1870’s, and has been used to power low heat blow torches. No one has used it for assisting in powering an automobile engine because until recent years gas prices were relatively cheap.

This is a perfect example of using maverick thinking to solve a problem using technology already available. HHO Generators are not a long-term solution, but they could help us reduce oil consumption, and keep us from going broke on fuel prices until new fuel technology takes hold. Regular people in their garages have discovered HHO technology, and it is spreading across the internet.

Like General Petraeus saved the U.S. from losing the war in Iraq, and drove down U.S. casualties, we need new leaders in industry to lead us through our current economic quagmire. Those leaders are out there. Please stand up with me.


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