A Lesson in Life

Could I ask you a personal question? When you were in high school, were you one of the cool people? I wasn't.

But I marveled, and I guess envied those who were. Everyone liked 'em. And everyone wanted to be like 'em.

There was a time not all that long ago that General Electric guys were the cool guys in business. Everyone wanted to be like 'em, and everyone wanted to hire 'em. And why not? Their worst VPs often seemed better than other guys' best CEOs.

In fact, you were golden if you could steal one of those GE guys and bring 'em to your company. And many did. But now many are wondering what happened?

Former GE guy Gary Wendt out at Conseco, where he was hailed little more than a couple of years ago as a savior, complete with a $45 million signing bonus.

GE CEO wanna-be Bob Nardelli, was plucked by Home Depot, but he's having a heck of a time righting a suddenly rocky franchise.

And even Jack Welch himself can't get out of his own bad PR way since leaving the company he made famous.

Ditto his successor Jeff Immelt, who's wrestling with a tumbling stock and nagging second-guessing that may be the house that Jack built wasn't all it was cracked up to be.


Just like the high school quarterback who later found himself just part of the crowd in college or the homecoming queen who didn't do much after homecoming. Life can be cruel. A reminder that fame is fleeting. People who aren't cool know that.

People who are cool, or were cool, have a real tough time adjusting "to that."

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