Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ambitions unlimited!

Ambition does not allow a man to sleep!
An oft repeated set of words that are spoken with renewed commitment and passion everytime the mind decides to make a statement and partners with the mouth to let out a stream of words that convey a meaning so powerful that it has built empires, made people emporers of the modern day corporate kingdoms and dynasties.
What does ambition really translate to mean to a person? Or perhaps what does it not mean?

I hadn't heard of Lee Iacocca before the year 1999 and when I did, I wanted to be someone like him. Now, that was ambition. In this blog, I'm going to sum his life for you and also state a few excerpts from his autobiography which have inspired a long list of people (me included)
Read on;

Lee Iacocca was born on October 15, 1924 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His actual name was Lido Anthony Iacocca.
In his autobiography, Iacocca points out:
"Over the years a number of journalists have reported (or repeated) that my parents went to Lido Beach in Venice for their honeymoon and that I was named Lido to commemorate that happy week. It's a wonderful story, except for one thing: it's not true."
Lee Iacocca's father owned a hot-dog restaurant called the Orpheum Wiener House. He also expanded into other businesses, but the Great Depression was tough on the Iacocca family and Lee has said that the experience had a lasting influence on him.
In August 1946 Iacocca started at Ford as a student engineer. In 1956 he made a major breakthrough. Sales of Fords were poor, and Iacocca's district, Philadelphia had the worst performance of all, but he introduced a lower downpayment and an easier payment schedule for the customer. Within three months Philadelphia's figures moved from worst to best. Iacocca was promoted to district manager of Washington, D.C.
On September 29, 1956 Iacocca married Mary McCleary and for many years things went well. Lee Iacocca quickly rose up the ranks at Ford and, in 1976, Iacocca was earning $970,000 per annum as number two in the number two company (more than the chairman of Genral Motors). He cites his "greed" and the huge salary as one of the reasons why he put up with an increasingly antagonistic, Henry Ford II. Eventually in 1978 Ford and Iacocca parted company.
Iacocca became president (1978) and then chairman (1979) of the Chrysler Corporation. He transformed the ailing company. To do so he needed to take out a staggering $1.2billion loan.
There is an irony in this. His father was always warning Lee as a boy not to get into hock, and if he ever borrowed anything, even 20 cents, to write it down and not forget to pay it back. As Iacocca wrote in his autobiography:
"I often wondered how he would have reacted if he'd lived long enough to see me go into hock in 1981 to keep the Chrysler Corporation in business. This was for a lot more than 20 cents: the total came to $1.2 billion. Although I recalled my father's advice, I had a funny feeling this was one loan I'd remember even without writing it down."
In 1984, Lee Iacocca established the Iacocca Foundation in 1984 in honour of his wife, Mary, who died from complications of type 1 diabetes. The Foundation receives all royalties from both of Iacocca's best-selling books, Iacocca (1984), and Talking Straight (1988).
The Iaccocca Foundation has given more than $20 million to diabetes research.

Ever heard people quip about official stuff and then singing attributes such as 'nothing personal about it? '
Well, clear track II diplomacy tactic I would say, for everything that man builds as a result of realizing his dreams. needs, wants, comforts and so on..................................every single thing is a result of the strongest of personal desires, the very same that makes one lose sleep over idea of making one's life better than the best and better than the ordinary.
It is a tiny yet formidable force, one that is conceptualized in the heavy tubular intricacy of the human mind, the same force that English calls Ambition!


  1. Thanks a lot Adi.

    Quite frankly.....I seemed to have picked up the threads from you.

    Best Regards