Mitt Romney’s Mormon God: A Very Poor Chief Executive
Mitt Romney combines being a Mormon with being a management consultant. I wonder how he would evaluate the performance of his chosen God as a chief executive.
For several thousand years Mr God runs a traditional small business in the Middle East. Although the business offers few short-term benefits for its customers it makes generous promises for their future and treats them as very special people. It retains their loyalty, although they occasionally succumb to offers from Mr Baal and other competitors. At times the business and its customers are threatened with collapse and ruin, but Mr God intervenes decisively at the moment of greatest crisis. However, in latter years its sales territory becomes dominated by competitors, who allow Mr God’s business to survive only on a restricted scale under licence.
Mr God then decides to send his only son to revive and rejuvenate the business. The son is a highly charismatic, hands-on leader but his innovations are resisted by most of the established customers, who betray him to Mr God’s competitors. Nonetheless the revived business expands rapidly beyond its original territory, as a series of local franchises directed and supervised by able managers using state-of-the-art epistle communications technology.
However, in the midst of this rapid success the managers totally ignore the business model and operating procedures, even the core mission, laid down by Mr God and his son. Over centuries, the business is racked by bitter disputes between its managers, each claiming title to its name and intellectual property and the goodwill of its customer base. Not even the threat of a hostile takeover by a seriously aggressive competitor, Mr Muhammad, is able to restore a united leadership. None of the disputants is right: Mr God and his son still have a fundamentally different plan for the business.
Rather than enforce this plan on the managers concerned, or even confide it to them, Mr God decides to re-establish his business in a new sales territory on the American continent, where some of his original customers have managed to migrate in midget submarines. Again he sends his son to inspire and organize the business. Unfortunately, Mr God’s American business never gets off the ground. Local management is totally inadequate. Instead of growing and organizing the business, it turns on itself so violently that the business and all its customers disappear. Unlike the managers in the original territories, the American managers do not even keep or distribute proper business records and accounts – with just one exception, Mr Mormon, who takes notes on tablets of gold.
Mr Mormon buries these essential records in a secret place. As a result, the true business plans of Mr God and his son remain unknown, in any of its sales territories, for the next fourteen hundred years. When customers from the old world settle in the new, they ensure that the errors and falsehoods of the disputant managers are spread through the new American sales territory as thoroughly as they were in Europe and Asia.
Finally Mr God directs his last true lieutenant to reveal the whereabouts of the golden tablets, with their unique account of his true plans for the business. Curiously, Mr God’s chosen managing director, Joseph Smith, is a man with little standing and dubious character – a convicted fraudster and a sexual predator. Nonetheless Smith and his successors manage to secure a toehold for Mr God’s real business, first in the American market and then overseas. But it is only a toehold and almost all the rights and customer base for the business established by Mr God and his son remain in the wrong hands.
From his perspective as a management consultant, I believe that Mitt Romney would consider Mr God to be an incompetent and negligent CEO and would aim to secure his instant removal through a leveraged buyout.