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A New CEO for Citigroup: Leadership Matters

Stocks in this article: C HON GE

As I prepare to write the column each week, I have a habit of looking at the comments that readers have provided from the week before.

This can be self-defeating since many of those who feel the need to comment are compelled to do so because they have taken offense at some aspect (or all aspects) of my opinion of that week. While I never respond well to shouting or name-calling, I do take the input seriously and I appreciate each comment that is included.

At the same time, it's an opinion column so if some debate is engaged, all the better. You have to click a couple of times to get to this column so I figure that you consciously chose to read it.

Having said that, one of my new friends from last week, responding vigorously to my thoughts on Citigroup's (C) Vikram Pandit's future, ended his comments with the question, "Do you want to become next CEO of this company?"

While I doubt that he was actually in a position to offer me the job, he does bring up a good question. If I'm going to have an opinion about Pandit or any other leader, does it mean I should be willing to say I could do it better? Could it be that the missing CEO that could turn around the finance (and automotive) business is none other than me?

Well, maybe, but probably not. Besides the fact that I would go insane with power and money, hire all my friends and past classmates and fire anybody who looked like my third grade math teacher. I would also have some problems getting my arms around the various businesses and understanding the complexities of the various operations. This is also why you don't want me to be your brain surgeon or auto mechanic.

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