Monday, October 13, 2008

The First Billion Is The Hardest

That is the name of T. Boone Pickens's new book on his comeback at 80 years old. This is an oil and gas man. A legend here in Texas and on Wall Street. He and Warren Buffet amaze me. And they are buying in, not panicking, not running the other way. These are guys I can relate to. No, I am not a billionaire, not by a long shot. But these are guys who know where the boats are. And those are the guys I want to weather a storm with. For those of you who may not know me. Knowing where the boats are is a big deal to me. Having good common sense is another. So far the main take away from Boone is the importance of fundamentals, and working hard. Oh, and staying fit. Says THAT more than anything will keep you young and on top of just about anything. And then there is that part about the calculated risk.

He is working circles around me. Seriously. And I haven't taken a day off in quite awhile. His offices are just over the way as I understand it. Two main streets over and down the way. That's all. Right now there is an 80 year old guy beating the socks off of me in just sheer stick to it- ness, enthusiasm, and conviction, and he's over there more likely on his treadmill, oops nope, probably done by now and on to the market reports. Ready to turn more millions into billions, or to do whatever it takes to play with everything he has. He has this thing about stockholder value and how THAT should be the mantra for every CEO, not prestige, perks or power. I like that.

And then there's that article about Jackie Kennedy falling in love with the Mona Lisa and giving it renewed meaning in the height of the Cold War. Moved the French, Andre Malraux to be exact, to let her have the painting here in the States when they do not do that for ANYONE. It was a global event. A graceful one with cultural meaning that impacted the power balance of the time.

And last, there are my pencils all sharpened, my little Buddha, and my striped lists. The little Buddha as usual is saying nothing, but he always reminds me that life is choice. Hm. I knocked quite a lot off last week's "Short Order Art". That kind of steady accomplishment feels very good. Right now, my shoulders ache, my back is tired and my eyes are just about glazed over....but there's this 80 year old on a treadmill just a few streets over giving it all he's got. So I am going to jump in the shower, get my 3 Most Important Tasks nailed down... and try to keep pace with him....and maybe have a little grace while I do that.

What's up for you today? Anybody you look to as a "lead pony"? Who inspires you to dig deep, reach down and pull out the best in yourself when the going gets a little tough?


A Brush with Color said...

I've been watching him too, Janice. I keep watching him quietly plodding along, pushing a cause, and slowly making a strong impact. I didn't even know him until Joe told me who he was, but I kept seeing his commercials about wind power and all the things he's supportive of...and I like him. That is inspiring--I think he's using his influence to try to make a difference, and I like that...I was just feeling really tired today and now you've got me thinking I should go out and at least take a walk or something! LOL.

Janice C. Cartier said...

Leadership. He says the only thing that will stop this 50 BIllion dollar per month flow to foreign oil that is the biggest transfer of wealth ever. He is proposing an east- west solar corridor and a north -south wind corridor just east of the Rockies. Renewable and now cost efficient. And a switch to natural gas for transportation. It's an enlightening read. And he gives millions away to fund ideas and research that impact the most people and actually get something done. I like him. Very inspiring.

I am so glad you have been following him too. I hope your walk was a good one. I am pretty exhausted right now , but I am thinking too. ;-)

A Brush with Color said...

I think I'm going to have to read that! You've inspired me. I do think he's someone who's out there trying to make things happen, unlike some big noisemakers out there who aren't accomplishing a darned thing!

Janice C. Cartier said...

Exactly. I'd love to see some media focus on more of this than the constant finger pointing blame game that goes on...give me action ( which according to Pickens begets more action)

Here's one: require all public funded fleets ( buses, garbage trucks etc) to be fueled by natural gas. We have tons of that and it's cheaper and cleaner than gasoline. Money stays here. Called equity building. And it is already happening in certain Metro areas. Boom- domestic product and infrastructure jobs and less money sent to foreign oil. China already wants to buy LNG ( liquid natural gas) from us because they don't have it.
Who's doing this? I'd like to see the numbers and impact on doing this one thing.