Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
This is the essay I did for the movie "Executive Suite". My teacher seemed to like it so I thought I'd share it here. For more info about the movie you can check out this.
When Tredway Furniture's President suddenly dies we are taken behind the scenes to see the power struggle that ensues. What I'd like to show here are the people involved and the situation they are thrown into. Then I will cover how and why they come to choose the President they choose. What are the ideals and principles they live by? What you may discover is that they are not much different from ourselves. None are perfect with strength's and weaknesses like the rest of us.
It's hard to describe Tredway without first mentioning Avery Bullard. Avery Bullard was the President of Tredway furniture for many years. He had rescued the company from it's dark times in the past. He took great pride in his work but had perhaps lost his way in the last few years in which he was heavily influenced by Loren Shaw's way of efficiency and maximized profit. He ran the the company with a firm hand. He had apparently a close relationship with Julia Tredway, the founder's great-granddaughter who was also a major stockholder. The exact nature of this relationship was never revealed.
We first meet George Caswell who was one of the last to see Bullard alive. He is an investment banker who is also a member of Tredway's Board of Directors. He believes he sees Bullard on the streets below being taken away apparently dead. In which he first tries to make a shady insider deal. This reveals what kind of character he is. He likes to make a fast buck and lives life lavishly.
Frederick Alderson is Tredway's Vice President, Treasurer. He's a close friend of Avery Bullard's and is considered the number-two man in the company. Upon the news of Avery's death he tries to take command of the situation only to find Loren Shaw already making moves. At which point he realizes that he was never to be President of Tredway. Though he is unsure of who should be President but, he is sure who doesn't want. Loren Shaw.
Jesse Grimm is the Vice President of Manufacturing and member of the Board of Directors. He's very proud of his work but has grown weary. He's somewhat resentful of Don Walling's education and probably feels jealous of it. He's now feels ready to retire.
Walter Dudley is Vice President of Sales for Tredway. He's a people pleasing type of person usually avoiding confrontations. He's married but is having an affair with his secretary. Loren Shaw finds out about this and tries to bully Dudley for his vote. Though he does overcome this in the end.
Erica Martin is the Executive Secretary. She is very professional in her work and in her demeanor. She is not intimidated by Shaw but shows no preference for who the next president should be. She was also close and respectful of Avery Bullard.
Julia Tredway is the great-granddaughter of Josiah Tredway founder of the company. Her father had committed suicide after which the Avery Bullard took over the company and built it up to what it is currently. She apparently had a very close relationship Mr. Bullard but was very jealous of the time and attention he gave to it. She is a major stockholder and member of the board of directors. She is so despondent over Bullards death that she is ready to sell her share of the stock.
Loren Shaw is Vice President Controller of the company he's very proactive and attention to
detail orientated. I perceive him to be a very nervous and insecure person inside and tries to overcome this by getting every detail, fact or figure about whatever he is to encounter. In this manner he tries take advantage of Caswell by assuring him he'd cover his insider trader deal. He also find's out about Dudley's affair with his secretary. Also he takes advantage of Julia Tredway's depressed condition to gain control of stock and vote on the board(by proxy). He is of the opinion that stockholders “return on investment” is the most important thing for the company.
MacDonald Walling is the Vice President of Design and Development. He's an idealist designer devoted to his work. Despite the feelings of his wife he's reluctant to blame Bullard for failings and lack of funding of recent research and development projects. At first he has no aspirations for the presidency though like Alderson he is certain it shouldn't be Shaw. He comes to realize the company lacks pride in workmanship and overall vision for the future. He comes to realize this and that he should be the one that leads Tredway into the future.
The climax of the drama takes place in the meeting boardroom to elect a new president in Bullard's place. Don Walling is waiting for his one known ally Fred Alderson and Jesse Grimm whom he's having trouble reaching. Shaw seems to think he's got the votes needed. Both literally and figuratively in his corner are Caswell held by an assurance to cover his insider deal. Dudley with the knowledge of his personal affairs. Also in hand is Julia Tredway's vote by proxy. In the other corner is Walling and the neutral Erica Martin.
Just as the meeting begins the security Shaw had starts to come unraveled. Julia Tredway decides to enter the meeting taking a sure vote away from Shaw. Loren Shaw is nominated by Dudley but the voting is inconclusive in the first round. Alderson arrives with Grimm before the second round has begun. Alderson had been unable to sway Grimm's opinion. Walling then challenges Shaws to exactly spell out his vision for Tredway. Loren then spells out what he believes. His belief is that the stockholders are the most important ones to please. In which profit and stock dividends are most important. He also believes strongly in return on investment.
Walling then outlines his vision. He feels in recent years Bullard had perhaps lost his way and became focused on profit's and dividends. He had reached a plateau. What was lost was a sense of pride in accomplishment not only by Bullard but by many in the company. They had even resorted to producing inferior but highly profitable products like the “KF” line. Walling essentially envisions a balance between profit and investment in the future. Then he feels that Tredway had reached a turning point. That just trying to gain profit will starve a company. Arguing that profits must be used for future research and development for new products. Growth of the company is important as well as profit and dividends. He in turn assures Grimm, Dudley, Shaw, and Julia Tredway how this would effect them. He encourages them all to work together as a team to reach this next goal of the company. Uncharacteristically and with enthusiastically Walt Dudley nominates Don Walling for President. Perhaps caught up in the moment the move is made unanimous and he is made president of Tredway.
In all it was an interesting insight into what goes on in the boardroom. No one person is perfect each with there own strengths and weaknesses. One thing it does teach is that a company it's not just about reaching a profit. To also grow and sustain itself is important. Companies need to invest in the future as well as profit. Just like in personal finances if you work and spend your pay without saving for the future. What will happen when retirement time comes and you have nothing to show for it. Another observation is that one should have pride in your workmanship. To reach for goals that are important and that we care about. Without this type of compass in our lives we can perhaps lose our way like Avery Bullard had.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
My Production Management class has been a bit mixed. I finished up the essay for Executive Suite and and took the test too which I did well with both(a 92% on test as a whole including essay). Since that point we've been working on formula's for which I barely have a clue how they work. Fortunately the teacher broke us into groups which helped. I certainly hope they aren't on the final exam. We had our spring break week last week but were back this week which he says we'll be watching another movie. Which we'll probably have to write on our final exam like the last one.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Click here for link to page.
sa·li·ent /ˈseɪliənt, ˈseɪlyənt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sey-lee-uhnt, seyl-yuhnt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. prominent or conspicuous: salient traits.
2. projecting or pointing outward: a salient angle.
3. leaping or jumping: a salient animal.
4. Heraldry. (of a beast) represented as leaping: a lion salient.
5. a salient angle or part, as the central outward-projecting angle of a bastion or an outward projection in a battle line.
6. Physical Geography. a landform that extends out beyond its surroundings, as a spur projecting from the side of a mountain. Compare reentrant (def. 4).
[Origin: 1555–65; < L salient- (s. of saliéns, prp. of salīre to spring, jump), equiv. to sali- verb s. + -ent- -ent]
—Synonyms 1. important; striking, remarkable.
—Antonyms 1. inconspicuous, unimportant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
The way the teacher was using is the first definition. Pretty close to what I thought it was or at least in the ballpark. As we used to say in high school "Oooh SAT word" .
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Ironically I'm still trying to figure out what exactly my Production Management class is all about even after three weeks. The teacher is OK but a bit on the boring side. We have our first test this coming week so I'll be studying this weekend for it.
Now for the lighter side of life. A scene from one of favorite movies growing up "Fast Time at Ridgemont High". Please enjoy....
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Additional reading stuff I've picked up this week were "In the pursuit of Happyness" by Chris Gardner(library book), "On writing" by Stephen King(library book), "World According to Garp" by John Irving(yet another library book) and "First things First" by Stephen Covey(Amazon). The good thing about library books is that you've got somewhat of a time limit to do your reading. It sort of keeps you from just getting the book and forgetting about it.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
What first got me was his dedication to his son and his reasoning behind it. Apparently he had no father while growing up so he made a vow to always be a part of his son's life which he did. Even when his wife left him and he insisted his son stay with him. I can relate to that in my own life regarding my son. My dad unfortunately was not a part of my life in later childhood. One of my goals in life has been to always be a part of my son's life no matter what may happen.
The main part of what can be learned from his story is his focus on his goals. Despite the many hard ships he and his son endured he remained steadfast in his goals which was to become a stockbroker. I almost feel embarrassed to complain about my own situation compared to what he went through. I highly recommend this movie.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I'm still working on my typing skills and finish the Tom Brokaw book I've been reading(The Greatest Generation). I'm about half way finished with it and I'm enjoying it very much.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
My Grandparents(on right), Great-Grandmother(left),one of my uncles(being held by my grandfather) and my mother in front. Circa 1944
While reading Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation" I can't help but think of my grandparent's. Maryann Ellis my Grandmother (pictured above) for some reason in particular. She was the last pass to the next world. She wasn't very tall in size nor very loud. Although she could be strong willed and opinionated when she wanted. She was the daughter of Portuguese immigrants born in New England. She married William Ellis (my Grandfather) in 1941 and would go onto have nine children(my mother being one of them) something to this day I still find amazing.
While growing up little did I know they were part of this generation. It was probably something not really spoken of at the time. The full scope of what they had lived through wasn't fully realized yet. I still don't have all the details on what they did during the depression and the second world war. There wasn't a hole lot of evidence around there house to give it away. It was in bits and pieces we would figure things or give us a clue. One was a picture of my Grandfather in a navy uniform. Later we also came across some old uniforms and patch's. No details of what exactly they did though. I don't believe they were thinking in grandiose way we think of that era today. They were just trying to live life without much fanfare.I think that was a trademark of there generation. Were they perfect? No they had there faults for sure but they worked hard for what they had because that's the way they were brought up.
I'm not exactly sure where I was going with this bit. These were just some thoughts that came to mind while reading this book. It has certainly made me wish I had maybe taken the time to know them better.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
1. Absolute Beginners Guide to Computer Basics(4th Edition) by Michael Miller
2. The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw
3. First things first by Stephen Covey (on order from different branch)
These should keep me busy until school starts in a couple of weeks. I had fun I'll be sure and be a regular visitor. I can't wait to go again.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
1. Finally end the smoking habit.
2. To achieve A's in my college courses I take this year
3. To become closer to my family this year
4. To learn to type which will help in my school work and plus it's a good skill to have.
5. To become a better employee at my work.
6. To read at least one new book a month.(other than school books). Current reading is All the Presidents Men by Woodward and Bernstein.
These are just a few that I could shoot off at the moment. Now I've just got to break them down into achievable and set a date. Wish me luck.