Lee Scott, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
"Unfortunately … it often takes a crisis or a period of great difficulty to face challenges and … most importantly … to change. I learned this at Wal-Mart – during the good times and, most recently, during the tough times, as well. I believe this moment is an opportunity for America to put aside special interests and focus on the common good. And I believe that those of us in leadership positions have a responsibility to recognize this.
Above all … we need to change how we bring about change in America. What do I mean by that? Over the last few years, a problem-solving vacuum has existed in Washington. There has been too much partisanship … too much gamesmanship … too much selfishness. And the American people are tired of it. They are tired of Republican versus Democrat and liberal versus conservative. They are tired of business versus labor and NGOs versus business. They are tired of one side insisting on everything they want versus reasonable compromise to move the country forward. The America people want their leaders to set aside their differences, find common ground and work together. And they know that government cannot do it alone. No institution can.
The opportunity for a new problem-solving approach will soon be at a crossroads. The new Congress and President bring high expectations for reform and change. The temptation will be for everyone to choose sides, go into their corners and, when the bell rings, fight it out. But as the American people know -- and all of us in business know -- you do not get things done that way. You usually end up right where you started … with hard feelings on both sides … and little or no results."
This is an amazing speech. Maybe there's hope... Link is to text and video.