I am sure that what I will be writing will trigger lots of emotions and many people would not agree. This is fine, this is how we open a debate.
Let me start by stating facts:
I admire Carlos Ghosn, I believe that he is a great leader and businessman. I believe history will remember him and his good deed within the Automotive industry. I believe that he is innocent, and that he is being framed.
24 hours passed after his short video which was posted on most media channels, where he came across as a solid, unbroken and still in charge leader. Watch the video here:
This is when I lost the plot. His short and long awaited intervention in my opinion missed the point. In this video, showing such strength and talking about share value, how executives behaved etc, seemed to me very misplaced.
Remember, he is NOT anymore the CEO or board member or annyone important… yes not important anymore in the eyes of the mighty, strong and powerful other executives who are still in power. Even, if he tried to reach the hearts of the NISSAN, RENAULT, MITSUBISHI employees, I wouldn’t be so sure that he succeeded.
Carlos Ghosn didn’t have to address the elite with his leadership skills and talent. Remember once again, these are the same guys who back-stabbed him as he said.
He did great (or his lawyers) by not naming and pointing fingers, but I don’t think they were able to awaken the feelings of the general public.
In this particular situation we did not need to see the strong unbroken leader talking about share value and alliances and business. I would have preferred him to awaken our (the John and Jane does of the world) deep and strong emotions. He could have described his cell, without giving it any qualifications without judging it, he should have let us judge.
He should have described what would be a typical day for him during these 180 days, what was he eating, where he was sleeping etc. Carlos, please paint for us your ordeal and let us live it our imagination. Let us close our eyes and spend one day with you in your cell.
I don’t believe that this case will be won easily in courts. Yes, the world might not understand the Japanese legal system, but the world is still HUMAN, we all understand very well “human” language. We all understand EMPATHY, SYMPATHY, ANGER, LOVE, HATE. We need the world to feel Carlos Ghosn the prisoner at this particular stage. We do not want the world to feel the strong leader. We will lose the empathy and the sympathy and the love when we see someone as strong, who doesn’t need the world to help him.
NO! Carlos you need the whole world and all the planets aligned and God to be with you. Not only your lawyers and your close circle of family and friends.
Leadership is also about when to know how to let others lead you. In this instance I would refer to Ken Blanchard’s book “Gung Ho!” where he described “The gift of the goose”. At this time, I believe that Carlos Ghosn needs to be at the back of the flock, still flying high and resting on the lift of others who are trying to get him out of this nightmare.