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Avoiding Integrity

The Greatest Vulnerability For American Business Leadership

My arrival on Wall Street in the summer of 1987, as a 43-year-old kid from a Minneapolis suburb, immediately became an eye-opening experience. I had just begun a practice in crisis management at a Wall Street proxy solicitation firm, and I was invited to attend many of the meetings held to discuss new strategies. Several of the early meetings I attended involved the takeover of the Dayton-Hudson Corporation by Dart Industries, Dart Industries being the client of my new employer.

As I listened and observed the aggressive, almost warlike enthusiasm of my new colleagues, I asked two simple questions: "What's going to happen to all of the good things Dayton-Hudson has done in the Midwest for nearly a century when it's acquired by this huge industrial giant?" and "Is some provision being made to continue providing the kinds of community-based help and collaboration this local retailing giant has fostered as a family trademark?"

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