Resolutions From An Embattled CEO

by Larry Carson

December 31, 1862


Dear Shareholders,


You brought me in two years ago to deal with what we all hoped would be a situation that could be settled through negotiations rather than a complete schism. That was not to be.


As you know, shortly before I took office a group of dissident rebels pulled out of the group and set up a competing organization. Their leader has an impeccable resume- West Point graduate, war hero, former cabinet member and U.S. Senator. I, on the other hand, have little formal schooling, was in the local militia for a short time but never saw any action, failed in the business world and had a two-man law practice that required me to scour the state for enough clients to survive. I have absolutely no training or experience for the job that lies ahead. In fact, I’ve said before that I am entirely ignorant not only of the duties, but of the manner of doing business.


To make matters worse, Bob Lee, the leader that I dearly wanted to stay in the organization, turned down my offer, and went over to the other side.


I thought that last year was bad, but the year we are finishing has been nothing short of a disaster. First, my boy Willie died. I cannot express how that grieves me so. The following month I had finally had enough of the man I had appointed to right the ship, and I fired him. (Now I hear he’s going to try to take my job in a couple of years. More power to him). After that firing, I continued to have problems with replacements with the most recent one having his rear-end kicked two weeks ago by the competition.


On top of all those troubles, the year brought continued dissention among my closest staff members (maybe someone will write a book someday about this team of rivals), missed opportunities and more humiliating defeats at the hands of the competitor.


On a personal note, my wife continues to nag and shower me with abuse. My law partner once described our marriage as “a domestic hell on earth.” He could be right.


But, aside from all these challenges that I’ve outlined, you put me in this job, and it is my commitment to you on this last day of the year to make the new year one of triumph- whatever it takes.


Here’s what I intend to do in the new year:


  • Master the Army
  • Hold Europe at bay
  • Coordinate the government
  • Rescue the Treasury
  • Launch an offensive
  • Hold onto the border states
  • Solve the problem of slavery
  • Keep from going insane


I’ll update you in the next shareholder report on what I am prepared to do in order to fulfill these resolutions.


Your most humble servant,


Abraham Lincoln


P.S. I give credit to David Von Drehle, author of Rise to Greatness, for helping me clarify what needs to be done.

Larry Carson

Larry is the founder, CEO and President of Smith & Carson. In addition to being responsible for overall company strategy and operations, Larry conducts and directs mass tort, pharmaceutical and consumer products investigations on a national scale. He also has extensive experience handling volatile high-profile matters involving fraud, bribery, whistle-blower, white-collar crime and other charges of misbehavior. Larry is a graduate of Louisiana State University and attended Woodrow Wilson Law School. He has earned a Six Sigma Green Belt and is licensed as a private investigator in ten states.