Return to Office for Jack Welch-trained MBAs

… do as I say, not as I do. {{ LOL }}

{{ Chief Executive David Calhoun, who took over the company just before the pandemic, started working from home and then never made the move when Boeing shifted its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Va., last year.

Instead, Calhoun travels via private jet from two homes, one a sprawling waterfront house at New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee, the other in a gated South Carolina resort community. Boeing’s fleet of private jets have made more than 400 trips to or from airports near Calhoun’s homes in the past three years, according to flight records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, Chief Financial Officer Brian West, who joined Boeing in August 2021, hasn’t relocated from his home in New Canaan, Conn. The company recently opened a small office about five minutes from his house. }}



“Must not burden the “JCs””, with mundane things like actually showing up for work, and leading by example. I have told the story before about how all the honchos at the pump seal company would take off on Thurdsay afternoons to play golf together, rather than take care of business, and that was 45 years ago.



Saw Michael Bloomberg on the CBS Sunday Morning show say people should return to office because they are paid for a five day work week, that they should come in to network, and that golf courses were suspiciously crowded, insinuating it was work from home employees working from the golf course, instead.

First, work should be assigned with measurable tasks and metrics, not hours spent. Second, many newer jobs are individual technical work, that don’t benefit from the distraction of in office face time. Third, it’s more likely Boomers are out golfing, because they can afford it.

Mr. Bloomberg, the work world has changed and you should acknowledge that.


I never understood the attitude that managers have to see people hunched over computers to know whether people are working.

I used to run a report to see what work people had turned in each week; I knew who was working without watching people pretend to work.


“Traditional American values” say the proles need to be in the office because it is so much fun for the “JC” to bully and intimidate them. I have mentioned before, the book Lew Kornfeld wrote after he retired as President of RS. There is a passage there expressing his distaste for honchos that tell the proles to keep working, while the honcho heads to the golf course, or the bank.

Lew was pretty sharp, and forward thinking. I met him at the annual meeting one year.


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I’ve been places where people were hired to be available when needed. To keep from boredom people read books or played games on the computer. It was on call style. Jump when the phone rings. But you have to be near the phone.

Its not how much they did. It’s what they did when needed.

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That assumes the person assigning those tasks actually knows/understands them.

That works for piecework (making or assembling things), but not so much for a lot of office work.

For a lot of software work is particularly slippery about requirements…


If the person assigning the tasks does not understand what is going on, then he/she should not be in that job.

If you’ve worked in corporate America in some mid-management or lower position, you might be surprised how many of them there are.


I think you meant “you wouldn’t be surprised”. And it’s absolutely true. Very often, people from one discipline get promoted to lead departments of varied disciplines, many of which they know little to nothing about. For example, a marketing person does really well, gets promoted to head a product development group that includes things like engineering (mechanical engineering for form factor stuff, electrical engineering for power systems and circuit boards, and software engineering for the software that runs the product). It is VERY common.


My first real tech job was doing the R in R&D, as they wanted me to come up with cool math thingies, and the mostly liked my novel algebras for manipulating large data fields via isomorphisms that would be useful for cyber applications. My boss later told me he know I was working hard when I changed stuff on my blackboard or was seeing walking the corridor endlessly while swearing or quietly weaping…

Management of R&D is a dicey issue.

david fb


Mr. Calhoun doesn’t seem to be setting a great example with his carbon footprint. Perhaps he is buying lots of carbon offsets, although maybe being in the jet business they don’t try too hard to appear green.


This is biggest BS thing used to assuage consciences. The earth doesn’t care about “trickery” oriented human constructs, all it cares about is the incremental emissions that his plane emits into the atmosphere EACH TIME HE USES THE PLANE needlessly because he could have moved closer to work like responsible people do.

It’s also nonsense that the carbon credits are “created” by reducing carbon emissions. That’s because Tesla will sell as many cars as they can regardless of whether or not this guy flies to work a few times a month in his private jet. It’s not like the production of those low-emission cars is spurred by his flying.


Boeing is of grave strategic importance to the US.

Why is this man involved? I am not asking for moral or ethical reasons. I am asking for commonsense purposes. This man slows Boeing on the engineering front. He is not trained for the job.

I get Dave Calhoun is only in it for Dave Calhoun.

He was Chairman of the Board when the 737 Max was honk(y) dory.

Managing people is a skill separate from the skill of doing the job being managed. I would argue that a manager should know the basics of the job being managed, but they don’t need to be the best at doing it.



This is definitely true! Managing people is a skill unto itself. A person needs both that skill, and enough knowledge about what is being done by their people, to properly lead them.

If the manager is the “best at doing it”, then they’re in the wrong job! They shouldn’t be managing, they should be “doing it”!


I’m pretty sure that AI could do David Calhoun’s job without the excessive jet fuel burn.



As MarkR insinuates, I’ll elevate it to pure, blatant, in-your-face hypocrisy.

These privileged a-holes… outrageously overpaid for what they actually do… if he were serious about either, fly down for the week at a time. Better yet, take a train (yeah, it’s a long ride from Chicago, deal with it) 1x or 2x a month. Arlington is right next to DC where he needs to do their gross business of glad-handing Congress (who make $200K PLUS their high end apartment townhouse rent).



We have been indoctrinated, for 40 years, that the only priority is the care and feeding of the “JCs”.

Boeing’s HQ used to be in Seattle, on East Marginal Way. I was there for the 1994 shareholder’s meeting.

HQ was moved to Chicago, supposedly to be “closer to their customers” (Chicago would be United Air Lines). The move was right after Phil Condit had honked up so severely he probably didn’t want to show his face around Seattle.

So, now they are in DC. Clearly, they saw how easy it is for Lockheed and GD to make obscene amounts of money off DoD, vs actually competing for orders from airlines, and being required to deliver on time.

This is the old HQ building in Seattle.

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Looks like a sleezy AirBnb.