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The Mt. Rushmore of business?

February 24, 2009 - Steve Murch
One of the things I love about sports is debating — about who is/was better, which era is better, how would one era stack up against even all things were equal (or weren’t equal), etc. It’s more difficult to do those those sorts of things in other facets of life with the probably exception of president.

ESPN is wrapping up its Mt. Rushmore of sports, where fans voted on the top five states and then those state had their Mt. Rushmore to vote on. Michigan, with this possible four — Joe Louis, Gordie Howe, Ty Cobb and Barry Sanders — wasn’t a finalist.

We have the real Mt. Rushmore, but what about the business world? Who would be on something like that?

Nowadays, businesses are run by boards of directors, CEOs come and go — right along with there incredible golden parachutes. Would any of the businessmen of today stack up with the giants of yesterday? And with all the comings and goings of corporate heads, who would they best of the best today be?

Likely, the best aren’t even those we all recognize.

Everyone knows The Donald, Donald Trump, but how good is he really? Is he in the same category as former GE honcho Jack Welch? The bombastic one would have us all believe he is the tops of the top.

What about Bill Gates? Paul Allen? Steve Jobs? All three were innovators on the cutting edge of technology, but how would they stack up against the old school businessmen?

T. Boone Pickens, who made his fortune in oil, is now trying to capture magic again with alternative energy. Pickens, who is in his 80s, is less flamboyant than Trump, but is just as charismatic.

Then of course there is Warren Buffett who is one of the richest people in the world, give or take a billion dollars.

Still, none would fit on a Mt. Rushmore of businessmen. All probably would agree with that.

Here’s mine: Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, John (J.P.) Morgan and Henry Ford.

Which four would you put on there?


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