“I’m going to do it!” cried my colleague, Schnabel.

“What,” I asked.

“Be the German Obama,” Schnabel said. He had just read somewhere that in a “Stern” Magazine survey, three out of four Germans thought a politician like Obama would be good for Germany.

“It’s just as well that you’re doing it, because I’m not,” I said. “I’ve got a better idea.”

“That being?”

“I’m writing a book entitled ‘How To Be Obama – What Managers Can Learn from the American President.’ Chapter one will be entitled ‘Give Speeches.’”

Then Schnabel and I set about composing a speech based on Obama’s inaugural address that could be used by any manager whose company was undergoing a crisis:

“My fellow colleagues, I stand before you today humbled by the great tasks that lie before us, thankful for the trust you have placed in me. We’re in a crisis, as you well know. Overcoming the challenges that face us won’t be easy; it won’t be quick. But the employees of (insert company name here) need to know we will succeed, because we meet here today having chosen hope over fear.

“The values of our success – hard work, honesty, courage, fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and faith in our company – these are old, tried and true values. You (insert company name here) family members will survive this economic ice age. We won’t postpone our journey. And a year from now, people with look at us with pride because we will bring (insert company name here) back to health and pass it on to the next generation with assurance.”