Nine-term congressman-turned-businessman John Kasich launched the 2003 Randall Trucking Symposium with a keynote speech trumpeting the importance of ethics in business and government and the value of leadership. Kasich, who today is a managing director of investment bank Lehman Brothers and a contributor to the Fox News Channel, told trucking executives that the need for “heartland values” – honesty, integrity, humility, personal responsibility and teamwork – in business is clear.
Those values start at the top, Kasich said. “A leader’s not saying, he’s doing … When the gun goes off, when you begin running for the finish line, [business leaders] tend to forget the values,” he cautioned.
“If you have a dream and a goal and don’t sacrifice your integrity, you can get there,” Kasich said. “The free enterprise system doesn’t work very well when…people lose ethics.”
Kasich, who chaired the House Budget Committee, also spoke about his fights in Congress to balance the federal budget and about budget deficits in general. He pointed to pork barrel spending, unneeded weapons systems and lack of discipline as key contributors to current budget deficits, which are projected to be the largest in history.
“It’s not right to put families in debt for several generations,” Kasich said. “We have people right now using the excuse of terrorism to run the deficit way up…The discipline is gone.”