A friend here in Cleveland once shared a story about the glory days of the city when wealth abounded and power pulsated in the from offices high above Lake Erie. Cleveland’s railway giants, the Van Sweringen brothers, were convinced to hire a new kind of employee, a public relations consultant. After several months of unsuccessful, from the flack’s point of view, work, the brothers called a meeting. The man expected to be fired and prepared a long list of reasons why his work had not yet produced the desired outcome. Instead of a sacking, the brothers proffered a bonus. They were well pleased, they said, that they had not read a single word about them or their business anywhere, and that was exactly what they wanted.
Power often wants to stay in the shadows.
Somalia could be one of the great untapped sources of offshore oil, if someone can secure a deal to find and extract it, and if anyone can, it’s the company these men work for.
The African nation is one of the most politically unstable, unsafe, and corrupt countries in the world, one of the toughest places for any business to think of operating.
But that is what Schlumberger—the biggest company you’ve never heard of – do, if the rewards are great enough.
Light does not penetrate brick walls. Only when the brick is replaced with glass, when transparency is the rule, does light fill the dark corners where cockroaches and power dwell.