Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It's not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious -- but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.

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Feb 24, 2005

A Congratulatory Phone Call From Saddam To Bashar

SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD is still on my mind, although I haven't been able to find much more information than what is already being shared around the blogosphere.

I was, however, able to discover another possible phone conversation between Bashar and Saddam Hussein.  This one occurred on the night of July 12, 2000 when Saddam called Bashar to congratulate him on being sworn-in as the new President of Syria.  Nobody is sure what exactly was said, but as near as I can tell it was something like this:

Saddam:  Bashar, this is your Uncle Saddam.

Bashar:  Hi Sadie.  How are things in Iraq?

Saddam: Couldn't be better!  My sons are really starting to understand how things work around here. Just the other Uday made me so proud.  We were having a party celebrating the grand opening of my new palace-

Bashar:  You built another palace?

Saddam:  Oh yeah. Didn't your father tell you?  Things are picking up now that the Oil For Food Program is running at full steam.  Anyways, as I was saying, we were at the party when Uday brought up a football player who was about to retire.  Uday put on his cowboy hat and commanded the player to dance.  Next, Uday pulled out a pearl-handled Colt .45 -- the one your father gave him for his 7th birthday -- and started shooting the floor under the player's feet.  The player started hopping around just like the river dancer, uh what's his name...Mak'hel...

Bashar:  Michael Flatley?

Saddam:  Yeah! Yeah!  Mich-ael Flat-ley!  Say, did you ever meet him when you were studying in the U.K.?

Bashar:  No.

Saddam:  Too bad.  Anyways, so then Uday said the funniest thing before he shot him!  He said, “You are Sundance Kid, and I am Butch Cassidy!”

Saddam laughs hysterically.  Bashar chuckles awkwardly.

Bashar:  Saddam, I'm sorry to have to cut this call short.  Is there something I can do for you?

Saddam:  No, no.  Not yet anyways.  I just wanted to congratulate you on your new position.  As a token of my love and friendship, I am sending you a couple of women.  These two are Western journalists that we arrested last week for taking pictures.  You will love these two, I promise!  They are very kind on the eyes if you know what I mean...

Bashar:  Umm...

Saddam: Oh yeah!  Wait 'till you see the legs on the tall one!  And don't worry, they are clean.  Well, the one is very very dirty...heeheh...but they are healthy.  And fit!

Bashar: Umm.  Thanks, Saddam?  I, um, am really looking forward to receiving your...gift.  Thank you.  Listen, I've got to go now.  Don't call here again, uh, for... security reasons.  Just send postcards if you need to say anything.

Saddam: Sounds good, Bashar.  May God watch over you.

Bashar:  What?

Saddam: Just kidding!  Jeez, loosen up already!  Ha!  Have a good night and again: congratulations!

posted at 10:52 PM by Chris Chew in Funny


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