Ray McDaniel came to a CEO Boot Camp on his fifth day as CEO in 2005. He came back to a dinner before another Boot Camp six years later to answer the question “What do you wish you’d known then that you know now?” He said three things:
- “I wish I had known the world was about to blow up.” Moody’s had systemically rated companies credit way too high going into the 2008-2009 downturn.
- “I wish I’d known that companies get mad when you downgrade their credit ratings, but when you downgrade countries’ credit ratings, they raid your offices and put your people in jail.”
- “I wish I’d known how much fun it was to testify in front of Congress. I would have called in sick.” Congress people don’t so much ask you questions as use you as an excuse to make whatever points they need to make to their constituents.