Dad, Work, And the Key To a Mercedes

So ... does this mean that when you go to the Mercedes dealer to trade in your Chrysler minivan, the salesmen won't fall to the ground laughing?

Will the mechanic assigned to fix your Dodge Neon now say, "Uh, I dunno" in German?

Will the top execs at Chrysler finally be allowed to spend $135,000 to be seen in a CL600 Mercedes sedan, the top executives' car of choice? Will their relatives get a discount on a Mercedes of their own?

When a Daimler executive is demoted, will he or she be forced to drive a $34,000 Chrysler LHS? Will their kids want a special deal on a Dodge Stratus?

Is it appropriate that Chrysler, bailed out by US taxpayers and a company that once pounded the beat of "Buy American," will become mostly non-American?

These are the burning questions of the merger between Chrysler and Mercedes-maker Daimler-Benz. Ironically, they seem to be just about the only real questions about the deal.

Everything else makes remarkable sense. It gives Chrysler stronger footing in an economically unified Europe, as well as Asia, and gives Daimler a leg up in the US, the world's most important car market.

And it signals cheaper cars for you, as Eric Evarts points out on Page B3.

This deal seems the quintessential product of today's global economy: two strong companies - marquee consumer names - from different parts of the planet, joining forces to cordon off more of the car market.

Enough said. Now, on to "dad."

This week's cover story tells that timeless tale of success and how it rarely looks that way at the beginning. Visit the mail room of your company and see if you can pick the next chief executive or senior vice president.

As Shelley Coolidge's story shows, success is not necessarily a question of being in the right place at the right time. It hinges on being the right person for the time - the one who works hard and prepares well for when opportunity opens a door.

One of the themes that resonates from these success stories is the influence of fathers. Several executives told Shelley about some wisdom, work ethic, or personal example imparted by their dads.They said it was fundamental in their own approach to work and success.

It's no secret that parents play a pivotal role in how children see themselves - what they believe they can accomplish and the sort of adults they become.

And we'd like to hear more about that. So for Father's Day, we hope to publish a package of articles on the role that dads play in developing a work ethic, in formulating success.

The obvious questions: "What about moms? How do you define success?"

We hope to hear from readers on those points. So if you think that your mom, dad, or some other adult helped early on to shape the way you now work as a grownup, please write us.

We'd also like to know how you measure success in your job. Did Dad or Mom influence that concept?

Think about it for awhile. This could be a really interesting collection of letters.

Please write us at:

Work & Money

The Christian Science Monitor

1 Norway St.

Boston MA 02115

Or e-mail: mccormickl@csps.com

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