04/15/2006 05:37 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

How I Learned the Value of Humility?

In the early eighties, the once influential David Begelman was fired as head of MGM. This followed his departure from Columbia Pictures as head of the motion picture and television divisions.

I had worked with and then for David from 1973 until 1978. I liked, admired, and respected him, and still think of him as the most effective person that I have experienced in my fifty-odd years of functioning in the entertainment industry.

He was a bright, charming, creative person, who had a minor character flaw. When people ask what that might be I reply, "He was a crook."

When I had lunch with David a few weeks after his departure from MGM, I told him that I thought that it was unfair for the owners of MGM to have dismissed him. His answer was, "Norman, my movies failed, and I deserved to be fired."

I said that he was better at what he did then anyone else, but he stuck to his position and repeated that he had failed, and that his skills and abilities were of no importance.

This all brings me to the issue of our Secretary of Defense. He should be dismissed because the wars that he has waged have not been waged successfully. He has failed in his mission.

There has been, and will continue to be a concerted Defense Department, and White House attempt to portray Mr. Rumsfeld as a brilliant and effective leader. They have, and will continue to state that we should not listen to a group of disgruntled generals, who are a few among the thousands who support the Secretary.

As with Begelman, Rumsfeld's brilliance and his ability are not at issue for our country. Had Begalman remained at MGM, the downside would have been continuing financial losses for the company-- Rumsfeld's failure costs our country innumerable casualties, the well being of our military, and billions in financial losses.

I have been accused of being arrogant as an executive, but my arrogance was accepted because I was making huge amounts of money for my companies.

Both Bush and Rumsfeld are arrogant, but now is the time for both of them to become honestly humble and admit to the country that things are not going as well as they should.

Ergo, with regret, the president should FIRE Rumsfeld, and appoint a less arrogant person to take his place.

It is indeed time for a little humility to be brought into play.