Today, we look at three quotes from Ben Franklin and examine how they apply to what we do:
- “Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them” – Time for a true story. July is wild blackberry time in Missouri. Blackberries do not come every year being dependent upon the weather. A good friend and his wife live in a neighborhood that has some undeveloped property. In their ventures around the neighborhood, they noticed that there were wild blackberries in some of these undeveloped areas. So, when they became ripe, they began occasionally picking a few for use in pies, as a treat for their grandchildren, etc. So, one Saturday, they were picking a few berries when the owner of the undeveloped property with his wife came along. They were not pleased that someone was picking on their property. So, my friends left. OK, maybe they should have sought them out beforehand to ask permission, but, truthfully, they said they were not sure whose property they were on. To ensure that there were no hard feelings, they made a fresh pie and took it to their house. They refused to accept it! They said that they could absolutely not take that pie. They acted still upset! So, my friends went home and ate the pie themselves! It seems that people live such sad lives sometimes… acting like that over a handful of blackberries! Really? We should not be so caught up on our own lives and egos that we are known as one of those “disputing, contradicting, and confuting people.” Please kick me when/if I ever become that way!
- “Learn from the skillful; he that teaches himself, has a fool for his master” – Are you really taking advantage of those around you that have more experience, skills, and abilities than you do? Have you asked a more senior individual to serve as one of your mentors? When you face a sticky issue, do you go to another colleague to ask their opinion? If not, why not? What is it about us that we feel that unless we handle everything ourselves, we are failing the company? Let’s use the collective knowledge of our organization to do what is best for all.
- “He that cannot obey, cannot command” – Henson’s corollary to this is, “He that does not comply with requirements, should not be given a position of leadership over those that must.” We need to be good examples to others. And, those of us in leadership positions must set the standard and be exemplary in our adherence to requirements. We also should not be afraid to call out those that do not. Agree?
What does Franklin say to you today? Have a “berry” nice day!