Wisdom Found Wanting
got a little publicity the other day, which was nice, although the story
got into more of the company’s weak spots than companies typically like
to see. I mentioned this to a friend who advises businesses on media
relations, and she offered me the following words of wisdom:
tell our clients that the real story isn’t always the one they
want to hear.”
Ah. Yes. Of
course. The real story isn’t always the one I want to hear. I repeated
this counsel to myself several times on the way home, and about the time
I pulled into my garage, I reached a definitive conclusion about it.
I have no
idea what that is supposed to mean.
friend is extremely accomplished in her field, so I’m sure she knows
what the saying is supposed to mean. This may merely be a classic case
of D.F. Denseness. But with all due deference to my media maven friend,
this has inspired me to develop a theory about every single pearl of
business wit and wisdom that has ever been spoken:
all meaningless. Every single one of them.
people love to hear from those who are supposedly wise and eloquent in
the profession of their wisdom. They walk around quoting people like
Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Deepak Chopra. They use expressions
like: “I practice management by walking around.” People swoon. Ooh.
Management by walking around! So profound! What exactly does it mean?
are you walking away?
day, I spoke with a colleague who had been reading a Deepak Chopra book.
He had been deeply moved, and explained to me, “This is a precious
moment, but it is transient.
It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
What exactly does that mean, Bob?
feel very close to myself right now. Very authentic.”
That was a
relief, because I had seen him over by the vending machine 20 minutes
earlier and I was concerned that he would not hook up with himself in
time for the marketing committee meeting.
Oh yes, the
marketing committee meeting was interesting. We were discussing how we
could make a larger percentage of our market understand the value of our
services. This prompted Carolyn to share: “Seek first to understand,
then to be understood.”
guess. Mother Teresa?
Stephen Covey! Surely you’ve read the Seven Habits.”
Oh yes. I
once did business with a company that was so obsessed with the Seven
Habits, they declared themselves to be a “Seven Habits Company.” People
walked around saying things like “sharpen the saw.” I wondered what they
were going to do with the saw. Eventually they used it to cut my
am in the wrong business. I could come up with sayings. In fact, I’ll
whip up a few right now.
Do not let
your quest for fulfillment derail your acceptance of your fullness.
triumph of ascendancy, there is an even larger triumph of profundity.
Individually we achieve objectives. Collectively we inherit destiny.
those? Came up with ’em in under 45 seconds. Tape them to your computer
monitor and ponder them often. If you always remember them, you will
never forget them.
mean anything, of course. No business saying ever has. But if you find
yourself questioning the authenticity of my wisdom, just remember the
words of Voltaire: “Judge others by their questions rather than their
that about says it all.
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