Big Red Car here. Well, The Boss is back from Santa Fe and the oppressive heat of July is here to stay. Haha, Big Red Car, stop feeling sorry for yourself, you’re in the ATX and that’s all good.
So The Boss was comforting one of his CEO pals who was feeling a bit blue having been the victim of a bit of chicanery and treachery made perhaps all the worst because it emanated from one of his former star mentees. Oh, such is life. You will meet your knaves and treachery in life and business. Recognize them.
Rudyard Kipling had it right in his great poem, IF —
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ve be a Man, my son!
In life, we will all struggle with our own shortcomings and sometimes folks for whom we have had high hopes will fall prey to their darker angels and conduct their affairs in a manner which is dishonorable and disappoints those who had such high hopes for them.
The Boss had had a wonderful experience in being able to work with and shape the careers of folks with whom he has had the pleasure to be associated. He takes great pride in their future success and beams with pride when they will remind him of some anecdote from their collective work. It is very gratifying and is perhaps the greatest satisfaction that any CEO can enjoy. Its currency is laughter and smiles.
But then there are those for whom the tutelage was diluted after they were no longer directly associated and The Boss feels their pain and weakness in failing to adhere to the high standards they exhibited when they worked with The Boss. It is sad. The Boss mourns for them but there is really nothing he can or should do.
In the end, we are responsible for ourselves and each and every person is the person they make themselves into. Sadly, such flaws do not come in one-packs but rather in the big 24-pack size. You may nudge a chap in the right direction and help them solve their personal or business problems but like a compass returning to true north, their character or lack of character will surface once again.
So the wise CEO adheres to the wisdom of Rudyard and does not fall prey to the hating or the traps set by knaves. This only perpetuates the attendant evil. The greatest antiseptic is to remember the good times and the great work that such a knave did once upon a time. To forgive and to disregard may be the best course of action.
When the knave lays his head down to sleep, he knows he is a knave — a craven soul who dashed and destroyed his honor. A small person with a flawed character.
Forgive, forget and move on.