A fabulously wealthy businessman collected vintage sports cars as his badge of achievement. He only collected cars in pristine original condition. His reasoning was that any fool could rebuild a classic from parts of multiple vehicles. Those were not the real thing; they were simply expensive jigsaw puzzles.
To put a fine point on his success, the businessman drove his cars regularly…to meetings, to outings, to car shows. He made a splash wherever he went.
The crown jewel of his collection was a world-famous 1967 Italian sports car, valued at close to twenty-million dollars. When he drove it, he hired a security guard to follow along and guard the vehicle while it was parked. The businessman obsessed over his vehicles, especially the crown jewel. He paid an entire staff to keep the cars washed, waxed and finely tuned.
On a Saturday afternoon, the businessman walked into his garage and noticed a six-inch scratch on the lower front quarter panel of his prized possession. He immediately passed out from anxiety and when he awoke, he fired his entire maintenance and security staffs. His beautiful and trusted wife explained that the scratch had always been there but he had just not noticed it. She even showed him an old photo in which the flaw could be detected. Nonetheless, people lost their livelihoods.
The businessman flew in body repair specialists from as far away as Italy but none would repair the car at any cost. They all knew three things: The sixty-year-old paint would be nearly impossible to pecisely match; the businessman would never stand for a total car paint job; and the businessman had a reputation for litigating against anyone who failed to meet his meticulous standards.
He knew he could never again drive that car with such a flaw, and neither could he ever sell it for its full value. Consequently, the car sat unattended. He even instructed the new maintenance crew to leave it alone. As the dust accumulated, the businessman’s affections gradually migrated to other vehicles.
After a full year, the businessman had mostly put the pain of the car’s imperfection out of his mind. One morning as he lay half-awake in his expensive bed, musing over his good fortune, he happened to notice an ugly mole just below the hairline on his beautiful wife’s neck.
“There is a flow to history and culture. This flow is rooted and has its wellspring in the thoughts of people. People are unique in the inner life of the mind — what they are in their thought-world determines how they act. This is true of their value systems and it is true of their creativity. It is true of their corporate actions, such as political decisions, and it is true of their personal lives. The results of their thought-world flow through their fingers or from their tongues into the external world.”
― Francis A. Schaeffer, “How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture”
Did someone forward this newsletter to you after reading it themselves? Don’t settle for that!
to get a fresh, unused copy of this newsletter sent directly to you every Sunday morning. If you decide it stinks, you can always unsubscribe.
The Power of the Other
— Henry Cloud
It is all to easy to read this book and rate our friends. That was never its intention. The goal of this book is to see ourselves and understand how WE can be a better friend, spouse, employer/employee, stranger on the street.
The Culture Playbook
— Daniel Coyle
Working out the kinks in a relationship, and moving forward despite the flaws of both parties, is hard enough. Now imagine applying those principles to an entire organization. Daniel Coyle not only went there, he created an entire roadmap for those brave enough to follow in his tracks.
A meeting of great minds who think alike