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Courage


There was one important item not listed above in the characteristics to be evaluated in recruiting new employees. It is as important as any on the list, but it is nearly impossible to see in an interview. It is courage, and it is an essential ingredient in what it takes to be a serious competitor, to lead other people, and even to seriously pursue W3 rewards.

In the beginning, courage is venturing opinions while knowing that criticism may result and then taking ownership (responsibility) and intelligent risks, knowing that failures are possible. Finally, committing company resources when failures are possible, knowing that the owners, the other employees, and their families will share in that risk and then getting back on the horse after a failure all demonstrate courage. If people are tested frequently, they will develop confidence as they learn and experience both success and failure and courage will follow.

A very solid and respected engineer has a proverb in large letters taped to a wall in his work area. It says something to the effect that we must be guided by recognition of our own limitations in what we do. When and how do we find out what limits us, and does failure establish limitation?

The following messages have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and in other publications and are appropriately included here under this topic.

“Aim so high you will never be bored. The greatest waste of our natural resources is the number of people who never achieve their potential. Get out of the slow lane. Shift into the fast lane. If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you think you can, there’s a good chance you will. Even making the effort will make you feel like a new person. Reputations are made by searching for things that can’t be done and doing them. Aim low: boring. Aim high: soaring.”[21]

“Don’t be afraid to fail. You’ve failed many times although you may not remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn’t you? Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. English novelist John Creasy got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”[22]

Characteristics such as passion, imagination, and courage, can compensate many times for physical or even mental shortcomings or handicaps. Unfortunately, the reverse can be true where an otherwise perfect specimen may lack those characteristics and, as a result, may not succeed. In some cases those attributes may not be easily awakened.

[21]United Technologies Corporation, A Message, (Reprints from The Wall Street Journal, 1981).

[22]United Technologies Corporation, A Message, (Reprints from The Wall Street Journal, 1981).






Sweet and Sour Grapes
Sweet & Sour Grapes: The Story of the Machine Tool Industry
ISBN: 1587620316
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 77
Authors: James Egbert
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