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Friday, October 02, 2009


Rational human beings act in self interest and respond to short-term stimulus. In other words, if we are given something we cannot resist, and the gratification is immediate, we usually go for it.

Of course these decisions aren't always the wisest. Generally, when we pay the price with patience, generosity and delayed gratification we achieve much better results, long term.

Great ideals, eh. You are so successful in business that you can focus on community service, industry associations, and long-term relationships that you forget you need the "immediate gratification" to meet your payroll (or sales quota). Suddenly you are in crisis mode, and suddenly, "tomorrow" seems to be eons in the future.

Maybe we can blame the recession. But Ret. Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, who led UN humanitarian relief efforts in the 1990s Balkans mess, reminded me and a few dozen Ontario General Contractors last week that leaders accept unconditional responsibility for the faults of their organization, even if they aren't the cause of the fault. In other words, no "buts".

I'd like to say I have gems of wisdom and understanding to solve every one's problems but that puts me in a place higher than any mortal human should even think of getting near.

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