Chapter 52 – Fortitude is glorified in the Calvin Coolidge speech: ‘Press on in hand’. These thoughts on hardship by my old nemesis, attorney Mr Muyburgh, have stood the test of time and describe resilience even better:
“Don’t be strong as steel. Steel is hard and inflexible and cold. It bends a little and if bent a lot, it will crack and break.
Being as strong as steel is not good enough. Be as strong as nylon. You can bend nylon. Nylon bends and bends some more. It keeps bending. It never breaks. Be like nylon, endlessly bending and springing back.”
Too often we encounter competition from other firms which are willing to sail a little too close to the wind, pushing a little harder than necessary to get an advantage, by scuffing against the limits of the law and good practice, thinking that the law is cast in nylon, too. It is not.
Compromise is sometimes necessary for the practicalities of governance. It must be unthinkable where your principles are concerned. Don’t go there.
Do not cultivate the habit of peering over the line between right and wrong, even if it is just to smell the odour of the other side. You are above reproach. Your leaning will be the go-to sign to rush over the top for everyone in your team who has been awaiting your implied approval. Resist the push. When pushed there, spring back like nylon, too.
The Unconventional CEO offers succinct, compelling advice from one successful CEO Mario Pretorius, to you The Cape Messenger reader.
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