“Success can be measured in our contributions to building a better world, in helping our fellow man, and in raising children who themselves become loving human beings and good citizens. Success, in short, can be measured not in what we attain for ourselves, but in what we contribute to our society.
As I have earlier noted, the most important things in life and in business can’t be measured. The trite bromide ‘If you can measure it, you can manage it’ has been a hindrance in the building a great real-world organization, just as it has been a hindrance in evaluating the real-world economy.
It is character, not numbers, that make the world go round. How can we possibly measure the qualities of human existence that give our lives and careers meaning? How about grace, kindness, and integrity? What value do we put on passion, devotion, and trust? How much do cheerfulness, the lilt of a human voice, and a touch of pride add to our lives? Tell me, please, if you can, how to value friendship, cooperation, dedication, and spirit. Categorically, the firm that ignores the intangible qualities that the human beings who are our colleagues bring to their careers will never build a great workforce or a great organization.
The people who created this country built a moral structure around money. The Puritan legacy inhibited luxury and self-indulgence. Benjamin Franklin spread a practical gospel that emphasized hard work, temperance, and frugality. Millions of parents, preachers, newspaper editors, and teachers expounded the message. The result was quite remarkable. The United States has been an affluent nation since its founding. But the country was, by and large, not corrupted by wealth. For centuries, it remained industrious, ambitious, and frugal. Over the past 30 years, much of that has been shredded. The social norms and institutions that encouraged frugality and spending what you earn have been undermined.
Rely on the ordinary virtues that intelligent, balanced human beings have relied on for centuries: common sense, thrift, realistic expectations, patience, and perseverance.”
Excerpts from John C. Bogle, Enough.: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life
~John Clifton “Jack” Bogle was an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He was the founder and chief executive of The Vanguard Group, and is credited with creating the first index fund.
Excellence Reporter 2020 (Photo: Reuters)
Categories: Wisdom of Life