Leadership Moment from November

Give someone a fish—feed them for a day; teach someone to fish—feed them for a lifetime. The adage makes a whole point with half a picture. Do you want a potato and slaw with that fish? Are you going to wear fish? …sleep on them? …use them to get around town? Clearly, man needs more than fish. So once essential needs are met, what happens next?

Prosperity—that favored frontier! These are the voyages of man’s flagship, enterprise—its continuing mission to seek out opportunity, answer a need and drive commerce where it has not gone before. Charity lifts people out of suffering, and education releases them from dependency. Equipped to convert effort to value in the marketplace, business then provides the opportunity for continuing progress. Business puts individual effort to use in a larger context, advancing one’s security and prosperity, building aggregate wealth in the community at large, a share of which reliably cycles back into charity.

Some few with loud voices and limited vision disparage all companies and even shame the country for pursuing the most successful means of poverty relief the world has ever seen. But most of us both hold our humanitarian values and deal with economic realities, in and out of the workplace. So charity and education—for sure. And to help people further, build a business.

“All prosperity begins in the mind and is dependent only on the full use of our creative imagination.”

—Ruth Ross