“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable.”
Ernest Hemingway, great American novelist
Hemingway’s quote points out a tension that each one of us face. In order to achieve things, you have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Having “a feeling for beauty” means to me that you have a tender heart. Beautiful music, sights and interactions make your heart sing. On the other hand, corruption, deceit, disunity and cruelty can cause deep sadness.
Being a risk taker brings rewards greater than those attained by the safe, stay out of the fray folks. You may fall down. You may fail. But, risk takers know the taste of a risk rewarded is well worth the mediocre outcomes of never talking them.
Speaking the truth is the outcome sought by “courageous communicators”. Occasionally the truth spoken strains relationships and causes disappointment. But, truth sets us free. It clears the way. The best people know to champion the truth is worth the short term pain it can cause.
The best people sacrifice. They put others before them. They delay gratification. They do the nitty gritty work of doing the weeding and fertilizing, because they know it bears the best fruit.
Vulnerable? Yes. But the virtues that Hemingway describes creates a rich life.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.