Robert Redford, the great actor, has a new movie out and he says it will be his last.  The announcement has created several interviews on television.  In one, he shared a quote that has inspired him through the years:

“For us it’s only the trying, the rest is not our business.” T.S. Eliot

Eliot’s quote reminds us the importance of taking the initiative in matters.  Until you try, you never know what the result.

“Trying” takes initiative.  It’s a mindset to have an agenda for trying.  We had a training effort this week where maintenance team members were shown some new ideas.  From the feedback I received, everybody learned something they didn’t know.  Of course, our ambition for the event is that people will go home and try to put their new knowledge to work.  That’s initiative.

“Trying” takes courage.  In many ways, it’s safer to do what everyone else does and what is the accepted process.  To challenge the status quo takes a willingness to suggest alternatives, do experiments, tweak the process.  Courage.

“Trying” takes resilience.  You try often you will frequently get poor initial results.  You must be willing to try than learn.  Try than improve.  Try than try again.

Robert Redford loves the quote about trying because it has led him through a life that has yielded him satisfaction.

Which leads me to one of my favorite quotes: “I’d rather say I’m sorry than I wish I had.” Quincy Jones

We want to be a team where “trying” is celebrated.  If we have a bunch of folks with the initiative, courage and resilience to “try”, we’re going to be just fine.

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. 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.


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