“What we believe in the United States: you work hard, you play by the rules, you get a fair shot.” Thomas McDonough, Chief of Staff, President Obama.
Last week of the Barack Obama presidency. Media is full of a variety of exit interviews of those who participated in the administration. Despite what you may feel about their politics, their results or their beliefs, no one should deny that the willingness and courage to step into those roles deserves respect.
McDonough is a thoughtful, bright leader. He is 49. Hair is white.
He grew up one of 11 children from a modest family in Minnesota. From that background, he found himself at the right hand of the most powerful man in the world participating in history in the making.
So, the recipe:
“Work hard. It is all about the effort. Consistency of effort. Does hard work define your effort? Is working hard the way you roll? Hard workers win because over time they achieve results. Hard workers do not readily quit. So, they go longer. Reap the harvest. Hard work doesn’t escape notice. Eventually, the hard worker is acknowledged.
“Follow the rules.” There’s order to the world. It’s complex. It deserves study. The rules evolve. The rules are different depending on what game you are playing. However, if you are trying to get somewhere in life, you are aware of the rules and rule makers. You try to discern them. You determine to play by them.
“You get a fair shot.” This idea may be little tougher to take at face value. Sometimes that fair shot can be long in appearing. Sometimes it may appear that the cards are stacked. However, it’s a bit of a cycle.
If you don’t work hard, your goal of a fair shot becomes harder.
If you do not play be the rules, you dig your hole and create your obstacles.
I want to be part of an enterprise that honors these ideas. We want to meet you where you are. Help you along the way. Create opportunities for your fair shot.
Let me know any of your ideas on how to make this possible.
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.