Success, and the many over-simplifications of its elemental substance.

I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts with those of you who may have an interest. I have developed a love for writing and I enjoy this venue and the open arena for discussion and criticism.

I read, too. I have read many posts describing the “balance” of work and personal life. I believe that to be a valid and interesting discussion. In many of these, the authors discuss the need to balance various elements of life and project this “balance” as a key to success in business.

My background includes many years of management. Some of those were the management of turn-arounds of troubled companies with significant issues and universal failure. Always, the environment was one of excuses. Always the failing company was full of individuals with “balanced” lives.

When someone had to stay to complete a difficult task that required late night work those who chose to respect their obligation to the company did so as others left promptly for grade school soccer or a party or whatever. I was left with the few who chose to remain to pick up the pieces.

The eventuality, of course, was that I chose to surround myself with those who I knew I could rely on – no matter what. The person who I saw working all night so that our client was given what we promised as a company, or even what I promised for our company. These were, inevitably, those who rose to the top of the heap. I heard, so many times how unfair it was that I promoted X when Y had more experience, education, etc.

I did not promote those who were most capable. I promoted those who I could trust most deeply. A brilliant marketing man once told me “Scott, if it wasn’t for my friends, I would be a complete failure” He said this to me in answer to a compliment that I gave him. He always cared deeply for the experience of our clients, those who chose to trust us (and him). He made himself always available to them and he always was, indeed, their friend in every respect of the word.

I reflect on my own success and I readily admit that all success that I have found is the direct result of my trusting friends, men and women who knew that if they called me at midnight, I would be there before morning. People who knew that I would do anything to not let them down. People who I genuinely cared for, and who genuinely cared for me.

We serve as examples to our children. They have playmates. What they perceive as normal is what they see us doing. For myself, I would rather tell my beautiful daughter that I am sorry that I missed her recital and take the time to explain honor and obligation and the personal contract between business people when they put their trust in one another. It is a sacred thing and it is a great measure of the value of a man – if his word, or his contractual responsibility is subordinate to a soccer game, he is not the man who I would choose to handle my project.

Scott Cahill

The Power of Purpose

Always, in every significant endeavor, there must be a motivation. For great deeds, most often it must be a large motivation to overcome the large resistance that such change must always address.

As I have stated in earlier writing, desperation is such a motivator. It insights, in ordinary men, the necessity of purpose that causes action. Such was the case of Patrick Henry who rose from the third row of pews in a little church in Richmond, Va. in 1775 and uttered the words of desperation that set into action one of the most unlikely and improbable acts, resulting in our great nation.

The other motivator, perhaps, is purpose. Purpose causes one to act because he believes that it is his place to do so. It is the thing that makes a man run up a hill to take a machine gun nest. It is the thing that makes a man, like Donald Trump sit in his lush office and look down on Manhattan, and think that he must run for President.

It is a truth that, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is a phrase from physics, yet, as is true of many of these laws, they fit many other things. Rarely is significant change met with little resistance. An insignificant change will garner little resistance, a grand change will elicit a massive countering resistance.

I suppose that purpose and desperation motivating one to action are met with resistance of similar magnitude in relation to the proposed action(change). The difference is not, therefore, in the coordinated resistance, but in the motivation of the actor. Since the resistance is synonymous, and since both incite action, it seems reasonable, then, that they are equal.

Accepting this hypothesis, as I do, I must consider the cost of effort that must be expended vs. the gain of that action. If I am to set out on a path to remedy a fault or to make a stand, I must consider and cement my purpose.

This may seem mechanical to many, but we each do this often, without much thought. Since we do not, often, consider deeply the ramifications of starting a course of action, we sometimes start an action frivolously, then abandon the action when we recognize the level of resistance applied to stop it. That may be why so many set out to make change, then run back to their warm bed with a bloodied nose.

Such failures are expensive and they waste political collateral. We all must only set out on courses of action for which we are compelled to succeed. If we have not a feeling of desperation, nor a feeling of purpose, we are the wrong man for the job, and the machine of destiny will shoot you out of the loser chute into the barrel marked “waste”. You only get to crawl out of that barrel a couple of times, and once out, few wish to take the

ride again.

The reality of such assessment is that some actions are not worthy of the expenditure of effort. This is a valuable consideration, knowing that effort spent is effort lost. We must find that which instills in ourselves purpose or desperation which exceeds the effort of resistance that will be set against us.

Some choose to simply abandon the field of play. They avoid the conflict and the effort of life. They die. Perhaps the years go on, but inside and as their impact on our world diminishes, they digress into nothingness.

It is not just in work – it is in everything. Never stop fighting. Never stop finding challenges and addressing them. Never give up on making things better. Don’t ever stop dreaming.

Scott Cahill