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Some Advice To My Daughter As She Begins Her Career In Management

Dearest Anna:

I have gone through some 10,000 years of human history all over the world. I was looking for a special leader who would be an example for you. The late President John F. Kennedy comes to mind.

Please forgive him for being a playboy who was unfaithful to Jackie. Please remember him for incredible things like saving the world from a nuclear war in 1962 and setting up the project to send humans to the moon.

Also in World War II he was the commander of a small patrol boat (Like the one I was on in Vietnam) in the South Pacific. His boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. He was able to avoid getting captured. He saved the lives of 11 of his 12 men. He won a couple of medals for this heroism.

If we could bring President Kennedy back to life and sit him at a table with you, what would he say to you? I suspect that it would be the following good advice:

1. Never forget that power has its limitations.

2) Always approach a new project with the greatest skepticism for the following reasons:

a) The project will always turn out to be much more complicated than it appears at first.

b) The project will always require much more time that you originally estimated.

c) The project will always cost much more money than you originally estimated.

3) “Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan,” He would be saying to you when a project that you are working on fails, do not try to lie about it or blame someone else. Rather look everyone right in the eye and tell them. “This mistake was my fault. I am sorry.” People will be mad at you and disappointed for a couple of days. But you will not be fired or lose your career.

4) Regardless of how bad things get, never lose your compassion for other people or your good sense of humor and ability to laugh.

I hope that these words help you in your current job and 20 years from now when you are CEO.


About tatamkuluafrica

I am a man who has lived n 6 of the 7 continents. I first arrived in Africa on April 18, 1981. Africa has been a part of my life since. I spent 8 months living in a Xhosa village in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. I was given he nickname Tatamkulu Africa. In Xhosa it means "Grandfather Africa." In April of 1994 I was allowed to vote in the first democratic election in South Africa..I was honored to be part of such a historical moment. It was a beautiful and a magical day.

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