On December 10, 1914, the New York Times published an article that detailed the nearly total destruction by fire of Thomas Edison’s vast facility in New Jersey, where he and his nearly 7,000 employees were working on his inventions, including prototypes of his newest invention, the “talking machines”.
Imagine you are 67 years old, and you see almost everything you’ve worked on in your life destroyed in one night. What would be your reaction?
If I told you that Thomas Edison was an optimist, I doubt you would still be able to imagine the extent of his hopefullness, which was captured in the title of this blog entry. When asked by a reporter what he would do, he said, “There is only one thing to do, and that is to jump right in and rebuild.” He went on to clarify, “Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow. I’m pretty well burned out tonight.”
This is a staggering display of optimism. Edison takes hopefullness to an extent that few of us who are optimists would dare to go. The next day, with the buildings still smoldering, Edison is quoted as saying, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” Spending time to grieve over such a major loss was not an option for Edison. He viewed the fire as an opportunity.
When leaders embrace a boldly optimistic view, even in the face of almost certain defeat, they inspire their teams to courageously “get back to work”, remember their shared purpose together, and look past the fears of today and focus on a vision of success for tomorrow. Edison had nearly half of his employees report to work on the day after the fire, salvaging what they could, and beginning to clear away the rubble of his “mistakes” to start anew.
Can you see the great value in the “disasters” in your business or in your career?
BOLDbreak has one purpose, and that is to provide team leaders and company owners the tools and training they need, to develop an unstoppable Surging Team, a team that repeatedly succeeds in achieving difficult and important company objectives. When teams win, increased company profitability follows! Contact me today and let’s discuss the actions that you as the team leader or company owner need to take in order to lead your team to success.
Until then, Keep Winning!