Updated 12 months ago
Happy New Year.
As we begin 2011, business, thankfully, is showing seeds of optimism. We have a new governor in Rick Scott, a new Cabinet, and in many ways a new day.
There’s a palpable sense of excitement that Florida will be run in a more business-friendly manner. Yet I also perceive a sense of trepidation among some. Perhaps that’s what change is all about, putting people in uncomfortable positions and forcing them to take a new look at themselves and their work.
Barney Bishop, president of the powerful business lobby Associated Industries of Florida, came to my office the other day and described Scott as a visionary executive who knows how to deliver. After all, from humble beginnings, Scott did climb the American ladder of success.
Bishop predicted that the first thing we’ll see is Scott’s belief in Accountability with a "capital A." We can expect him to use business metrics to judge whether branches of government are operating efficiently. We can expect cost cutting and an emphasis on results.
This impending sea change made me think back on the Florida Chamber’s conference last fall when futurist Watts Wacker recited a speech by John D. Rockefeller Jr. that’s reprinted below.
Delivered in 1941 when Rockefeller was raising funds for the U.S.O. in support of our troops, the speech should serve as a reminder that not all of Florida’s 18-plus million residents think alike and that each is due a respectful place in our society.
I expect our new governor and Cabinet will drive the change that is necessary, restore fiscal stability in our state and preserve the dignity of all Floridians.
I also expect that as we enter a new day for Florida, we can all use these words of the hugely rich developer of Rockefeller Center, corporate director and noted philanthropist to help guide the state — just as they helped govern Rockefeller’s life.
In the words of John D. Rockefeller Jr.
"I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.
I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.
I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime request of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.
I believe in the sacredness of a promise; that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character, not wealth or power or position, is of supreme worth.
I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.
I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual’s highest fulfillment, greatest happiness, and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.
I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might."
— John D. Rockefeller Jr.
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