Thursday, July 06, 2006

Management mantra

Entrepreneurship, taking calculated risks, the power of an idea that will help you stay ahead of competition- all these are fairly recent buzzwords and management mantras- so I thought.

As far back as 1894, Rudyard’s Kipling wrote the poem,“Mary Gloster”, in which, Sir Anthony Gloster, from his death bed, narrates to his son how he built his shipping business ,egged on by his wife and by taking calculated risks, while his contemporaries tried to play it safe :

I didn't begin with askings. I took my job and I stuck;
I took the chances they wouldn't, an' now they're calling it luck

And about his competitors :

They copied all they could follow, but they couldn't copy my mind,
And I left 'em sweating and stealing a year and a half behind.

And many more insights that will fit into any of the latest books on ‘leadership skills’ or ‘outwitting your competition”.

Of course, the real purpose of Sir Anthony Gloster’s death-bed discourse was to firmly rebuke his son for wasting his life on such things as education at Trinity College instead of at sea and moreover

The things I knew was proper you wouldn't thank me to give,
And the things I knew was rotten you said was the way to live

Great stuff, but you need lots of patience to go through the entire rambling of the old man.


Casement said...

It is undoubtedly a wonderful poem, but Im noticing the management mantras in it only now.

The way the old man talks about his son and daughter in law is totally derogatory. He is so angry that he says, I wish my son were a man or something to that effect!:))

The poem also suggests the confidence that a woman can offer to a business and its growth. Even if you miss to mention it, I won't:)

Raj said...

Casement, he also suggests that 'another woman' - his daugher-in-law was no good at all.

Hawkeye said...

very good poem. good work bringing it out!