Anyone who has ever managed or led a team of people will have been questioned about the worth of the various team members. In today’s hypersensitive world of income fairness this has become a major issue. All people want and deserve to be treated fairly in all aspect of their employment but they rarely, if ever, agree that they might not deserve the same wages as others doing the same job description. It should never matter what color the person’s skin is or if they are male or female. The sole barometer should be can they do the job and if they do it better, they should be compensated accordingly. To demonstrate how this should work, let me share with you a story I was given many years ago. A father has three sons, and they all worked for the same man, a dealer in furs. One day the father went down to talk to the president of the company, an old college buddy. He went into his office and said, “Jim, my three boys all work for you and I appreciate your giving them positions, I have a question that’s bothering me. You pay the oldest one $2,000 a month, the middle one $3,000 a month, and the youngest makes $5,000. Why the differences?”
The president leaned back in his chair and was silent for a few moments. Then his face brightened as he answered, “Well, maybe I can show you why right this moment. Have you got a while that you can stay here?”
“I can stay all day if need be”, the father said.
“Well you might have to stay all day. Make yourself at home.”
He picked up the phone and called one of the boys, the $2,000 boy. He said, “I understand the Ontario has just docked at the wharf, loaded with furs. Please go down there and see what cargo she’s carrying and let me know at your earliest convenience.” About three minutes later the phone rang and the young man said, “I didn’t even have to go down there to get the information. I telephoned down. They have fifteen hundred seals.” The president said, “Thank you.”
He then buzzed the $3,000 boy and gave him the exact same instructions. About an hour later the telephone rang and he said, “I just went down and checked the Ontario. She’s got fifteen hundred seals on board according to the manifest.
The president then rang the $5,000 boy and gave him the exact same instructions as the other two.
The last boy came back four hours later and came right into the president’s office. After says hello to his father, he said, “Well Boss, she has fifteen hundred seals on board and they are all in good shape. I bought them all for us for ten dollars apiece. I also discovered that the Ontario had five hundred red fox pelts. Of course, we don’t handle red fox, but I knew who wanted them, so I called him and made the sale. The deal will net us about $10,000. There were also thirty-nine minks on board. I went in and examined them also. They are beautiful and of the finest quality. Since you always handle the mink trade yourself, I took an option on them for an hour so that I would have time to report back to you.”
The president said, “Thank you.” And the young man left. Jim then asked his friend “Is your question answered?”
“Yes,” replied the father, “one of the boys didn’t even obey you. The other went half way, but one of them gave you everything he had.”
After reading this story, I hope you share a couple of my key beliefs:
Fairness breeds Productivity; Entitlement breeds Incompetence.
Compensation for Excellence stimulates further growth; Equal pay creates Mediocrity and Stagnant growth.
Fairness is not easy to police; that is why so many people question the fairness of decisions made by those in positions of authority. The problem is that society’s level of trust continues to decline. The solution is to revive, within our societies, a high level of importance toward creating and promoting ethical and moral leaders. No longer can we hire, elect, and promote people whom we cannot trust from the very start. If we trusted one another many of these questionable situations would disappear.
So where do we start? We must start where the deterioration began, with our children. We must once again begin to teach and elevate morals in the schools. The children should be taught that role models must be people of integrity and high moral character. The people we place in leadership roles must demonstrate strong courage, integrity, and faith powerful enough to stop the erosion of the moral fabric that made this Country the One Nation under God.
We must never stop believing in one another.
Anthony “Tony” Boquet, Author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”.
If this is my last post, I want all to know that there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.