Some years ago I was present at a large technology company meeting held at a downtown convention center. I was outside catching some fresh air when the company founder and CEO stepped outside to fire up a cigarette. He stood quietly next to me for a few minutes before turning towards me and launching the following observation accompanied by a sweeping gesture at the city skyline. He said, “You see all those buildings? The growth? Construction? The industry? The cash that fuels this economy?”
I replied that I did. He continued, “Someday, if you work hard, diligently, maybe 10, 12, 16 hours a day relentlessly, someday…” then looking me square in the eyes said, “Someday, all this could be mine.”
With that he flicked the cigarette to the ground, crushed it beneath his shoe, turned and walked back into the convention center.
Lesson duly noted.