Parker Addison

Parker Addison

This weekend O.P. and I walked on fire. Literally. Not in the figurative literal way. Like, literally literally.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 4.35.53 PMIt was an incredible weekend at the Anthony Robbins event and we can’t recommend checking out the next event in Florida.

Being around all the world class leaders there, I was distinctly reminded of a short story by Ambrose Bierce called Parker Addison, Philosopher.

In this story, we are introduced to a capture spy named Parker Addison who in typical James Bond style, appears to have zero fear for death. He is interrogated by a general who is at first appalled and then curious as to how his prisoner can approach his impending execution without fear. They have an incredible exchange wherein, amongst other things, Parker comments:

Pain is disagreeable, no doubt. I never suffer it without more or less discomfort. But he who lives longest is most exposed to it. What you call dying is simply the last pain—there is really no such thing as dying.

Parker appears to have the courage of 1000 men until he is condemned to die that very night by firing squad. He begins to beg for his life pitifully, eventually grabbing a soldier’s sword and killing him and mortally wounding the general in the fight. The general repeats the order even in his wounded state

As the spy is executed, he is pathetically woeful “begging incoherently for his life.”

The general on the other hand who had been so impressed by the spy’s earlier dignity and wit dies “with a smile of ineffable sweetness, [saying] ”I suppose this must be death.”

When it comes the way we react in business, we can be Parker Addison: full of wisdom and wit yet devoid of ability to apply our knowledge. Alternatively, we can meet our challenges with smiles of ineffable sweetness. I’ve known leaders who could talk a good game but when the gun was pointed to their heads, they would weep like a ten year old girl who just had her favorite toy taken away.

Can you imagine yourself being ready in a make or break moment for your business? Imagine losing a major client or a key employee. Imagine finding yourself unable to make payroll. You lose a vendor program. The phones stop ringing. Your warehouse gets flooded or whatever other nightmare scenario you can picture for your business.

“I suppose this must be a setback.”

Smile and own that moment.

No matter what kind of restoration business you own, you will experience setbacks and struggles. But it is up to us whether we know better, do better or both.

Are you ready to be the general?

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