On July 4th, 1776, our nation declared its independence from Britain – a daring decision that symbolized freedom, individual liberty and new beginnings. While it’s easy to get swept up in the day’s festivities of hot dogs, grilling and parades, it’s important to remember the real reason that we celebrate – our Founding Fathers’ bold determination and tenacity. At Far West Capital, we are eternally grateful for their leadership and the lessons they taught that we can apply, even to this day, to our personal and professional lives. Thanks to them, we are able to live in a country where unleashing your potential is not only allowed, but encouraged. There is so much to take away from the story of July Fourth, but here are a few of our favorite lessons that apply to the business world and the entrepreneur:
Have the audacity to make a change
The road to independence was not an easy one. As the colonists counted their grievances against mother England, they knew radical action was needed to free themselves from King George’s tyranny. When the Congressional “Committee of Five” met to draft what would become the Declaration of Independence, the country was in the midst of war and facing constant threats from Great Britain. Declaring independence was a risky move – one so bold that those involved faced possible death. However, that didn’t stop them from moving forward. The fifty-six men that signed the Declaration were focused on a cause bigger than themselves – one that would shape the well being of Americans forever. As business leaders, we can learn a lot from these men. Achieving your goals is often going to be risky and plagued with uncertainty. Focus on what you want to achieve and keep pushing forward.
Firm leadership is a necessity
Prior to the Declaration, the colonies were in a state of relative disarray. Many efforts had been made to make progress, but without a clear leader, nothing had been accomplished. It took men like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Ben Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and the rest of the Founding Fathers to step up as leaders in order for positive change to be made. Without their bold decision making, the first Continental Congress might never have been formed and the country that we know today would be vastly different. The same holds true in today’s business environment. In order to achieve, you must fill your leadership role clearly and firmly. It’s up to the CEO to ensure that his/her choices are in the best interests of both staff and business.
Be willing to listen to others’ ideas
The creation of the Declaration wasn’t a one-stop process. After the Committee of Five transcribed the first draft, the document went through two days of editing by Congress. Pieces were cut, words were changed and opinions were shared until the issue was ready to go to a vote. With such a huge issue on the table, it was important to make sure many voices were heard. This, too, can be applied in the business world. Even though you might be the key decision maker of your company, it is absolutely critical that you listen to the ideas of your employees. Not only will this give you a fresh company, it will also demonstrate that you are actively listening to your employees needs.
We hope you’ll join us in remembering the contributions of our Founding Fathers this Fourth of July. Their bravery and perseverance allow us to continue unleashing our potential for freedom everyday.