Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Board of Advisers

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill recommends each person to select a "board of advisers" to help him in setting and following the right course in life. This "board" should meet regularly in a person's mind to help her manage life as if it were a sort of corporation.

The persons in the board don't even have to be alive today, they can be selected from a different time and place.

Well, here I will present my Board:

1. Politics: Yes, I was tempted to select FDR, probably the ultimate master of politics among US presidents and also the suave operator, Clark Clifford but settled on Richard Nixon. I want a person fully passionate in his area of expertise and as he once stated before running for president in 1968: 
"I had finally come to the realization that there was no other life for me but politics and public service. Even when my legal work was at its most interesting I never found it truly fulfilling. I told some friends at this time that if all I had was my legal work, I would be mentally dead in two years and physically dead in four. I knew that they thought I was exaggerating; but I was telling the truth about the way I thought and felt."
And before we get all annoyed again about Watergate, let's underline that NEVER in the history of the USA has a person won a presidential election with more plurality of votes than Nixon. This record still stands today: +17,995,488.

2. Business: although possibly the two greatest geniuses in corporate history immediately popped to mind: Edwin Land and Steve Jobs, both of them were... geniuses. Since their genius can hardly be transmitted to another person I chose the person that was named by Fortune Magazine "the greatest capitalist in history:" Thomas J. Watson Jr., the second CEO of IBM and the champion, among many other things, of the IBM 360. 

3. Psychology / well being: Carl Gustav Jung. Who else? Really, nobody touches him. No other person was even considered for this position. 

4. Thinker in residence: yes, Johnny von Neumann, the only real genius in the Manhattan Project according to Hans Bethe was seriously considered, but I wanted a person with a wider scope, if that was even possible. The final candidates were Ludwig Wittgenstein and Leo Szilard. After a long evaluation I couldn't discard any of them so both were invited to join.

5. Art / literature: here I literally had "binders full of candidates," but settled for Federico Garcia Lorca. His poem "A las Cinco de la Tarde" tipped the scales in his favor.  

I already had six persons plus myself, a total of seven. For the group not to get too unwieldy I decided to close it with a total of eight members. There was only one position left.

6. Lead adviser: nobody would have my ear more than him and his advise would be a tie breaker if any subject got gridlocked. Just like with Jung, no other person was offered the position, it went straight to Emanuel Swedenborg.

What an unbelievably powerful team has been assembled! I can hardly wait to start the sessions.

Do YOU have a Board of Advisers?

Feel free to add to the conversation in Tweeter: @luisbaram

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