The Hands of the Craftsman

Lee Iacocca

“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” – Lee Iacocca

Arguably one of the greatest CEOs in American history, Lee Iacocca’s 47 year career in the auto industry helped define American corporate culture. Iacocca led Ford and then Chrysler through thick and thin, and he always held his head high.

Here we are, 17 years after Iacocca’s retirement from Chrysler, in period of history most notable perhaps for its uncertainty. I cannot help but wonder why it is that we as human beings, sitting atop all life on the planet, tend to create more hell for ourselves than we do anything else. We claim to evolve and to be the product of long chain of evolutionary progress, yet the more time passes the more it seems the earth is like a clock without a craftsman.

Successful living in times like these requires boldness, persistence and stamina. We human beings are in this for the long haul. Like the rats and cockroaches we love to malign, we are survivors. Yet we are more than mere insects driven by an innate desire to propagate the species. We are creators with craftsman’s hands.

The hands of a craftsman are steady, confident and meticulous in action. Controlled by a mind conscious of right, the craftsman’s hands are most dextrous when applied to positive action. We, when in our right minds, can channel any energy – no matter what its provenance – into positive action.

If you find yourself under pressure, dare to live your life free of compromise. Maintain your integrity, keep your head high, no matter what comes your way. Know that life will never give you anything that is larger than your ability to handle it. You may require the assistance of others and as I’ve said in previous posts, no man or woman is complete unto him or herself. We need one another. We complement one another.

And, well, as Jerry Maguire put it, “We live in a cynical world. A cynical world. And we work in a business of tough competitors. I love you. You…complete me!”

Keep your heads high, your spirits up and have a great day.

7 thoughts on “The Hands of the Craftsman

  1. Colin

    Thank you for the inspiration. I’ve found a few things that are important when I’ve gone through times that were high pressure. The first is that if there is any part of you that might give up, you’re toast. It can’t even be an option. The other is that high pressure times really separate the wheat from the chaff, and the people that you are standing shoulder to shoulder with on the other side are really people you can trust. If you can stay steady and maintain your integrity through these tough times, you will have achieved something that you can draw on for the rest of your life!


  2. J.J.Mc

    My wife is always quoting Dr. Phil. He says that “No one has the power to hijack your state of mind and make you feel resentful or bad about yourself. Your emotions belong to you alone. Start taking ownership of them.”
    Directing ourselves into positive action can be the beginning of ownership. Our emotions and thoughts are a part of the craftsman’s tools.


  3. Doug

    An editorial in today’s USA Today had some good thoughts about this same subject. It was titled; “Heroic? Hardly. But flight attendant’s exit resonates.”
    It was about the JetBlue flight attendant that exited his job in a dramatic unprofessional way. I appreciated the editor’s ideas and the last paragraph really sums up my thoughts on this situation and today’s blog. He is referring to people venting…
    “Does it do any good? Not really. Sure, it’s human to vent, but these are times that call for leaders, not loudmouths, for people who can endure stress, remain steady and calmly lead people through the difficult times ahead-more Sullenbergers and fewer Slaters. They tend to get outshouted, but they’re out there. We only have to listen.”
    Great job Gregg, I’m listening!


  4. Flow

    Many people have been programed to focus on what is wrong in each situation. When we realize that “what we focus on” creates the world around. We have a choice. The power to make significant changes in the world is available. And as you have illustrated in so many of your posts……the key is to look to leave things (a room, a conversation, a relationship, etc.) better than we found it.

    I keep thinking about that little boy’s song you posted a few months ago….”let it out…be nice….let it out…..

    Appreciate all of the concentrated posts on this blog. Thank you.


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