Each February we honor the lives of two amazing leaders, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Although each is worthy of our praise, the close proximity of their birthdays has led to commemorating their lives on one day, President’s Day. Although neither man was perfect, they’re both among the greatest presidential role models of all time, courageously leading our nation through incredible struggles.
During my long investment career, one of my role models was friend and colleague Ernie Ankrim, a brilliant financial thinker who served as our chief market strategist. However, as capable as he was in interpreting the markets, Ernie was equally gifted in public speaking and relating with others.
Everyone admired how Ernie shared his insights with humor and wit. He was the total package and audiences could never get enough of him. Yet, despite all of his accolades, Ernie is the one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. If anyone had bragging rights it was Ernie, yet he was always the first to give others the credit.
Ernie’s humility has had an enormous impact on my life and my behavior. Whenever I’ve been acknowledged for an accomplishment, I often think, “How would Ernie respond?” My answer is always the same. First and foremost, I owe my success to others.
Abe Lincoln had a similar philosophy. He famously said, “What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”
As you travel along your life journey, you’ll have many proud achievements along the way. And you know what? They’ll speak for themselves. You won’t have to toot your own horn to get people to recognize you.
When successes come your way, be grateful to those who helped make it happen. Your acknowledgement of others first, before you give yourself a pat on the back, will be greatly admired and an inspiration to others.
When you do something great, is your first instinct to give yourself the credit or others who have helped make you the person you are today? Who comes to mind as someone you would like to thank or give credit? Share your thoughts with our online community by commenting below.
“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.” ~Abraham Lincoln