Don Tyson: The Man Who Changed Things
Suppose you had billions and billions of dollars and wanted to set up a foundation that would really make a real difference in the world?
You could draw up a mission statement as broad as the Pacific. Then put up a skyscraper office full of bright young people with college degrees who talk tech -- high, low and in-between. There'd be a lot of supernumeraries around to get in the way -- all with degrees from prestigious universities and impressive resumes. ("He shows great promise and knows foreign languages -- spreadsheet, broadband and COBOL.")
You might populate the cubicles with statisticians and plant the corner offices with ferns and wise old men in three-piece suits, alternating them with sleek female execs in pantsuits -- veterans of the law and/or corporate life who would know everything about just why nothing could be done. ("It's policy.")
For a model to follow, see the Ford and Rockefeller foundations and what they've accomplished, if you can remember a single blessed thing.
But how would you change things if you really could change things? For starters, you might want to:
-- Change a whole, home-grown industry. Organize it vertically from start to finish. Make the product better, cheaper, more varied, available and useful. Create a worldwide market and employment for millions around the globe. Do business in 57 countries. Do or die, expand or expire.
-- Change a whole part of your state, and, more important, improve the everyday lives of the people who live there, who want to stay there and raise their families there. Give them a reason to stay. Ditto, their children and grandchildren. Instead of having people leave in search of greener pastures, bring the greener pastures to them. Maybe literally.
Meet payrolls all over the state and country and world. And, while you're at it, revive and improve industries quite apart from your own but that prosper because of yours. The way growing soybeans and rice goes with producing chicken. Think chicken-soup-and-rice.
Hire the most talented, innovative managers and doers and hard workers and different thinkers, and then have enough sense to get out of their way. Let them do their remarkably efficent, self-motivated, profitable, productive thing. On an ever greater scale. And just watch your company, your state, your world go. While keeping up with every little thing.
And keep it all a family business by issuing different classes of stock so control is vested in people who have not only a business to think about but a family name to uphold.
Sure, anything that successful isn't going to be without problems -- legal, even ethical ones -- and the feds'll be after you quicker'n you can say Capital Gains or Disclosure Statement. But rise above it. Make your motto: Never have a bad day. Keep taking risks, do the improbable and maybe the impossible.
Don't just give money away; invest it. Especially in the young. Don't lecture but do. Don't tell but show. And stop to play -- hunt, fish, and remember that life is with people. Never put on airs. Always wear khaki except on state occasions, and maybe then. Pal around with politicians only when you absolutely have to, if only to get them to leave your business alone.
Do you suppose you could establish a foundation to do all that? Not very likely. Because there would still be something missing. The most important ingredient. The human being. The single, unique individual.
He would grow
The one thing missing from our theoretical foundation is a real
The French have a word for it -- entrepreneur -- and it's become an American concept, too, and how. That's what
I'd better stop now.
Available at Amazon.com:
Read the latest political news.
- The Shameful Attack on Public Employees
- The Stealth Attack on American Education
- The Paradox of Disarmament
- To Fight Future Glock Shock
- Don Tyson: The Man Who Changed Things
- 14th Amendment is Not What You Think
- Fame is No Blessing
- The American 21st Century
- A Far From Happy New Year
- Defense Is On The Table
- A Leaner and Meaner Defense
- The Good News About Gas
- M.B.A. Hiring Trends Improve in 2010
- Poverty up Sharply in Rust Belt
- The Baby Boomers Turn 65
- Civil War: The Root Cause and the Lost Cause
- Heightened TSA Security Is Necessary to Keep Us Safe
- TSA Has Its Security Priorities in the Wrong Place
- Obama's Pending Assignment: Reconnecting With Hispanics and Latin America
- Spanish Classes Thriving in U.S. Colleges
- First They Came for My Twinkie ...
- As New START Debate Rages, Quiet Nuclear Progress With Russia
- United States Hispanic Population Is Booming
- The Need to Protect Our Aging Workforce
- The Real WikiLeaks Threat
- The Media Get It Wrong on WikiLeaks
- Opening Our Eyes to the Value of Closing Them
- America's Hidden Hunger and What We Can Do About It
- Belt-Tightening for United States Foreign Policy
- Public Perception Masks Stark Health Care Realities
- Global Warming Conference Faces Meltdown
- America's Credibility Deficit
- WikiLeaks Disclosures Not Earth Shattering
- A WikiLeaks Wake-up Call
- WikiLeaks May End Up Helping America
- WikiLeaks and The Invisible Government
- Wikileaks: More Than Just an Embarrassment
- Wikileaks: Undiplomatic Diplomacy
- Will WikiLeaks Hobble U.S. Diplomacy?
- How WikiLeaks Can Make Us Less Free
- Wikileaks: Small Revelations That May Cause a Big Idea to Take Hold
- Hunting Down Anwar al-Awlaki, Public Enemy No. 1
- FDA Cracks Down on Caffeine-Charged Alcoholic Drinks
- The American Dream: Pro and Con
- Four Loko: Boozy Up-and-Down Makes This Loko Loco
- Crossroads on the Path to a More Perfect Union
- The Right Way to Reform Healthcare
- The Future of American Power: Dominance and Decline in Perspective
- Everybody Discriminates in Some Way
- Banks Need to Pay for Foreclosure Shenanigans
- The Distinctly American Tradition of Charity
- Giving Away a Fortune to Keep the American Dream Alive
- Public Service Groups That Are Making a Difference
- Public Service: Citizenship Is More than Paying Taxes and Voting
- Public Service Is the Antidote For Voter Anger
- Raising People's Quality of Life Drives Public Service
- Public Service: Ordinary Americans Changing Communities for the Better
- How to Make a Career in Public Service
- How to Choose the Best Volunteering Option
- Recession Driving Changes in Corporate Philanthropy
- How to Avoid Charity Scams
- The Pros and Cons of Military Service
- Compulsory National Service Would Strengthen American Citizenship
- Compulsory National Service Would Undermine the American Character
- Why China Has a Point About Quantitative Easing
- Out of Play
- Eliminating Poverty: Lesson From Childhood
- Wall Street Had a Meltdown, and All We Got (Besides the Bill) Was an Interminable Argument
- Changing Our Tune to Natural Gas
- Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision Will Warp Policymaking
- Citizens United Decision: Money at Issue Funds Speech Not Candidates
- Education and Wealth: Strongest Predictors of a Long Life
- 'Citizen Journalism' Fad is Not Journalism
- Life's Little Lows Big Part of Going to High School
- Happiness is a Matter of Perspective
- Binge Drinking Numbers Rising
- The Republicans' Bizarre Attacks on Elites
- Joe Klein and Diane Sawyer Tour the Real Reality
- Troubled Times: When Mark Zuckerberg's Generosity Is Not Good Enough
- Why on Earth Does America Want a Stronger Chinese Currency?
- A Nation of Peasants?
- Public Sector Workers Are the New Privileged Elite Class
- Raising Retirement Age Will Help Save Social Security
- Cutting Benefits Isn't the Way to Save Social Security
- How the New Consumer Bureau Will Help You
- Setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- The Truth Behind UFO Sightings and the U.S. Air Force
- American Dream of Home Ownership Has Become a Nightmare
- 5 Traits of the New American Consumer
- Stoned on Righteousness
Don Tyson: The Man Who Changed Things
(c) 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.