Flying back from Singapore to Australia, I was reading the International New York Times.
On page 9 there was a fascinating article by Thomas L. Friedman, titled “Just don’t blame the secret service: The Secret Service and the political class”
It’s a penetrating piece about recent “breakdowns in secret service protection” and their failure to properly identify potential treats to the President. Events that have been making the news over there. He says it also has a lot to do with the mindset of politicians, not just the secret service.
He writes “It actually looks like they came to Washington to get elected so they could raise more money to get re-elected. That is until they don’t get re-elected. Then they raise even more money by cashing in their time on Capitol Hill for a job and a multi-million dollar paycheque with a wall street firm they used to regulate” He asks “Don’t these people care a whit about the country anymore?”
Later in the article he says “In December 2010 I went to the White House for an interview. …. After going through the x-ray machine, I grabbed the door handle to enter the White House and the handle came off in my hand. ‘Oh it does that sometime’ the secret service agent said to me nonchalantly, as I tried to fit the handle back into its socket.”
It struck me that this story is symbolic of a greater disease that is affecting much of the world. Has our pursuit of dollars clouded our thinking? Don’t get me wrong, our company Boucher & Co may be the world’s most niche ultra-luxury brand. And we are very small in comparison to the big global luxury brands. But we are in the most exclusive end of ultra-luxury, and our products take many months and sometimes years to make and are very expensive. I am a big supporter of, and in fact we are dependent on the global luxury trade and the private wealth that supports it.
But I don’t think that having wealth is any excuse for a lack of passion for excellence. And I believe that passion must be for excellence in everything we do.
When I read a story like Mr Friedman’s it distresses me to think that some of these people in power in the great nations of the world are selling their souls for wealth. In many cases it looks like they have decided that the financial world is coming to an end and they are going to get as much out of it as they can before it collapses. What happened to serving people?
In our businesses we should go to the “nth” degree to get things just right.
No short cuts. People first. Quality paramount.
Our passion for innovation and excellence should be on show for the world to see.
Let’s change the world to a better future by taking care of every little thing.
And if you see a loose door handle… please…. Stop, and take the time to fix it.
Have a great day.