The Bottom Line x 3

“The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell.” You may, at first glance, assume this characterization was made by a hard-hitting, modern business executive, but it wasn’t. It came from our old friend Confucius, again dividing us into superior and inferior people.

John Egan pointed out, “The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers.” How do you do that

You sell great products combined with terrific service. That is the formula for what sells. Of course, understanding that makes Egan – and you – inferior people, according to Confucius.

Alternatively, William Arthur Ward said, “Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn’t always have to be their top priority.” Perhaps you will want to share this view with your stock holders the next time you are presenting your company’s financial statement. At least you can assure them you are a superior person, using Confucius as your authority.

Elting E. Morison advised, “The executive exists to make sensible exceptions to general rules.” Your first sensible exception can be with Confucius’ rule about superior and inferior people. You can do this by suggesting a replacement rule, your rule. “The exceptional man, the truly exceptional executive, both understands what is right and how to sell it.” …