Your New Manual

This is for Wharton School graduates.

This is your new manual.

Take the last two years of your education, go a little north, walk to the top of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, and throw it off.

I’m going to teach you what you need to succeed in the business world.

First and foremost is empathy. You have to be able to get into someone else’s shoes and understand them. You have to feel their plight in life. When you feel their plight in life, it will transform your life. You won’t be so concerned about your trivial problems and all the junk and bling that society programs us to believe in. When you have empathy for people, you develop a sense of noblesse oblige. You say to yourself: There, but for the Grace of of God go I.

Two: the purpose of a business is not to make money or to turn a profit. The purpose of a business is to add value to other people’s lives. When you add value, the money will take care of itself. If you focus on accumulation of money, first, you may not be adding value to peoples lives especially if you’re cutting employees’ pay so that you can be able to buy a jet, a yacht, a new mansion, or extra funds that you can dole out philanthropically.

Three: Honesty is the best policy. Why would you want to get ahead and win the game by lying? What does that say about you? By lying you make a bold statement that you can’t make it unless you lie. When you lie and cheat, all you gain is the perception of being a champion. Comeuppance is sure to come.

Four: Strive for long-term esteem, not short term glorification. In the long view of history, the best and brightest are those who add value, not the ones who focus their efforts on their PR machine. Newton, Einstein and Darwin live in history because they added value to society.

Five: Forget about market share as growth is the ideology of a cancer cell. Focus instead on making your product better. Stand over your product, stare at it, and ask yourself: What do I need to do to make my product better and more useful to my client? How do I make my product essential to them?

Six: Eschew awards, plumb board seats, plaudits, and titles. Let your reward be the success of the fruit of your labors. Awards mute your competitive drive. Awards tickle your fancy and lead you to think you are more important than you really are.

Seven: Avoid financial tricks. Less competent players in any sport try clever tricks to substitute for their lack of hard work. This can be seen best on a tennis court where lesser trained talent attempt fancy spins and high lobs. Cotton candy is no substitute for meat and potatoes.

Eight: It is inefficient for you to collect massive wealth on the backs of the middle class and poor only to distribute that later in life through philanthropic efforts to those very same people who you ripped off.

Nine. A person’s financial condition is an important part of their overall value to society. Adding value to clients’ lives for exorbitant fees ends up being counterproductive, and that decreases the value of your client. For example, a physician in charging tens of thousands of dollars for his patient’s care, can paradoxically end up decreasing the value of his client’s life. We have a social covenant with each other to not rip each other off.

Ten: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It’s okay to help out a competitor when they are in desperate straits. Yes, it’s true, some people will betray you and stab you in the back later. But many more will be appreciative and extend a helping hand to you when you are in need.

Eleven: Mathematics and statistics, being invented by man for man and his environment, must rest within the context of man’s frail, fallible, yet whimsically intuitive nature. Mathematics and statistics must never serve as a carapace to confine man or your enterprise lest creativity die.

Twelve: Tolerance. A good executive has to take a lot of guff from his or her employees without snapping their heads off. A good executive must also be tolerant of his or her own mistakes. You are going to make big mistakes in life that are solely your fault. You have to accept your fallible humanity, and absolutely relieve yourself of the concept that you are a living God, who can do no wrong.


Archer Crosley

Copyright 2023 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

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