Integrity Matters
July 12, 2007

Life lessons pour from Noah’s ark

Question: (E-299)
The following ten Noah’s Ark suggestions arrived via email.  They are clever, but are they practical? Do they encourage integrity?


“Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's ark:

  • Don't miss the boat.
  • Remember that we are all in the same boat.
  • Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
  • Stay fit because when you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
  • Don't be immobilized by critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
  • Build your future on high ground.
  • For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
  • Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  • When you're stressed, float a while.
  • Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.”

Noah’s ark is about how certain people survived the Bible’s Great Flood and why disciplined preparation and consistent implementation are sound ways to operate with integrity. To survive, achieve and succeed, like Noah:

  • Remain alert to the needs and goals of others, including time constraints, corporate culture and individual needs and idiosyncrasies.
  • Graciousness is about understanding that sooner or later, everyone needs a little help.  Be willing to offer assistance and ask for it, with ease.
  • Proper prior planning prevents pathetically poor performance.  Avoid last minute frenzies, whenever possible.
  • Because emergencies and opportunities seldom come with warnings, maintain a healthy mind and body for protection from disease, mental and physical. Strength and stamina are enhanced with the wise and balanced consumption of food, drink and physical conditioning.  Too much or too little of almost anything can cause problems. 
  • Focus and single-mindedness will overcome superficial criticism. Hang tough.
  • "Integrity is one of several paths; distinguishing itself from the others because it is the right path and the only one upon which you will never get lost." (– Wisdom from M. H. McKee.)
  • Partnerships, built on mutual respect and competency, are powerful.
  • It really takes less time to do it right, the first time; because the costs associated with inferior performance, including re-doing, are incredible.  Take the necessary time to do tasks correctly, at whatever is an appropriate speed.
  • Setting aside breaks from daily routines to recharge is a winning approach.
  • Pay attention to the wisdom of all people, regardless of the package in which they come – fancy or humble.  Insights that create success are in the hands of engaged stakeholders.  Listen carefully for sound thinking from individuals and team members, following up with timely implementation.
  • And, no matter what size the storm, always look for the rainbow.

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