Old Ideas Reforged Anew in the Steel Industry

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November 18, 2014 by JImbo

I was reading this article in TIME Magazine the other day (Nov 10 issue) and it struck me that I’d just read this story before. Or rather, I knew where this steel company owner had gotten his idea from.

A couple months ago you may recall I posted a review on the book “The Myth of the Robber Barons” by Burton W. Folsom, Jr. I still recommend it. Apparently so does the CEO of Nucor Corp.

Compare the stories:

C’mon now. That is no coincidence. This is a man who is successful because he has DONE HIS HOMEWORK!

CEO John Ferriola obviously doesn’t just want to make money. He cares enough about his industry to read up on the founders of it in America and adopt lessons learned almost 200 years ago.

THAT boys and girls is why you read history. People are the same…throughout time and across the world. There may be small details between them, but they’re still essentially people and as human beings they respond to many of the same things.

Leadership is a key ingredient to success. You don’t ALWAYS have to immediately try something new. What worked in the past MAY in fact work in the present and the future.

“New” is NOT always better. If we keep rejecting “old ways” simply because they’re old, then we are no better than those who ALWAYS do things the “same old way.” Reflexively embracing “new” simply because it’s DIFFERENT is actually LESS productive since at least we know that the “old fashioned way” did work at least once.

We do not have that guarantee with a “new” idea…. although to be fair some “new ideas” are really just recycled old ones that pop back up because idiots didn’t do their research to see if it had been done before…and failed.

(Common Core anyone?)


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