There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look,if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.See, the problem is this. You've had relationships with all kinds of people, but you've managed them poorly. Your mentors, your bosses, your employees, the guy who weeds the median strip on I-70, they all have relationships with you. Have you managed these relationships properly? Do you have metrics and charters and mission statements for each? Have you created standardized processes and gone through review boards to make sure they are complete?
Of course not. You live your life willy nilly*, just doing what you think is best, maintaining "private" relationships with all of these people. And what does that get you? Disappointment, that's what.
So here's a handy diagram that will improve all of your relationships. The next time you feel like you can handle choosing which car to buy, deciding what size soda to drink or paying for your condoms at the drug store on your own, stop and think of this diagram.
* - And how's your relationship with Willy Nilly? Just perfect? Ha! I thought not.