Plain Talk for Independence Day
This July 4th Marks the 231st Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Every July 4th, I read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. To me, this documentation parallels a company's Mission Statement and Operations Manual, which, in plain talk states WHAT the company is gonna do and HOW it will do it.
Usually, a Mission Statement specifies ongoing purpose rather than a final goal. And the Operations Manual specifies ongoing operations rather than a final task.
What is a "Declaration?"
Generally speaking, a declaration is an explicit, formal announcement, either oral or written.
A Company DECLARES its purpose and mission in writing in its Mission Statement.
Similarly, people DECLARE their mission in life via written purposes and goals. (Actually, fewer than 10% of people have written plans and goals according to people that keep track of stuff like that.)
What is "Independence?"
Independence, derived from independent, means:
--> NOT governed by a foreign power;(Definitions excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition ©1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company.)
-->SELF-GOVERNING; free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others;
--> NOT determined or influenced by someone or something else;
--> NOT dependent on or affiliated with a larger or controlling group or system.
The Declaration of Independence proclaimed the independence of the 13 British colonies in America. The Continental Congress adopted the Declarations on July 4, 1776. It DECLARED the colonies to be free and independent states.
Thomas Jefferson prepared the draft. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin made a few minor changes before it was submitted to Congress.
On July 4, 1776, Congress made a few changes and the Declaration of Independence was unanimously adopted. The Declaration served as a source of authority for the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States.
"...we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." -- Declaration of Independence
"Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the House when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress [John Hancock] to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants?" --Benjamin Rush
"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth." --Thomas Paine
"There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!" --John Hancock
"We must hang together or assuredly we shall hang separately." --Benjamin Franklin
"...I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." --John Adams
"[T]he flames kindled on the 4 of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them. ... The Declaration of Independence ... [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson
What happened to the 56 signers of the Declaration?
5 signers were captured by the British.
Colonel Thomas McKean of Delaware was "hunted like a fox by the enemy -- compelled to remove my family five times in a few months, and at last fixed them in a little log house on the banks of the Susquehanna . . . and they were soon obliged to move again on account of the incursions of the Indians."
2 sons of Abraham Clark of New Jersey were captured by the British.
The son of John Witherspoon, a major in the New Jersey Brigade, was killed at the Battle of Germantown.
11 signers had their homes and property destroyed. Francis Lewis's New York home was destroyed and his wife was taken prisoner.
John Hart's farm and mills were destroyed when the British invaded New Jersey and he died while fleeing capture.
Carter Braxton and Thomas Nelson (both of Virginia) lent large sums of their personal fortunes to support the war effort, but were never repaid.
15 of the signers participated in their states' constitutional conventions; 6 signed the United States Constitution.
After the Revolution...
13 signers went on to become governors. 18 served in their state legislatures. 16 became state and federal judges. 7 became members of the House of Representatives. 6 became United States Senators. 2 became Justices of the United States Supreme Court. 5 signers helped establish colleges and universities.
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Elbridge Gerry each became Vice President.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became President.
The sons of John Adams and Benjamin Harrison also became Presidents.
By comparison, starting a company is easy!
Was Independence a popular movement?
Only about 5% of the people know that rights do NOT come from government, and believe in limited government, and will fight for freedom.
About 5% believe that rights come from government, that government should control everyone and everything, that elite intellectuals know what's best for YOU. (They're the ones who murdered more that 100,000,000 people in the 20th century "to make society better.")
The remaining 90% "majority" are apathetic, go along to get along, and will not take a stand for anything.
Could this be why so few people start a company? Could this be why so few salespeople generate the business and employment for millions of employees?
Where do you stand? What do you stand for?
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Don't let the lack of Declarations (Mission Statement) and Constitution (Operations Manuals) stunt the growth of your business!
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