November 6, 2012
Lesson: Don't Get Too Full of Yourself
A lesson for your students to carry into their professional lives. In Chris Matthews’ book, "Hardball," he recounts the following story:
“Do you guys know who Bill Bradley is? Well, let’s just say he’s everything you’d want to be and more. So here’s Bill one evening at a dinner at the White House. The waiter is filling water glasses and passing out bread and butter. Bill says to the guy, ‘Hey you, waiter. Get me some more butter, this just isn’t enough.’ To which the waiter says, ‘I’m sorry, each guest only receives one serving of butter.'
Nearly hysterical Bradley then goes on to ask, ‘Son, do you know who I am?’ A bit startled at the challenge the waiter says ‘No, I’m sorry sir, but I don’t.’ Leaning back with an assured grin Bradley then begins, ‘I’m Bill Bradley. I was an All-American basketball player at Princeton and got an Olympic gold before even graduating. Then I turned down the NBA to be a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. After finishing that up I came back to the US, played for 10 seasons with the Knicks and won two championships. Then I retired and became a senator. Oh yeah, and then I ran for President.’
Taken aback a bit by the aggressiveness in Bradley’s short outburst, the waiter took a few moments to gather himself then returned the brazen stare and said, ‘I don’t think you know who I am.’ ‘Well, who ARE you?’ Bradley asked. The waiter grinned, ‘I’m the guy in charge of the butter. One per person.” And with that, the waiter walked away.
No matter where you go in your career, no matter how important you THINK you are, always be aware of who controls the butter.
November 6, 2012 | Permalink