Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wisdom on working - by Sager, Magary, Chiarella & Goldman

They're not all terribly recent, but four pieces of solid writing to share here have the common theme of providing wisdom on working (which I've previously posted on as a topic).

The May 2013 issue of Esquire had two of the pieces with "How to be gracious, and why" by Tom Chiarella and "How to start a business" by bakery entrepreneur Duff Goldman. The Goldman essay stood out to me because of the work he describes putting in to get his business started and I found reminiscent of a post I did on John Gardner writing about "being interested" a great section from Chiarella's short essay...

"Stand when someone enters the room, especially if you are lowly and he is the boss, and even if the reverse is true. Look them in the eye. Ask yourself: Does anybody need an introduction? If so, before you say one word about business, introduce them to others with pleasure in your voice. If you can't muster enthusiasm for the people you happen upon in life, then you cannot be gracious. Remember, true graciousness demands that you have time for others. 

So listen. Be attentive to what people say. Respond, without interruption. You always have time. You own the time in which you live. You grant it to others without obligation. That is the gift of being gracious."

The other two related pieces I thought excellent were essays written for those graduating from college (but which contained wisdom for those of all ages), with one for Esquire by Mike Sager and other for Deadspin by Drew Magary. The Magary essay definitely veers towards (nah... traffics in, nah... revels in) the profane and is extremely well-written advice that perhaps could be boiled down to telling grads to go out and have life experiences rather than simply plotting their career ascension.

The Sager essay is similarly great and also feels to pass on the wisdom of not getting too uptight about whether you're on the straight line to the top career path that you might have expected or might have been expected of you. Basically, just keep moving forward as best you can. In this regard the piece by Sager reminded me of a 2011 Esquire piece of his in which Sager wrote of dealing with adversity the terribly profound statement "how much can one man take? As much as need be."