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A Message to Garcia

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As he introduces "A Message to Garcia," Hubbard argues that work is about loyalty and service.

Apologia

Horse Sense

If you work for a man, in Heaven's name work for him. If he pays wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, and stand by him, and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man, I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of his time, but all of his time. I would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you must vilify, condemn, and eternally disparage, why, resign your position, and when you are outside, damn to your heart's content. But, I pray you, so long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution – not that – but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself.

And don't forget – "I forgot" won't do in business.

This literary trifle, "A Message to Garcia," was written one evening after supper, in a single hour. It was on the Twenty-second of February, Eighteen Hundred Ninety-nine, Washington's Birthday, and we were just going to press with the March "Philistine." The thing leaped hot from my heart, written after a trying day, when I had been endeavoring to train some rather delinquent villagers to abjure the comatose state and get radio-active.

The immediate suggestion, though, came from a little argument over the teacups, when my boy Bert suggested that Rowan was the real hero of the Cuban War. Rowan had gone alone and done the thing – carried the message to Garcia.

It came to me like a flash! Yes, the boy is right, the hero is the man who does his work – who carries the message to Garcia. I got up from the table, and wrote "A Message to Garcia."

Summary

Work and live like Rowan

In business and sales... Keep personal challenges to yourself and leave excuses out, particularly when talking with your customers. Remember, it's about who you're serving and what you can do to solve their problems.

At home... Don't wait to be asked to complete a task or responsibility you know to be yours. Do it because you know it needs to be done.

As a parent... Praise your children when you see them showing initiative and taking responsibility.

As a friend... When you feel tension in one of your friendships, be the first to speak up and seek out a resolution.

No Gomo™

gomo:(go-mo) noun: a person who goes through the motions

Don't go through the motions in 2016. Be more like all those people you admire.

Check out InspireYourPeople.com for fresh ways to encourage your people to commit, complain less, create their own luck, be resilient, and have a positive attitude towards service.

Short. No-fluff. Real.

Don't be a Gomo.

Printable booklet

Printable booklet

Download and print the free "Be Like Rowan" booklet – includes Hubbard's essay, as well as worksheets and reminders.

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The Rowan Awards

Rowan awards

Download and print awards to hand out to team members who show Rowan-like initiative.

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Rowan to the Rescue

Rowan to the Rescue

Read and print our kids' version of "A Message to Garcia" – includes illustrations and discussion questions to help your kids understand the importance of working hard and taking initiative.

read it now

Bonus fact

Cuba

The Spanish-American War lasted from April to December of 1898. The war formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which gave Cuba its official independence from Spain and transferred control of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam to the United States.