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Letters of a businessman to his son Hardcover – 1985
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Ward's advice is "business conservative," with his basic message being: Set goals for yourself, work hard, be honest and block off time to enjoy your life a little. The selected decision points, problems and events in the son's life revolve around people, mainly working relationships with business associates, employees, customers, suppliers, bankers and competitors--all without neglecting family and friends. Ward emphasizes the importance of cultivating friendships, stating how "Without doubt, friendship is the spice of life." However, when he opines how a person with more than three good friends should feel blessed, and how being rich is better than being poor, but also lonelier, he exhibits his realism and unveils a hint of quiet, unspoken regret: Do we all in our drive to achieve emphasize business and profit at the expense of humanity and friendship perhaps a little more than we should?
I recommend this book to anyone involved in business of any sort, and especially to all students considering a business career. However, I also note a caveat: Without the replies of the son, the book has the overall tone of unilateral lecturing rather than fair, two-way dialog. In a related manner, I comment on the father's favorite short book, "A Message to Garcia," which he includes in the text: Yes, work as hard, competently and expediently as the courageous messenger did in President McKinley's Cuban emergency, but, as importantly, in your business career please do not march forward on your boss's orders without first fully understanding the impact of your actions (i.e., think!) and respectfully raising any concerns you may have (i.e., speak up!).
The book contains letters from a fairly successful businessman to his son. They start with school and continue with such topics as school, leadership, enterpreneurship, marriage ... etc. Would make a great gift..