A Potent Cultural Cocktail

In today's New York Times, David Brooks recounts the amazing story of Jan Baalsrud.  Baalsrud snuck back into Norway during World War II to help the anti-Nazi resistance, battling severe weather and terrain, only surviving because of his own outdoor skills and the help of strangers willing to risk their own lives.  I won't attempt to summarize here further -- you really should read the whole column.  Brooks concludes with this:

But there also is an interesting form of social capital on display. It’s a mixture of softness and hardness. Baalsrud was kept alive thanks to a serial outpouring of love and nurturing. At the same time, he and his rescuers displayed an unbelievable level of hardheaded toughness and resilience. That’s a cultural cocktail bound to produce achievement in many spheres.

This sounds like a good approach to most business endeavors. As Conan O'Brien recently said:  "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

D. Mark Jackson