Limiting Your Success

Success is not worth sacrificing your integrity.

A number of years ago the Douglas Aircraft company was competing with Boeing to sell Eastern Airlines its first big jets. War hero Eddie Rickenbacker, the head of Eastern Airlines, reportedly told Donald Douglas that the specifications and claims made by Douglas's company for the DC-8 were close to Boeing's on everything except noise suppression.

Rickenbacker then gave Douglas one last chance to out-promise Boeing on this feature. After consulting with his engineers, Douglas reported that he did not feel he could make that promise. Rickenbacker replied, "I know you can't, I just wanted to see if you were still honest."

Imagine Donald Douglas' thoughts at this point.

He had a chance to solidify his reputation as a solid aircraft company and become one of the first to sell a large jet to Eastern Airlines. He could either make or break his career and the future of the company with this answer. With all that pressure on him, how was he able to make the right decision and answer honestly?

He possessed character.

(just got this story from Mom and wanted to share...)