I relish finding examples and stories of individuals who have not only accomplished incredible things, but along life’s journey, they became stellar people. Read a little about John Huntsman Sr. journey. (The first time I heard the story I didn’t believe it).
Do The Right Thing
In 1986, Jon Huntsman Senior made a verbal business agreement with a CEO named Emerson Kampen. Huntsman would sell 40 percent of a division of his company to Kampen for $54 million. Due to legal delays the contract wasn’t written until six months later. By that time Huntsman’s profits had skyrocketed and the 40% of the division was now worth $250 million. Kampen called Huntsman with an offer to split the difference, proposing to pay $152 million instead of the original $54 million. Huntsman was poised to bring in nearly triple the original agreement but Huntsman refused and said no. The $54 million was good enough. Kampen was incredulous and couldn’t believe it. “That’s not fair to you!”
Huntsman believed in honoring his commitment to Kampen. Even though the lawyers hadn’t yet drafted the original purchase agreement, he had shaken hands six months earlier on a verbal agreement, therefore, he let the original agreement stand. He completed the sale for $54 million, walking away from an extra $98 million dollars.
If you thought he learned his lesson once, it happened again in 1990 when Huntsman was negotiating an acquisition with Charles Miller Smith who was the president and CEO of a chemical company. During the negotiations, Smith’s wife died. Huntsman empathized with Smith so he decided not to push the deal any further, “I decided the fine points of the last 20 percent of the deal would stand as they were proposed. I probably could have clawed another $200 million out of the deal, but it would have come at the expense of Charles’ emotional state. The agreement as it stood was good enough for me.” He was a believer in Doing the Right Thing.
During his life he was diagnosed with cancer and is one of just nineteen people in the world who have given at least 1 Billion dollars away.
Today spend a moment reflecting on who you are becoming and the trajectory of your life. Maybe all you need a small adjustment, (Don’t think that you need to accomplish more—-think of what attributes you better need to exemplify).
Have a great week.
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