Follow Geoffrey Linkedin Facebook
Email Geoffrey Email
Legal Issues
Jan 1, 2016

Why Business Owners Should Read ‘A Message to Garcia’

Sponsored Content provided by Geoffrey Losee - Partner, Rountree Losee LLP

When the United States faced a war with Spain, the president was anxious for information. He realized that success meant that the soldiers of the republic must cooperate with the insurgent forces of Cuba. He understood that it was essential to obtain accurate intelligence about the opposing Spanish forces. The leader of the insurgents, Cuban General Calixto García, was somewhere in the mountains of Cuba, but no one knew where. President William McKinley asked his head of the Bureau of Military Intelligence, "Where can I find a man who will carry a message to Garcia?" The answer was in a young West Point graduate, lieutenant Andrew Summers Rowan.
 
When I was a plebe at the U.S. Naval Academy, the “inspirational essay” entitled “A Message to Garcia,” written in 1899 by Elbert Hubbard, was one of many items of my mandatory reading. That essay has been part of my learned “insights,” and seemed an apt source for an article under the banner of Insights.
 
What application does this have to the business reporting of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal? Everything!
 
“A Message to Garcia” is the author’s call to action for all persons who carry out an enterprise to concentrate on one thing and do it. In so doing, the author encourages independent action – to  identify the goal and object, think about it, formulate a plan and execute the plan (without the delay that attends asking numerous questions about subtasks). The entire text of “A Message to Garcia” is available here.
 
While (in my opinion) the essay contains sound guidance that any business person may use in the hiring and firing of employees, an exception to its message of independent action comes in the need to practice proper preparation to prevent particularly poor performance in business.
 
Operating a general practice law firm, we have always advised our clients that they are better off engaging professional services (be they legal, accountancy or otherwise) in the planning phase of any endeavor than to seek counsel after the fact. Even if counsel are engaged early for the sole purpose of education and issue spotting, and the principals of a business then carry on without further guidance, it is better to go into that enterprise with eyes wide open than to operate on a hunch.
 
To be sure, it is always more expensive to litigate a dispute than to engage counsel to assist in proper prior planning. That expense is measured not only in dollars, but in stress. I humbly encourage you all to read “A Message to Garcia,” and when implementing its philosophy in your business practices, to consider the cost savings from properly counseled prior preparation.
 
Geoff Losee can be reached by visiting www.rountreelosee.com, by email at [email protected] or by calling (910) 763-3404. Rountree Losee LLP has provided a full range of legal services to individuals, families and businesses in North Carolina for over 110 years. As well-recognized leaders in each of the areas in which they practice, the attorneys of Rountree Losee provide clients a wealth of knowledge and experience. In their commitment to provide the highest quality legal service, they handle a wide range of legal issues with creativity, sensitivity and foresight. 
 

Rountree insights blk
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Earuth300x300

Building and Strengthening our Local Community

Ea Ruth - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Mel profilephoto

Feinberg Law Press Release

Mel Beasley - Wide Open Tech
Mikeharrington carolinaretreats 2

Fall Vacation Rentals and Rising Cost of Real Estate

Mike Harrington - Carolina Retreats

Trending News

Sweyer Property Management Announces New CEO

Staff Reports - Aug 15, 2022

Several Wilmington-area Businesses Land On Inc. 5000 List 

Johanna F. Still - Aug 16, 2022

Wrightsville Beach Mainstay To Unveil New Look And Menu

Jenny Callison - Aug 17, 2022

CIL Capital Taps Former Airport Authority Chair As Chief Strategy Officer

Staff Reports - Aug 16, 2022

New Pizzeria Opens On Oleander Drive

Justin Williams Pope - Aug 17, 2022

In The Current Issue

Land In Play

Wanting to conserve an area’s natural beauty is one thing; doing something about it is another, much more complicated task, conservationists...


Tapping Brewery Software

­­­With a background in banking and technology and an interest in breweries, Natalie Waggett, and a team of Wilmington locals, have started...


MADE: Paint Additive Becomes Salty Success

Tucked away in a discrete warehouse off Oleander Drive, a husband-and-wife duo makes and packages a product sought after by DIYers around th...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100