November 9 ~† One Man With Backbone Right Words at the Right Time

"The individual activity of one man with backbone will do more than a thousand men with a mere wishbone." ~ William J. H. Boetcker

Stonehenge with Solar Eclipse

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Presbyterian minister William J.H. Boetcker (1873-1962) lectured around the United States about the hard work and character that leads to success.

"Never mind what others do," he said. "Do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success."

In his 1916 motivational pamphlet "Ten Cannots," Boetcker included maxims for the workplace, including: "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence."

These quotations were erroneously credited to Abraham Lincoln by some, most notably Ronald Reagan at the 1992 Republican convention. The following insightful jewels are what Boetcker called the "Seven National Crimes:"

  • I donít think.

  • I donít know.

  • I donít care.

  • I am too busy.

  • I leave well enough alone.

  • I have no time to read and find out.

  • I am not interested.

    Almost 100 years later, Boetcker's wisdom still applies. 100 Hot BooksShow some backbone.