Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Why did I write the book "The V*A*L*U*E Formula"?
I've been asked that question a number of times and the answer is simple.
It is only natural that both as individuals and organizations, we should want to be of value.
In April, 1955, several months before he died, Albert Einstein was interviewed in his home by “LIFE” magazine editor, William Miller, who was accompanied on this visit with the distinguished scientist by his son, Pat.
During their visit, Pat asked Einstein for guidance on how he and others might better live their lives.
After pausing to consider the importance of the young man’s question, Einstein responded with the following, which appeared in “LIFE” magazine's May 2, 1955 issue:
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
Never lose a holy curiosity. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.”
It is that statement by Albert Einstein, “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value”, which was the genesis of my book, “The V*A*L*U*E Formula”.
There is a time in almost everyone’s life where they dream of riches beyond imagination. A big fancy house. Exotic cars. A private jet to travel the world.
It helps explain why so many lottery tickets are sold each day.
And, typically, when the word “successful” is used to describe a person, it means the person has achieved great material or financial success.
But few would argue that St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta wasn’t a success. Or Mahatma Gandhi. Or the single mother working multiple jobs and making sacrifices in order to feed and clothe her children and put them through college.
It is often observed that there are two types of people: givers and takers. It’s easy to recognize the "takers". Taking is easy. It doesn’t require any effort.
Giving requires more of the giver; they surrender time, talent, effort and resources in order to provide something of value to others.
Being of value doesn't ask "What's in it for me?"
Being of value requires that we ask "What's in it for others?"
Yet, ironically, providing value to others always brings value back to the giver. That value is very often, but isn't necessarily always, financial. It may comes back in other meaningful ways.
One should certainly never discount the tremendous value of friendship, of appreciation, recognition, respect, happiness, joy or Love.
And these, far more than financial success, are the true rewards of living a life of value.
About Ken Wendle: A significant figure in the field of service and support, the value of Ken’s significant contributions and efforts throughout his career resulted in his having the distinction of being the only person awarded two highly prestigious industry honors: the HDI Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award and the itSMF USA Lifetime Achievement Award.
In what he calls his “labor of love”, the essence of his keen business observations and experience is captured within an exciting new book, “The V*A*L*U*E Formula”. (www.thevalueformulabook.com)
Ken is also a sought-after keynote and featured speaker across the U.S. and internationally, known for his energetic, insightful, humorous, entertaining, pragmatic, informative and topical presentations.Residing in the St. Louis, MO area, Ken recently celebrated his and his wife, Mary’s, 40th anniversary.
Author, catalyst, consultant, instructor, speaker, and - at least according to Glenn O’Donnel, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester Research - “Ken is a genius - and a wonderful person!"