I just finished watching Lonesome Dove with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee. If you haven’t watched, do so very soon. It was a great book and a great movie and there’s much wisdom to be gleaned from it. Also you might walk around talking like a cowboy for a few days (which I did) and your family might love it (which mine did NOT).
Here are some great quotes from the movie, followed by my thoughts on how they connect with the world of marketing and recruiting by the THINNEST of threads, but like a friend of mine recently said, this is my playground 🙂
You do more work than you ought to so it’s my obligation to do less: McCray says this to Call early on in the movie right after Call gets on him (which he does all the time) about being lazy and never doing his fair share of work. As the movie goes along you do see this as pretty much the case. But you also see that McCray and Call have fallen into a pattern, where they rely on one another to do exactly what they’ve always done. Lesson: Set expectations early and reevaluate often, lest you fall into an unhealthy pattern.
I won’t say I did and I won’t say I didn’t but I will tell you this, a man who wouldn’t cheat for a poke, doesn’t want it bad enough… Augustus (Gus) McCray says this to Lorena after he cuts cards with her for ummm, her favor after she decides to leave the “lady of the night” business. She laughingly accuses Gus of cheating to win some alone time with her and he responds with the above statement. Now he still pays her a more than fair wage for her services but makes it clear that he’ll do what he needs to literally stack the cards in his favor. Lesson: Working hard is part of the battle. Being prepared is another part. But showing you’ll do what it takes is the most important part. (Please watch yourself in the comments, only a simpleton will think that I am advocating cheating right now. If you are tempted to criticize, watch the movie and then come back and say it, I promise I’ll approve it.)
Jake’s always been too leaky a vessel for anyone to put much hope in….Gus says this to nearly everyone who’ll listen when Lorena (Lori) decides to rely on the unreliable but handsome charmer Jake to take her away from a life of prostitution to San Francisco. Gus is older than Jake and tries to dissuade the girl from a difficult journey and certain heartbreak, but she (nor anyone else at first) will really listen to him. Lesson: Check references and private opinion before doing business with folks. Public stuff means little nowadays.
Up north ain’t a place it’s a direction…. Rick Shroeder plays Newt, a supposed orphan who ends up being Call’s biological son. Here, he asks Call how long til they get up North? And Call answers, “Up north ain’t a place it’s a direction” and proceeds to list some of the landmarks they’ll pass to an awestruck Newt, who’s never seen beyond the borders of Texas. Later in the movie, the men keep going until Call stops and tells them they’ve arrived. Lesson: Stop trying to GET there. Just head in the right direction.
Well Woodrow, here’s where we find out if we was meant to be cowboys I reckon….Now Lonesome Dove was shot in the 80s and effects then weren’t what they are now but in this scene, the men have 2500 cattle, a band of several cowboys, a wagon, a cook that will only walk and they encounter a huge sandstorm. It’s looming up behind them and it’s the last thing Gus says to (Woodrow) Call before hitching up his bandana so it covers his face. Woodrow responds “I reckon.” See before this cattle drive from Texas to Montana (the premise of the story) the two men had been Texas Rangers and (sort of) ranchers. At the age of VERY OLD, they decided to undertake this difficult and dangerous idea (mostly Call’s idea) and at one of the first signs of adversity they see it as a qualifier. I love it! Lesson: Don’t go for the job you’re qualified for. Go for the one above that! (of course, a bunch of them DO die…)
Not me… Gus dies and Call promises he’ll take him ALL the way back to Texas. When the undertaker offers to keep Gus’ body until better weather, he indicates that Call probably won’t come back as people often promise the dying all kinds of things they don’t get around to doing later. Call, in two words, explains that’s not the type of person he is. True to his word, he faces ridicule, danger, contempt, and frustration in the spring when he carries the body back down to Texas. He fights off vultures and nearly loses the body in a river when his wagon breaks, but he makes it back and keeps his promise. Lesson: Keep your promises, even when everyone thinks you’re a fool to do so.