05 Sep No one names their child Benedict
There is actually a law in the United States that the name Benedict may not be engraved upon stone or metal. The result of a traitor, Benedict Arnold, who turned on our beloved George Washington at a pivotal military outpost : West Point.
I recently hired a graphic designer to help me create my corporate identity for my training company: Allegory. She noticed on my website our belief system surrounding management and the way people are treated. We both agreed that the way people are treated has a direct impact on how they treat others, their organization, their family and the folks driving in the lane next to them.
Benedict Arnold. Most folks do not realize this man was a highly decorated and loved military favorite of George Washington. He performed grand feats in our war against the British. The Continental Congress slighted him for some reason when it came time for a promotion. He resigned his commission basically taking his ball and going home. George Washington convinced him to stay in and help him fight. His feathers remained ruffled by his superiors.
At the next battle, he was badly wounded in the leg and he was placed under arrest. As the story goes, his superior commanded he stay in his tent during the scrimage and he instead jumped on his horse and lead the team to victory. By all accounts, he was the turning point in the battle… winning an important key moment in the America’s battle for freedom. (ugh, that sounded like a bushism)
His superior arrested him and shamed him. He was not acknowledged for his grand victory. Is this managerial slight why he turned coat? Or was it perhaps the love of an 18-year old loyalist woman. I vote managers.
How we treat people matters. We have no idea the ripple effect our actions have on those around us.
I am reminded to be gentle out there in the world. It is funny – one little managerial slight and an entire nation can cast away a name.