Oct 01, 2018

Anatomy of A Quote: Henry Ford

Anatomy Of A Quote

In this series we will dissect quotes from well-regarded leaders in various arenas and apply their words to our everyday lives.


Few will hear Henry Ford’s name and not know exactly what his achievements are. However, even greater than his advent of the Ford automobile, Henry Ford can be credited as a bastion of practicality. His car became the mainstay, the staple for the middle class; something that was accessible for everyone, thereby making him the most successful in his league. The Model T was proof of that.


Ford was also a pioneer of what we regard today as modern-day economics. Fordism is the term: mass producing products at a low cost, yet fairly compensating your workers. Many still turn to that business model for inspiration, even in the midst of growing changes in how we consume our products and deliver them.


He was also a man of many quotables. One of his most humorous (yet truthful at the time) was “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.” It’s a clear pun on the Model T coming in only one color (black), though his quotes are far more prolific than that. Here is one of them:


“Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.”


Many people will find a problem for every solution, yet Ford was the opposite. He approached professional hiccups head on and the result was a product that continues his legacy to this day.


“Don’t find fault, find a remedy…”


In business, there are bound to be cracks in the mold. Ideas will be a flop, new products will fail. Things that you are certain will go one way in one moment, will go in a completely opposite direction the next. But instead of dwelling upon those errors, discover ways to fix them. This is where the heart of innovation lies.


“…anybody can complain.”


There are people who will find problems for every solution, often regarded as those who “can’t get out of their own way.” Constantly complaining will do this, and the only sacrifice is success. But there’s a much bigger message in the second half of Ford’s quote, and it lies within the word anybody. True innovators—those who move the needle and make real change—are not just anybody. They’re unique. They don’t complain. They find remedies over faults. They find solutions for every problem.


“Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.”


Henry Ford didn’t sustain longevity in the automotive industry by complaining. He wasn’t just anybody. And through his discovery and mastery of mass-production via Fordism, he changed the paradigm of business as we know it—through finding remedies over faults.


We can glean a lot from Henry Ford’s words. When you’re starting your own business or even entering the next chapter of your already-established organization, keep complaints to a minimum. When you encounter obstacles, don’t surrender to those hurdles. Find ways around them or ways to tackle them and repair them. Be like Ford and his complaints-free approach to reinventing the car wheel.

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R M Zalatimo
R M Zalatimo
Inspire. Empower. Transform. Those are the words that NYC Wealth Innovator, Russ Zalatimo, lives by. From tips on leadership, self-help, and growing entrepreneurship Zalatimo provides the trade secrets to leading a well-rounded life.