T. Boone Pickens Writes in Forbes About That Time He Told His Boss to Shove It

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Wikipedia
Before T. Boone Pickens earned his fortune as an oil company executive and corporate raider, before he became a sagacious elder statesman of the business world and made his home in Preston Hollow, he was a geology student at Oklahoma A & M with a wife and daughter and a desperate need for a job.

He found one at Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, making $290 per month.

"I don't want to be too critical of Phillips," Pickens writes in a folksy, even charming essay in the September issue of Forbes Life. They didn't come looking for me. I went looking for them, and they gave me a job. But I was amused by some of the things they did."

Things like ringing a bell to tell workers to go to lunch, to return to their desks, and to leave work. Pickens was chastised by a security guard at one point to stay past five. When he went to the Oldsmobile dealership to look at a new model, his boss called him in and told him to buy a Chevy, since a Phillips vice president owned a dealership, and to make sure and get Lee tires, which Phillips made.

"I wasn't offended because at the time I could barely afford a bicycle," he writes. "But the message was clear. They were a big company, and they got in your life pretty good."

After a couple of years, Pickens got restless at Phillips. One day, on a whim, he quit. He still had to feed his wife and two kids, so he set off on his own, starting his stint as a wildcatter.

Pickens, of course, got the last laugh. He doesn't mention it in his piece, but he nearly completed a hostile takeover of Phillips in the 1980s. The company eventually drove him off, but not before burdening itself with tremendous debt. It eventually merged with Conoco. Pickens, of course, became ridiculously rich.

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9 comments
jeneheffer
jeneheffer

There are reasons some people get rich, among them being intelligence, hard work, determination, and having innovation (i am not talking trust fund babies). The people who hate and resent the success of rich are driven by the idol worship of  money. Interestingly  lottery winners don't have stories of life changing happiness, just the opposite. They never earned it and were misguided by the greed of it.

Start a business, work hard because this is the country that can uniquely provide opportunity.

FireCongress
FireCongress

Too bad the old millionaire T. Boone did not get his millionaire buddies in congress to grant his the concession for billions to cash in on natural gas.  Move the 'shove it' when his way for once.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu topcommenter

enough with the old white people already!

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk

 @jeneheffer Um hmmm. If only all of those poor disadvantaged people would just get off their asses and start a business?!?!?!?

 

Why, if everyone had their own business, this country would be Shangri-La!

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

 @jeneheffer If you look carefully at the success stories of people who "made their fortune on their own", you will find two things in common.  One is an incredible amount of luck and the other is someone who taught, directed them and gave them advice.

jeneheffer
jeneheffer

 @TheCredibleHulk The opportunities in America to succeed are incredible, unlike other nations but certainly we are not all alike in talents in the business world.  I know a man who lost his father at a young age. He wanted to make something of himself and wasn't a good student in school so he began mowing lawns and saving his money with a determination to make his father proud and be a success. Well he made it to a level of success in his business because he got off his ass and didn't whine about his lot in life. Failure can happen along the way but giving up will not bring anything but self pity. We are given what God gave us, it is up to us to use it the best we can in a way that will serve others.

 

 

jeneheffer
jeneheffer

 @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul You may call it luck, I call it preparedness and a determination to succeed.  Determining what is good advise and what is bad is a skill in itself but those who make it are the ones who keep plugging away at it in the face of failure. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

 @jeneheffer Preparedness(sic) and determination are prerequisites for success ... nevertheless a healthy dose of luck, or as some people put it, being in the right place at the right time does tend to help.

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