Would You Hang This Message in Your Work Area?

This is the 16th in a collection of newspaper ads written by Harry Gray, then CEO of United Technologies, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Here is the ad:

I’m a little
fed up
with the
criticism of
How other people
do their jobs
is their business.
But I do
good work
and I know it.
I have
perfected my
I make each
minute count.
When I make
a mistake
I correct it.
I would gladly
sign my name
to every piece of
work I do.
I’m going to 
hang this message
over my work area
to let
my employer,
my customers,
my co-workers
know that
I take pride
in my

In this ad, Gray creates a manifesto of sorts and challenges us to hang the manifesto at our workplace.

The ad suggests that the criticism of American workmanship can be abated by having each of us take pride in our work. Such pride can be earned by perfecting our skills, taking responsibility for what we do, and putting in an honest day’s work.

Once again, the timing of this message is perfect. I am sure many Americans are filled with pride for our country after the 4th of July weekend and the U.S. women’s soccer team World Cup championship.

Perhaps the best way to keep that momentum going is for each of us to take pride in what we do. As Gray notes at the bottom of each of his ads, “How we perform as individuals will determine how we perform as a nation.”

The difficulty is often taking the first step, and posting Gray’s message at your workplace seems like a good way to start.

But simply posting the message won’t do anything, you need to follow through on what the message is asking you to do.

So rather than ask the question of whether you are willing to hang this message at work, I think the more important question is whether you are willing to sign your name to everything you work on. (Just like CEOs and CFOs of publicly traded companies need to do.)

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