Happy July 5th! Every year at this time, a patriotic feeling comes over me. I look at the Declaration of Independence in The New York Times, or listen to NPR hosts read it.

I watch the Boston Pops' fireworks show. I do something historical: On Sunday, I visited Plymouth Rock.

And this year, I read about Benjamin Franklin, including beginning the biography by Walter Isaacson.

Here’s the thing about Ben: He only became a founding father after he had already had a full and successful life as a printer, writer, inventor, postmaster and scientist. This was a smart man; so smart, in fact, his advice is relevant in almost every situation—including, of course, employee communication.

Here are some of Franklin’s words of wisdom that apply to situations you may find yourself in. Hope they inspire you:

  • Never confuse motion with action.
  • Lost time is never found again.
  • Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
  • Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
  • Either write something worth reading or do something worth the writing.
  • If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
  • Energy and persistence conquer all things.
  • Half a truth is often a great lie.
  • He that can have patience can have what he will.
  • Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?
  • The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
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