Sidney Harman

Sidney Harman was one of the great businessmen and philanthropists of our time. He was also a gifted storyteller with a great sense of humor. He was the former CEO of Harman Kardon, a leader in the audio and video entertainment industry. In 2010, he became the publisher of Newsweek. He was a true business pioneer and was a thought leader in the human resources field, through quality of life initiatives he implemented at Harman. He played an instrumental role at the Aspen Institute and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was married to California congresswoman Jane Harman. Sidney passed away in April 2011 and at 92 was still shaping the business and arts world.

Perspective

Dealing with people

I have a copy of a letter written in the 1930’s from a young man to Einstein, complaining about what he regarded as very poor treatment of the noble man by the establishment of the day. Einstein’s brief response to the boy was “Be in good cheer my son, dogs have been barking at the moon for eons. The moon is still there”. Einstein also said, “The human being is a part of the whole universe, a part limited in time and space in which we regard ourselves as somehow separated from the rest, a kind of optical illusion of our consciousness. That delusion is a sort of prison limiting us to our feelings, our emotions, and to the friendship of just a few people close to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from that prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature and its beauty. No one can accomplish the task fully but the effort is itself an act of liberation and a foundation for security”. Ever hear anything more perfect?

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