Willard Scott's Words to Grow On

In this story from March 1983, The Today Show's Willard Scott shares some career advice he received from a very familiar source: King Solomon, himself!


- Posted on Dec 11, 2015

Guideposts: WIllard Scott of NBC's Today Show

Every morning, before I go on camera as weatherman on NBC’s Today Show, I thank God for a job I really love. And often I think of how I nearly ruined my career with the network—until I took the advice of one of the wisest men that God ever put on this earth.

Back in 1958 I’d just returned to Washington, D.C., from a two-year stint in the Navy. As I expected, my old job with NBC radio was waiting for me. What I didn’t expect was a new boss. And for some reason he seemed to be out to get me.

Pitted against this guy at every turn, I held my cool until he moved in on the Joy Boys, a comedy show I’d been doing with a partner, Eddie Walker. He changed its air-time to the “ash pit,” eight to midnight, the worst possible slot on radio.

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I was furious. I felt like fighting the move—and my boss—even though it meant my job. But before I did any damage, this wise man I mentioned before came into the picture. His name was Solomon, and you can find him, as I did, in the Holy Bible. And what did old King Solomon tell me? "When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it." (Proverbs 19:11)

At first reading, I didn’t see a shred of practicality in that advice. But since I’d always believed in the Bible’s teachings, I decided to try to follow it. Eddie Walker and I took that terrible time slot, worked ourselves to the bone on the Joy Boys, and in three years made it the number one show in D.C.

Even more important was the discovery that I, too, had been doing wrong. In all my dealings with my boss I had aggravated the problem. I knew he didn’t like me, and in response, my attitude toward him had become more and more negative, out of proportion.

I was barely civil to him. I didn’t want to be near him, and I made it obvious by dodging him as much as i could. But one day he invited me to a party he was giving for the whole station. I couldn’t really avoid going; everybody on staff would be there.

Then, at the party, an unexpected thing happened. I met the girl my boss was going to marry. She was natural, bright, alive and down-to-earth—and from her I got new insight about my boss. After all, I began to think, how could a girl like that care for anybody who didn’t have something to recommend him?

Gradually I changed my attitude toward my boss. And as I did, his attitude changed too. In fact, it changed so much that during the next few years we became good friends. And all the while my career blossomed.

Good old King Solomon! Thanks, your majesty.

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