The Founder’s values
Solid, firm values and principles that year after year, experience after experience, grew stronger in him and always remained a part of him. Values he always stayed faithful to, that never clashed with his dreams and ambitions. Values that were not born from happiness and security, but rather from necessity and uncertainty.
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Indeed, the famous phrase that opens Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities could well be applied to the life of Francisco Riberas. He was indisputably a very Dickensian character in his early days, born into an environment of misery and need, in a city and a country with more madness than wisdom, more darkness than light, more disbelief than belief. And more immersed in the winter of despair than in the spring of hope, if we may continue with the parallel to Dickens’ novel. But, like the English writer’s characters, despite his surroundings of misery and need, despite the fratricidal war that cloaked his childhood in madness, despite a destiny doomed to despair, in Riberas’ life there was always a space for dreams, for hope. For dignity. He always found enough strength to fight and get ahead, to escape from the script he was assigned and to pursue a happy ending. These were the forces that gave birth to and nourished his values.
Values such as effort. The path Francisco Riberas Pampliega took was long, often painful (especially at the beginning), but almost always reassuring. There was effort, yes; and sacrifices; and renunciations. But in the final balance there was certainly more light than shadow, mainly because Riberas knew how to find light where, a priori, there was only darkness (like the moon, which shines most brightly in darkness); and not just once, but on many occasions throughout his existence.
His life was a book with no small number of black and grey pages but in which, in the end, bright colors abounded; as the wise Jorge Font, a quadriplegic sportsman and speaker at the What Really Matters conferences, says: “I have discovered that it’s in the blackest moments that the most beautiful colors have shone”. And this is also true of Francisco Riberas’ book: it was in the moments of greatest difficulty and hardship that he found strength, dedication, courage and enthusiasm, when all that was exceptional in him came to the fore.
Values such as success. Something much deeper and more authentic than money, power or vanity. It was the triumph of tireless work, of total dedication, of respect for the rules, of the satisfaction of having given one’s all because it was what had to be done, period. The success of his exemplary humanism, of his attitude towards others, of his generosity and his deep-rooted sense of morality, of doing at every moment not what is easy, but what is right. And always, always with an extraordinary humility, with an extraordinary simplicity, which is perhaps the most valuable aspect of his personal and business success. And also the success of his children, as protectors of his legacy and his values; a success of which he was especially proud.
Values such as honesty, business ethics, the value of the word given. Francisco Riberas was also an extraordinary businessman in this sense, in which these values – uncompromising honesty and solidarity with others – were as much a part of his DNA as his entrepreneurial instinct. Riberas reached the top without leaving behind any victims along the way, without surrendering to his ambitions and without turning his eyes or thoughts away from those around him.
Values that, as if they formed part of the very DNA of the family, have also been passed on to the next generation. And they have continued to guide all of the company’s activities since the Founder’s children assumed leadership of the business.
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