The principle itself is really just a reminder to “Seek first to understand, then be understood” in the words of Stephen Covey. But what’s most interesting about it is the penetrating questions that are recommended. Try them yourself.
1. If we were meeting three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
2. What are the biggest dangers you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
3. What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
4. What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?
Every year, I make it a point to read a motivational book. Motivation is like bathing – it doesn’t last forever and needs to be repeated periodically – although I must point out that I bathe more than once a year!
This year, it was Brian Tracy’s book. I really enjoyed the entire book, but I must say the last few chapters were an absolute crescendo of motivational remarks from great figures from the last two centuries.
I would recommend this book without reservation to anyone who’s looking for ideas on getting to the next level. Enjoy!
Harvard Business School professor Georges Doriot started the world’s first venture capital firm, American Research & Development (ARD). Professor Doriot said,
“I want money to do things that have never been done before.”
If reading sentences like this gives you a boner, then now’s the time to start your own company. Tomorrow’s millionaires are being made today. What are you waiting for? Start now.
I’m a big fan of Pamela Slim and her mentor, Martha Beck. Martha has a break-it-down methodology for success that she calls the 4 Day Win. Check it out. I have always believed that the way to achieve a big goal is to break it down to a series of small successes; this post gives you the roadmap to doing that.
The Positivity Blog discusses a handful of Mr. Penney’s most positive and energizing quotes.
“We get real results only in proportion to the real values we give.”
“A merchant who approaches business with the idea of serving the public well has nothing to fear from the competition.”
“It is the service we are not obliged to give that people value most.”
“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.”
“The well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sale that counts.”
Want to be rich? Be like Mr. Penney.
Want to feel humble in a hurry? Mir Imran, CEO of InCube Labs, has started 20 different companies and has over 200 patents. He’s not just a serial entrepreneur, he’s a parallel entrepreneur, running 8 companies at a time. Here is Mir Imran speaking at Stanford.
I’ve written before about how important I think it is to provide encouragement to the people around you – your staff, your supervisor, your clients, your friends and family. Everyone needs encouragement!
Blogger Dave Cheong wrote a great post on the topic of providing encouragement that I commend to you.
I got the biggest laugh out of this post from Brad Isaac’s excellent blog.
My boss never misses an opportunity to praise someone in public. And I’m not talking the typical butter up, either – he’ll be saying “Scott this” and “Scott that,” and I’ll be looking around making sure there’s not another Scott in the room. He is, in the words of Charles M. Schwab, “hearty in his approbation and lavish in his praise.”
So why is this so rare? I’ve only worked for one boss who delighted in criticizing people in public; all the other ones have been completely silent. Is it insecurity or a limited pie mindset that makes people hesitant to praise their subordinates? Is it just laziness?
If you have staff, take some time to praise them. Publicly and sincerely. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.