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Do The Right Thing
Life teaches us plenty about leadership

When my wife and I began our company, I only trusted one of us to make important decisions 100% of the time. Then one day, my wife said, “Frank, it is time for us to hire our first employee. The business has grown to the best level you and I can bring it alone.”

Lorraine added, “A new employee will never be as committed as you or I, but if they are 80% or 90% of who we are, that would be great because we can all share the dream, grow and create a future together.”

The biggest mistakes we make toward those around us happen when we push compassion aside and allow arrogance to creep into our attitude toward others.

I was recently in the company of a person in their late 30s who said that he was considering going for an advanced degree in business. I thought for a second if my career would have been better, success have happened sooner or if I would have realized my goals faster if I had taken the time to get advanced degrees.

I went to college, but at the same time, I worked full-time in sales learning all of the practical aspects of business firsthand that a professor teaching from a book could never convey with passion.

Success in business and in life is based on having CONFIDENCE in yourself; having a place called HOME that provides you with tranquility and security; a commitment to ongoing life EDUCATION; comfort in portraying yourself as a LEADER; being PASSIONATE about every aspect of your life; and possession of unwavering INTEGRITY in all you do.

Business leaders committed to such attributes are living in a space of truly rarefied air that will cultivate success with or without advanced degrees.

Never let resumes or degrees become the deciding factor in bringing in new employees. Hire candidates that you feel possess a passion for success. These are the people that will make a difference in your company and allow you to realize your dream.

Here are some other simple ideas you may wish to consider:

• Laugh a lot. It breaks the ice and closes more deals than any other business technique I have ever seen.

• Learn to blow your own horn though never with arrogance and always grounded in humility. Become a master of bringing your accomplishments to life for others with refinement and finesse, and your career will move just a little faster.

• Be cautious when asked by management to project numbers, growth strategies and direction. Management tends to remember overstated sales forecasts from a sales manager who doesn’t deliver than from a cautious sales manager that over-delivers time after time.

• Business is always about people—margins, formulas, equations are not the end but the means. Sometimes, you will meet bad people in the course of doing your job. Take comfort in knowing that bad people will eventually go away. The challenge we have to live with is that we just don’t know when.

• How you begin your day affects everyone around you. Understand and use the power of a positive mood and its impact on lives, and take on the responsibility of doing your best to make each morning contact better.

I was in the airport a few months ago with a coworker, when a middle-aged woman tripped over someone’s bag. We rushed to help her. She turned to thank us and told us she probably wasn’t paying attention because she was heading to Los Angeles that morning to begin her first day of chemotherapy. Her situation certainly made our plans for writing a few orders seem less than important, and our mood and compassion hopefully helped her just a little to get through such a scary day.

Having a clear, positive direction makes a big difference not only to the life you lead, but also to all the lives that depend on you for leadership.

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