Business as usual in the world of personal success is much more than simply believing that people are basically trustworthy. It probably comes as no surprise that merely trusting others is not the end of it. The question is not just, “Who do you trust?” It isn’t, “Who trusts you?” either, since even world class scoundrels likely are trusted sometimes by someone. The question is, “Is there any good reason why anyone should trust you?”
Now that gives it a whole new perspective. You say, “You can trust me. You have my word on it.” Well, okay, but so what? Seeing is believing, show me, talk is cheap, time will tell, and all that. Your being trustworthy is not one of those things you can just proclaim and think that is the end of it. It is not something you tell people about you. It is a judgment other people make about you. That is why you need to conscientiously work at being sure that you truly are trustworthy, every time, with everyone.
The next requirement is being candid. Actually, it is a double requirement, with being trustworthy and being candid sitting side by side. You can’t have one without the other in the world of personal success.
Consider someone who is blunt, direct, frank, and straight forward. There is someone who is candid, sure enough. Got the picture? Okay, erase that picture and consider someone who is neither blunt, direct, frank, nor straight forward. Is this someone you are going to trust? Not likely!
Now picture someone who is authentically candid and who combines that candor with trustworthiness, genuine sincerity, and a liberal splash of sensitivity. There is someone who is truly exceptional. People like that are also the people who become success superstars. If you’d like to join this elite company one day, just keep in mind that you must be committed to being candid, every time, with everyone.
Being focused is equally essential. Taking care of business can get very complex and complicated. If you do not stay focused, it will soon be all she wrote, as they say. While you are in the heat of the game, though, it is not enough to simply keep your eye on the ball. You have to keep it on the other players too. Since they have all got balls of their own, you will also need to keep your eye on their balls. In fact, the superstars at taking care of business are the players who have the uncanny ability to focus on their ball, the other players, and the other players’ balls simultaneously or at least that is how it looks to the unsophisticated observer. Strictly on a “from my mouth to your ear” basis, it is not necessarily so. The high flyers have mastered a secret technique. They only focus on one ball or one player at a time and never on a player and a ball at the same time. Now, that is focus! But there is more.
Players ready for the first string can predict from other players’ moves where their balls are going. Since they know where all the balls are headed, they do not need to know where other players or their balls actually are. Do you get it? You do not keep track of or worry about other players. The key to taking care of business is keeping focus on the balls and knowing where yours is in relation to where the other balls will end up.
A moral approach to taking care of business is certainly the next bottom line success requirement. This does not mean that people who do not take a moral approach are bad or evil people, though they may be. It simply means that they are not committed to personal success, I. e., they do not take a principle centered, value centered approach to business.
I would not presume to tell you what your principles and values should be, though I do have a few strong opinions about the subject. Having principles that direct your actions and values that force your choices are essential ingredients for developing PPS. For example, “I will never knowingly give a customer a product or service that is below the standard I promised.” That means you have to do it right, the first time, on time, every time. Now there is a principle to live up to, one that certainly directs your actions.
What principles direct your actions, direct how you take care of business? If you have three or four clear, non negotiable principles by which you always do business, you are up there with the success creme de la creme.
Values of course follow principles; but they are not simply a list of things you like. For example, your principle is that you will do the right things right, the first time, on time, every time. The missing question is, WHAT are the right things?” Perhaps they are products that reliably do what they are supposed to do or services that consistently accomplish what they are intended to accomplish. You value products and services that work, the first time, on time, every time. Having that “value” will then force many choices you need to make about products and services, about how you use your resources, and about people who produce or use those products and services. Think about your principles and about the values that follow from them. Coming to grips with that moral cluster is how you commit yourself to a moral approach to taking care of business, every time, with everyone.
Predictability joins the success equation and combines with a moral approach to taking care of business. There certainly are those unscrupulous types who are totally predictable: you can simply assume that they are only taking care of No. 1 and that they will screw you every chance they get. If you join predictability with moral principles and values, though, it is indeed a pleasure for others to experience. People do not always know what you are going to do or how you are going to do it; but they always know why you do it: you are following your principles and values. You are innovative, original, creative, and uniquely you, sure enough. At the same time, you are predictable and anyone who understands your principles and values knows that it is so. Does predictability sound like something you want to incorporate into your approach to business? If so, you need to understand that predictability is a product of pursuing your principles and values every time, with everyone.
Persistence is the final requirement. Being worthy of trust, candor, staying focused, taking the moral high ground, and predictability are honorable and worthwhile pursuits. At the same time, none of them are easy, automatic, or guaranteed paths to success. Rather, they are sometimes slow and often tedious commitments to your success. Even so, intentionally and persistently pursuing personal excellence every time, in every way, with everyone is the cost and the opportunity available to those committed to personal success.
A final tip will help you along the way as you take care of business. Suppose you are hot on the trail of a great deal, a resolution to a nasty conflict, an answer to a tough question. Without a hint, it suddenly all goes sour. Have you been there, up close and personal? Sure you have. It is frustrating to say the least and is usually down-right maddening. The nearly irresistible temptation is to poke at it just one more time, take just one more shot. Sure, I know. The problem with resisting temptation is that it may be the only chance you get. Nonetheless, it really may be time to put the old dog in the truck and call it a day.