“In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double. Don’t worry. Be happy.”
–Bobby McFerrin (1950 – )
American music artist
10-time Grammy Award winner
What are the most common “drag you down, get in the way of success” thoughts?
- Defeatist (accepting, expecting, or being resigned to defeat)
- Cynical (contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives)
- Vindictive (seeking revenge)
- Blame/ Fault (who cares? what are we going to do now?)
- Wishful (do what you can to influence the deal and keep moving)
- Self-pity (get over yourself… complain less… especially to yourself)
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
–Anne Frank (1929–1945)
“Work is born in us. We take to it kindly or unkindly. The terms may be easy or harsh, but the contract is binding.”
Studs Terkel (1912–2008)
American writer, journalist, broadcaster
Pulitzer Prize winner
Everything begins with our attitude toward our work – to how we contribute. We should be sure to guard and nurture that attitude.
Terkel’s bestselling book Working was published 37 years ago as an oral history of “people talking about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do”.
“Time is limited, so I better wake up every morning fresh and know that I have just one chance to live this particular day right, and to string my days together into a life of action, and purpose.”
–Lance Armstrong (1971 – )
7-time winner of the Tour de France
If asked, what would you and your team say are your core values?
In the U.S. Marine Corps publication, “Sustaining the Transformation” (pdf), their’s are listed as Honor – Courage – Commitment. If you lead a team, the foreword (at a minimum) by General Krulak is time well-spent. It, along with the Fortune story “From Wharton to War“, is great inspiration for creating a special team of people (as a leader with a title or not).
And that’s what you want to be a part of, don’t you? A special team of people?
So many great teamwork points in the Fortune piece. We love the “bino” request. If you’ve got teenagers or college students, consider passing it along to them and then discussing it (we need them ready when they join us in the world). It’s a little Be No Ego-like.
“Carpe diem. Quam minimum credula postero.”
Tomorrow (Feb. 22), in 1899, in one hour after dinner, Elbert Hubbard wrote a 1500-word essay (10-minute read) titled “A Message to Garcia.”
It’s one of our favorites (so much so, we included it in SalesTough).
A true story of initiative and responsibility, the piece went on to be printed more than 40 million times (it’s still well-known with the big dogs of business and required reading for Marine Corps recruits and Naval Academy students).
Hubbard’s first sales job… selling soap.
Read it online or download a free copy (share it with your team).
Got young kids? Download and read them the children’s version we created (Rowan to the Rescue).
(Here’s the recently produced PBS program on Hubbard. Chapter 8, Hubbard’s Rise, is the segment on the Garcia story.)
“We’re here to make good things happen for other people. Do that… and you’ll make good things happen for yourself.”
–Sam Parker (1965 – )
Co-founder of JustSell
Think about your work (contribution).
Whether you feel lucky or not with what you’ve been given (or earned) as your opportunity to work, you’re ultimately just a steward of it for a relatively brief period in time.
It will be handed off to someone else at some point.
If you thought of that work as being put in a box to be given to someone else, what would you want the recipient to think when they opened it up?
Wouldn’t you want it to be something that’s difficult to improve on?
Wouldn’t you want them to crack open that box… look in… smile… and say… “Wow. That’s great work.”