Tag Archives: respect

Lessons learned in my 56-year career

In my book, The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business, I share the lessons learned along the path of my 56-year business career. The purpose is not just to tell my story, but really to help readers learn from my successes and mistakes. Many lessons are rooted in my dealings with business professionals and public servants, all of whom helped to shape these lessons, and ultimately, this book.

Some lessons are way more important than others. Here are the ones I consider to be the most important.

  • Be honest. Honesty will make you a better person and professional.
  • Listen. When you are talking, you are not learning anything. So, listen! Listen to family, associates, clients or business partners and advisors. Once you do, you are better able to make decisions that include all their input.
  • Respect everyone and everything. If you do, there will be a better chance of others respecting you. If you do not, you will not get much if any cooperation.
  • It can be done. Most things can be done. Find a way. Do not give up.
  • Work smarter as well as harder. We have all known people who worked 12 hours and got eight hours’ worth of work done. A smarter way is to work eight hours and get 12 hours’ worth instead. How? Prioritize. Do what is important first. By prioritizing, you will find some of the least important tasks fall off your “to-do list” before you do them.
  • Teamwork. Any two of us is smarter than any one of us. Use the team you have to get more done all the time. This helps the product as well as your teammates to be better. If you must operate alone, work smarter as well as harder.
  • Continue to learn. You need to be a student your entire life. Make yourself a better person each day through constant learning. You will be amazed at how this improves your efforts over time.
  • Constantly learn to recreate yourself. If you are not doing this as a person or business, you will be passed by. Also, continuously recreating yourself and learning new things go hand in hand.

The book includes more detailed lists of lessons I learned, ones focused on career and business. I encourage you to read, adopt and share them when the book goes on sale this coming June on Amazon.

You can be honest and treat people fairly… and succeed

People ask what my book is about. They ask why I wrote it in the first place.

Here are my two main points:

  1. You can be honest and treat people fairly… and succeed.
  2. You can also follow the golden rule… and succeed.

Aren’t you tired of hearing about people who cheated or took advantage of others to gain some money or fame or whatever for themselves? I know I am tired of this and wonder why people don’t get it… do wrong, you will get caught, and you will pay.

My mother and father were simple people. They loved each other and their family. They were honest and worked hard. They believed in doing what was right and not saying anything bad about others and, they believed in respecting others. These are not hard rules to follow and they are the ones I grew up with and carried into my adult life.

Some people think that in business you need to lie, cut corners, talk down to people, and take advantage of others. And, sometimes these people make a lot of money. Sometimes you even hear that greed is good. But these people get caught and lose everything.

I saw a few of these folks as I built my career. Some did better than others. But, they all got caught.

When I started my business career and later my own business, I was determined to follow those simple rules I grew up with. There are numerous quotes in the book, this is the first one:

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of a man.
– George Washington

How simple. How beautiful.

In the book I talk about how an average person can indeed build a career and a business—while being honest—and can succeed. I reveal lots of fun anecdotes that took place throughout my career but you will be the judge of if they are fun or not. And I review some of the successes I and we experienced along the way. I reveal the lessons I learned that can hopefully help anyone who reads them build a better career and business.

So what’s the point? Anyone can succeed in a career and a business and be honest and treat people fairly.

The book will be available to order June 1 on Amazon.