Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2010-44 - The Secret of an Efficient Secretary…

Arnold Bennett, the British novelist, had a publisher who boasted about the extraordinary efficiency of his secretary. One day while visiting the publisher's office, Bennett asked her: "Your boss claims you're extremely efficient. What's your secret?"
"It's not my secret," said the secretary, "it's his." Each time she did something for him, no matter how insignificant, she explained, he never failed to acknowledge and appreciate it. Because of this, she took infinite pains with her work.
~ Author Unknown

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“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
~ Sam Walton

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010-43 - Rush Trucking…

When Andra Rush started her trucking company, all she had was a beat-up van, a pair of used pickup trucks, and the naive certainty of a 23-year-old. She figured it would take her about four years to make her fortune. Then she could use her newfound millions to accomplish her true goal: tackling poverty on Native American reservations across North America. "I thought I could retire by the time I was 27," says Rush, a member of the Mohawk Indian tribe of Ontario, Canada. "At that age, you don't know what you don't know."
Rush was raised 30 miles outside Detroit, not far from her paternal grand-parents and their Ontario reservation. When the teenage Rush visited the reservation for the first time, she was struck by the poverty and lack of hope. "I really wanted to make a difference," she says.
She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1982 and took a nursing job. But she was dismayed by the low pay, and within a year she was pursuing an MBA. That summer, she interned at an airfreight company, where the speed of package pickups and deliveries drove profits. "I thought I could do that better," Rush says.
She maxed out her credit cards and borrowed $5,000 from her parents to buy a van and two used pickups. She wooed clients, accepted every delivery job that came her way, and worked nursing shifts on weekends. Rush also kept a single-minded focus on meeting deadlines—no matter what. In the wake of 9/11, when increased security stalled traffic for hours on Detroit's largest bridge, she hired barges to get her trucks across the Detroit River.
By 2001, many of Rush's 1,000 employees were Native Americans, working alongside people of every background. But she felt she hadn't done enough. So she joined forces with a Canadian parts maker to design and assemble auto components, such as the dashboard instrument panels that go into Chrysler minivans. She located the plants near reservations, creating opportunities where they were needed most. By 2009, her auto parts business was generating $370 million in revenue.
~ Margaret Heffernan

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"Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally."
~ David Frost
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2010-42 - Eating the Cookie…

One of my patients, a successful businessman, tells me that before his cancer he would become depressed unless things went a certain way. Happiness was "having the cookie." If you had the cookie, things were good. If you didn't have the cookie, life wasn't worth a damn. Unfortunately, the cookie kept changing. Some of the time it was money, sometimes power, sometimes sex. At other times, it was the new car, the biggest contract, the most prestigious address.
A year and a half after his diagnosis of prostate cancer he sits shaking his head ruefully. "It's like I stopped learning how to live after I was a kid. When I give my son a cookie, he is happy. If I take the cookie away or it breaks, he is unhappy. But he is two and a half and I am forty-three. It's taken me this long to understand that the cookie will never make me happy for long. The minute you have the cookie it starts to crumble or you start to worry about it crumbling or about someone trying to take it away from you. You know, you have to give up a lot of things to take care of the cookie, to keep it from crumbling and be sure that no one takes it away from you. You may not even get a chance to eat it because you are so busy just trying not to lose it. Having the cookie is not what life is about."
My patient laughs and says cancer has changed him. For the first time he is happy. No matter if his business is doing well or not, no matter if he wins or loses at golf. "Two years ago, cancer asked me, 'Okay, what's important? What is really important?' Well, life is important. Life. Life, any way you can have it. Life with the cookie. Life without the cookie. Happiness does not have anything to do with the cookie, it has to do with being alive. Before, who made the time?" He pauses thoughtfully. "Damn, I guess life is the cookie."
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

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“Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.”
~ Author Unknown
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2010-41 - Listen…

“Only connect,” wrote E. M. Forster. How to be connected in a world that seems to be pushing all of us toward disconnection with stress, information overload, long work hours, and the breakdown of community social structures that no longer function? In the past, most new acquaintances would be introduced by a friend or close connection so that you knew something about that person and his or her background.
Connection makes life rich. To have happy and nurturing connections is to live a life of joy and fulfilment. Easily said, but sometimes difficult to do. One of the best ways to connect with someone is to listen. Listen with all the resources at your disposal.
That means not interrupting. Paying good attention (not reading the newspaper or playing video games), giving eye contact and “squaring off,” facing another person directly, not looking over your shoulder. You might want to draw the other person out by asking “Is there more?” or “Can you tell me more about that?”
When Frank and I met 16 years ago, one of the first and most important things I noticed about him was how intently and acceptingly he listened to me with his whole being. He mirrored my feelings on his face and provided a comfortable “container” for me to open up and be myself. It was a wonderful, comfortable feeling.
When someone is angry with you, good listening alone can often restore the peace. Just hear the person out. Let them express their feelings freely. Wait. Let the anger dissipate. Only then do you say what you want to say. Give them several chances to get the anger out until it’s exhausted.
And the same with someone who is upset or anxious. Listening is a healing balm. Often that’s the main thing someone wants from you. A good listening.
I grew up with an extended family who all listened to me, and I am privileged to be able to listen to my sister, Charla, as she inspires me by walking courageously and confidently through her cancer testing and treatment. She has granted me the boon of phoning in updates as soon as she gets any new piece of information. Consults, second opinions. Waiting for a surgery date.
It’s the least I can do for her, or perhaps one of the most important things.
~ Ellen Moore

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“The first duty of love is to listen.”
~ Paul Tillich
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