Gurus On Success

Do you like to pop a tape into your cassette player and learn the secrets of success? Do you enjoy listening to a motivational speaker encouraging you to get your get up and go up and going? Are you eager to take on the tiger, go for the gusto, pursue that pot of gold at the end of your rainbow? If so, here is what world-class success experts agree on when it comes to the ways of winners.

Make up your mind to win and nothing else.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in You Can If You Think You Can has found the first secret. Peale believes that all the resources you need to succeed are in your mind. If you expect to succeed, you likely will. If you think you will fail, you probably are right. Peale counsels you to expect success.

Pealeisms have a powerfully positive ring. Always play with abandon. It is always too soon to quit. Conditions will shift in your favor. Faith cures fear.

Are you climbing aboard Peale's winners' express? Do you believe you can succeed? Dr. Peale knows you can succeed. You can if you think you can.

Stinking thinking leads to hardening of the attitudes.

Zig Ziglar is at least as colorful as this Ziglarism. In How to Get What You Want, Ziglar quickly cuts to the chase. 'If you don't think you deserve success, you will do things to keep you from getting it.'

How do winners who know they deserve success get their get up and go up and going? Ziglar contends they start from where they are with what they've got. They do not wait for something to change or for things to get better before deciding to succeed. They just get on with it. They go as far as they can see, knowing that once they get there they will always be able to see further.

Ziglar combines his self-motivation philosophy with personal goals and a zest for people helping people. On personal goals, Ziglar zeros in with a total lack of subtlety. You cannot reach goals you do not have. You cannot reach someone else's goal; you can only reach your own. Thinking you are too busy is stinking thinking. It is not the lack of time that is the problem, it is the lack of direction. Either you think you deserve success and go for it or you will get cooked in the squat which is even worse than it sounds.

'You will get everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.' For Ziglar, this is the nub of personal goal setting. It is both the value and the direction. More eloquently, Ziglar says, 'You don't climb the high mountain by yourself; it is in conjunction with others that you really accomplish the major things in life.'

If you look, think and behave like everyone else, you will look, think and behave like everyone else.

Michael LeBoeuf calls his success philosophy Imagineering. Your uniqueness is your ticket into the winner's circle, according to LeBoeuf. Getting to the circle to be admitted is your personal creative challenge, the problem before you. But waiting on an inspiration is useless. Start on the problem and then the ideas will come. Inspiration, LeBoeuf advises, usually comes to those who have done the groundwork.

In Blow Your Own Horn, Jeffrey P. Davidson shows he knows about the ways of winners. You are your own marketing department, according to Davidson. In one sentence, what is it that you are marketing; what is it that you have to offer the world? If you do not know, no one else is likely to care.

Peter F. Drucker makes a similar point when, in The Frontiers of Management, he says, 'It is your vision or its absence that shapes your future.' Drucker sees success itself as the ultimate test of success; and your personal vision is the key to your status as a winner or loser.

In Developing Winner's Habits, Denis Waitley adds meat to the wishbone of goals and personal vision. Waitley insists that winners never let anyone know they are scared or unprepared. Winners act like winners; they project confidence. Waitley's strategy is to find one good idea to pull your trigger on, remembering that there is still plenty of time to win but never enough time to lose.

Attack the problem and never the people.

Roger Fisher and William Ury in Getting to Yes join the unanimous chorus of success experts in emphasizing the importance of people skills. Fisher and Ury give their attention to negotiating; but their main points could equally apply to almost any success opportunity. Focus on interests, not on positions. Invent options that benefit both sides. Use objective criteria, not opinions or emotions.

Mary Heideman joins the chorus when she counsels winners to take responsibility for people processes. For example, in Winning Over Stress Heideman says, 'Do not be a stress sponge, absorbing the stress of others, thinking you should fix their stress.' Being a stress spreader and participating in pity parties and gripe sessions also are not the ways of winners.

In Coping With Difficult People, Robert M. Bramson extends the repertoire of people skills for winners. Do not automatically respond by trying to solve difficult people's problems. Do not automatically agree with difficult people even if you think they are right. Never argue with difficult people. Always feed back the difficult person's main points before you do anything else. Be calmly assertive and do not let the difficult person run over you.

The range of people tips and techniques emanating from the success chorus is impressive. They extend to every detail of your personal and business life. A tidbit or so more will suffice for now, though.

People do not want to know what you cannot do for them; they want to know what you can do for them. From Developing a Powerful Telephone Image; Dave Winter.

Start by asking the person what's the problem? They will likely tell you. From Turning Marginal Employees Into Productive Employees; Nancy Campbell.

Know what you want, who can give it to you and how to get it. From How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less; Milo O. Frank.

If you always judge new experiences based on past experiences, you will never have any new experiences.

Kevin J. Murphy in Effective Listening may have found the ultimate secret of success. Implicit n Murphy's pithy insight is the kernel from which all other success secrets may have grown.

Make up your mind to win and nothing else. It's a new game. The score is tied: zero/zero. It does not matter how you did before; today you succeed, today you win.

Stinking thinking leads to hardening of the attitudes. It's past thinking, worn attitudes and dated approaches that smell so rotten. Dump the garbage and start afresh. Success requires new thinking, new attitudes, new approaches.

To paraphrase LeBoeuf, if you look, think and behave like you always have, you will look, think and behave like you always have. Here is the problem. It's a new game, things are changing, the world moves on. You either develop a new look, new ways of thinking, new ways of dealing with events or you will fall back, be forced back with the other losers.

You have committed to success, you have dumped the mental garbage, you have new ideas and approaches. What is the problem? What is getting in your way? The answer to this question is the last key to your door of opportunity. Separate the people from the problem. The only person in your way is you. Get out of your way so you can attack the real problem, realize the success you deserve.

One world-class success guru remains to be heard from. I had the advantage of hearing from him almost 40 years ago.

I had just finished playing in my first and last 7th grade football game. On the way home, my dad asked, 'How do you think you did?'

With little thought, I said, 'Not very well.'

As we got out of the car a few minutes later, dad said, 'You're right. I think if I were you, I'd find something I was good at and then I would spend all my time getting really good at it.' He smiled and then added, 'I doubt if it's football.'

There you go. Find something you are good at, your niche, your road to success and then spend your time getting really good at it. You will know you are getting really good at it when you follow your chosen road with style, all the time, on purpose; when, as Michael Korda instructs in his work on power, you do everything you do as if it were the only thing that matters. For you, as is true for my favorite success guru, 'not very well' is never good enough.



By Gary A. Crow, Ph.D. March 17, 2017