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Chapter 8 : Make Your Attitudes Your Allies
CA N YOU READ MINDS? Reading minds is easier than you think. Perhaps you’ve never thought of it, but you read the minds of other people, and they read your mind, every day.
How do we do it? We do it automatically, through attitude appraisals.
Remember the song “You Don’t Need to Know the Language to Say You’re in Love”? Bing Crosby made it famous some years ago. There’s a whole bookful of applied psychology packed into those simple lyrics. You don’t need to know the language to say you’re in love. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that.
And you don’t need to know any language to say “I like you” or “I despise you” or “I think you’re important” or “unimportant” or “I envy you.” You don’t need to know words or to use words to say “I like my job” or ”I’m bored” or “I’m hungry.” People speak without a sound.
How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.
You can read the mind of the fellow sitting at a desk. You sense, by observing his expressions and mannerisms, how he feels toward his job. You can read the minds of salesmen, students, husbands, and wives; you not only can-you do.
The expert actors-those in demand in movies and television year after year-in a sense are not actors at all. They don’t play their roles. Instead they lose their own identity and actually think and feel like the character they are playing. They’ve got to. Else they’d look like phonies and their ratings would plunge.
Attitudes do more than show through. They “sound” through too. A secretary does more than identify an office when she says, “Good morning, Mr. Shoemaker’s office.” In just five words one secretary says, “I like you. I’m glad you’re calling. I think you are important. I like my job.”
But another secretary saying exactly the same words tells you, “You bothered me. I wish you hadn’t called. I’m bored with my job, and I don’t like people who bother me.”
We read attitudes through expressions and voice tones and inflections. Here’s why. In the long, long history of humankind, a speaking language even remotely resembling what we use today is a very recent invention. So recent, you might say, in terms of the great clock of time, that we developed a language only this morning. For millions and millions of years, people got by with little more than moans and groans and grunts and growls.
So for millions of years people communicated with other people by body and facial expressions and sounds, not words. And we still communicate our attitudes, our feelings toward people and things, the same way. Aside from direct body contact, body movements, facial expressions, and sound are the only ways we have to communicate with infants. And those young ones show an uncanny ability to spot the phony.
Professor Erwin H. Schell, one of America’s most respected authorities on leadership, says, “Obviously, there is something more than facilities and competence that makes for accomplishment. I have come to believe that this linkage factor, this catalyst, if you will, can be defined in a single word-attit1Lde. When our attitude is right, our abilities reach a maximum of effectiveness and good results inevitably follow.”
Attitudes do make the difference. Salesmen with the right attitude beat their quotas; students with the right attitude make As; right attitudes pave the way to really happy married life. Right attitudes make you effective in dealing with people, enable you to develop as a leader. Right attitudes win for you in every situation.
Grow these three attitudes. Make them your allies in everything you do.
- Grow the attitude of I’m activated.
- Grow the attitude of You are important.
- Grow the attitude of Service first.
Now let’s see how.
Years ago, when I was a college sophomore, I enrolled in an American history class. I remember the class vividly, not because I learned much about American history but because in an unusual way I learned this basic principle of successful living: To activate others, you must first activate yourself.
The history class was very large, and it was held in a fan shaped auditorium. The professor, who was a middle-aged fellow and apparently well educated, was, nevertheless, pathetically dull. Rather than interpret history as an alive, fascinating subject, the professor merely cited one dead fact after another. It was a frightful wonder how he could possibly make such an interesting subject so terribly dull. But he c1id.
You can imagine the effect the professor’s boredom had on the students. Talking and sleeping got so out of hand that the professor had two assistants patrol the aisles to break up student conversations and wake up those who had dozed off.
Occasionally, the professor would stop and, shaking his finger at the c1ass, would say, ‘Tm warning you. You’ve got to pay attention to what I say. You’ve got to stop this talking, and that’s all there is to it.” This, of course, made little impression on his students, many of whom, as veterans, had gambled their lives only months before, had made history on islands and in bombers.
As I sat there watching this potentially great, wonderful experience turn into a disgusting farce, I found myself wrestling with the question “Why are the students ignoring what the professor has to say?”
The answer came.
The students had no interest in what the professor was saying because the professor himself had no. interest. He was bored with history, and it showed through. To activate others, to get them to be enthusiastic, you must first be enthusiastic yourself.
Over the years I’ve tested this principle in hundreds of different situations~ It always holds true. A man who lacks enthusiasm never develops it in another. But a person who is enthusiastic soon has enthusiastic followers.
The enthusiastic salesman need never worry about unenthusiastic buyers. The enthusiastic teacher need never worry about disinterested students. The activated minister need never be distressed by a sleepy congregation.
Enthusiasm can make things 1,100 percent better. Two years ago,employees in a business I’m acquainted with donated $94.35 to the Red Cross. This year the same employees, with just about the same payroll, donated almost $1,100, an increase of 1,100 percent.
The drive captain who collected only $94.35 was totally lacking in enthusiasm. He made remarks like “I suppose it’s a worthwhile organization”; “I’ve never had any direct contact with it”; “It’s a big organization and they collect a lot from the wealthy, so I suppose it’s not too important if you contribute”; “If you can make a donation, see me.” This fellow did nothing to inspire anyone to want to join the Red Cross and do it in a big way.
This year’s drive captain was a different sort. He had enthusiasm. He gave examples of case histories that showed how the Red Cross pitches in when disaster strikes .. He showed how the Red Cross depends on donations from everyone. He asked the employees to be guided in giving by how much they would be willing to
give their neighbor if disaster should strike him. He said, “Look what the Red Cross has done!” Notice, he did not beg. He did not say, “Each of you is expected to donate XX dollars.” All he did was to show enthusiasm about the importance of the Red Cross. Success just naturally followed.
Think for a moment about a club or civic organization you know that is fading away. Chances are, all it needs is enthusiasm to bring it back to life.
Results come in proportion to enthusiasm applied.
Enthusiasm, is simply “This is great!” Here’s why.
Here is a three-step procedure that will help you to develop the power of enthusiasm.
1.Dig into it deeper. Make this little test. Think of two things in which you have little or no interest-maybe cards, certain kinds of music, a sport. Now ask yourself, “How much do I really know about these things?” Odds are 100 to 1 that your answer is “Not much.”
I confess that for years I had absolutely no interest in modern art. It was just so many botched-up lines-until I let a friend who knows and loves modern art explain it to me. Really, now that I’ve dug into it, I find it fascinating.
That exercise supplies on,e important key for building enthusiasm: To get enthusiastic, learn more about the thing you are not enthusiastic about.
Chances are you are quite unenthusiastic about bumblebees. But if you study bumblebees, find out what good they do, how they relate to other bees, how they reproduce, where they live in winter-if you find out all you can about bumblebees, you will soon find yourself really interested in bumblebees.
To show trainees how enthusiasm can be developed through the dig-into-it-deeper technique, I sometimes use a greenhouse example. In a deliberately casual way I ask the group, ‘Are any of you interested in manufacturing and selling greenhouses?” Not once have I gotten an affirmative answer. Then I make a few points about greenhouses: I remind the group how, as our standard of living rises, people become more and more interested in nonnecessities. I suggest how much Mrs. America would enjoy growing her own orchids and orange blossoms. I point out that if tens of thousands of families can afford private swimming pools, millions could afford greenhouses because greenhouses are relatively inexpensive. I show them that if you could sell a $600 greenhouse to only one family in fifty; you’d develop a $600 million business in producing greenhouses, and perhaps a $250 million industry supplying plants and seeds.
The only difficulty with this exercise is that the group, ten minutes before completely cold about greenhouses, now is so enthusiastic they don’t want to move on to the next subject!
Use the dig-into-it-deeper technique to develop enthusiasm toward other people. Find out all you can about another person-what he does, his family, his background, his ideas and ambitions-and you’ll find your interest in and enthusiasm .. about him mounting. Keep digging, and you’re certain to find some common interests. Keep digging, and you’ll eventually discover a fascinating person.
The dig-into-it-deeper technique works also in developing enthusiasm toward new places. Several years ago some young friends of mine decided to move from Detroit to a small town in mid-Florida. They sold their home, closed out their business connections, said good-bye to their friends, and were gone.
Six weeks later they were back in Detroit. The reason had nothing to do with employment. Rather, as they put it, “We just couldn’t stand living in a small town. Besides, all our friends are in Detroit. We just had to come back.”
In later conversations with these people, I learned the real reason why they didn’t like the small Florida city. During their short stay there, they had taken only a surface view of the community-its history, its plans for the future, its people. They moved their bodies to Florida but left their minds in Detroit.
I’ve talked with dozens of executives, engineers, and sales men who have developed career trouble because their companies want to move them to another location but they don’t want to go. “I just can’t see moving to Chicago (or San Francisco or Atlanta or New York or Miami)” is a remark spoken many times a day.
There’s one way to build enthusiasm toward a new location. Simply resolve to dig into the new community. Learn all you can about it. Mix with the people. Make yourself feel and think like a community citizen from the very first day. Do this and you’ll be enthusiastic about your new environment.
Today millions of Americans invest incorporate securities. But there are many millions more who have no interest at all in the stock market. That’s because they are people who have not familiarized themselves with what the securities market is, how it operates, the day-to-day romance of American business.
To get enthusiasm about anything-people, places, things dig into it deeper.
Dig into it deeper, and you’ll develop enthusiasm. Put this principle to work next time you must do something you don’t want to do. Put this principle to work next time you find yourself becoming bored. Just dig in deeper and you dig up interest.
2.In everything you do, life it up. Enthusiasm, or lack of it, shows through in everything you do and say. Life up your handshaking. When you shake hands, shake. Make your handclasp say, “I’m glad to know you.” “I am glad to see you again.” A conservative, mouse-like handshake is worse than no handshake at all. It makes people think, “This guy is more dead than alive.” Try to find a highly successful person with a conservative handshake. You’ll have to look a long, long time.
Life up your smiles. Smile with your eyes. Nobody likes an artificial, pasted-on, rubbery smile. When you smile, smile. Show a few teeth. Maybe your teeth aren’t attractive, but that’s really unimportant. For when you smile, people don’t see your
teeth. They see a warm, enthusiastic personality, someone they like.
Life up your “thank yous.” A routine, automatic “thank you” is almost like saying “gleep, gleep.” It’s just an expression. It says nothing. It doesn’t accomplish results. Make your “thank you” mean “thank you very much.”
Life up your talk. Dr. James F. Bender, the noted speech authority. in his excellent book How to Talk Well, says, “Is your ‘Good morning!’ really good? Are your ‘Congratulations!’ enthusiastic? Does your ‘How are you?’· sound interested? When you make a habit of coloring your words with sincere feelings you’ll notice a great uptake in your ability to hold attention.”
People go along with the fellow who believes what he says. Say it with life. Put vitality into your speaking. Whether you are talking to ·a garden club, a prospect, or your children, put enthusiasm behind what you say. A sermon delivered enthusiastically may be remembered for months, even years. But a sermon delivered without enthusiasm will be mostly forgotten 167 hours before next Sunday rolls around.
And when you put life in your talk, you automatically put more life in you. Just try this right now. Say out loud with force and vigor: “I feel great today!” Now, don’t you actually feel better than you did before you said it? Make yourself alive all over.
Life it up. Be sure everything you do and say tells people, “That fellow is alive.” “He means it.” “He’s going places.”
3.Broadcast good news. You and I have been in many situations when someone burst in and said: ‘I’ve got good news.” Immediately this person gets 100 percent attention from everyone present. Good news does more than get attention; good news pleases people. Good news develops enthusiasm. Good news even promotes good digestion.
Just because there are more broadcasters of bad news than there are broadcasters of good news, don’t be misled. No one ever won a friend, no one ever made money; no one ever accomplished anything by broadcasting bad news.
Transmit good news to your family. Tell them the good that happened today. Recall the amusing, pleasant things you experienced and let the unpleasant things stay buried. Spread good news. It’s pointless to pass on the bad. It only makes your
family worry. makes them nervous. Bring home some sunlight every day.
Ever notice how seldom children complain about the weather? They take hot weather in stride until the negative news corps educate them to be conscious of unpleasant temperatures. Make it a habit always to speak favorably about the weather regardless of what the weather actually is. Complaining about the weather makes you more miserable and it spreads misery to others.
Broadcast good news about how you feel Be an “I-feel-great” person. Just say “I feel great” at every possible opportunity, and you will feel better.’ By the same token, tell people, “I feel awful, just awful,” and you will feel worse. How we feel is, in large part, determined by how we think we feel Remember, too, that other people want to be around alive, enthusiastic people. Being around complainers and half-dead people is uncomfortable.
Transmit good news’ to the people you work with. Give them encouragement, compliment them at every opportunity. Tell them about the positive things the company is doing. Listen to their problems. Be helpful. Encourage people and win their support. Pat them on the back for the job they’re doing. Give them hope. Let them know you believe they can succeed, that you have faith in them. Practice relieving worriers.
Make this little test regularly to keep you on the right track. Whenever you leave a person, ask yourself, “Does that person honestly feel better because he has talked with me?” This selftraining device works. Apply it when talking with employees, associates, your family, customers, even with casual acquaintances.
A salesman friend is a real good-news broadcaster. He calls on his customers every month and always makes it a rule to have some good news to pass along.
Examples: “I met one of your good friends last week. He said to tell you hello.” “Since I was here last big things have happened. Over 350,000 new babies were born last month, and more babies mean more business for both of us.”
Usually we think of bank presidents as overly reserved, unemotional people who never really warm up. Not so with one bank president. His favorite way to answer the phone is to say, “Good morni1lg, it’s a wonderful world. May I sell you some money?” Improper for a banker? Some might say so, but let me point out that the banker who uses this greeting is Mills Lane, Jr., president of the Citizens and Southern Bank, the largest in the entire Southeast.
Good news gets good results. Broadcast it.
The president of a brush-manufacturing company I visited recently had this maxim neatly framed on his desk facing the visitor’s chair: “Give me a Good Word or none at all.” I complimented him, saying that I thought the maxim was a clever way to encourage people to be optimistic.
He smiled and said, “It is an effective reminder. But from where I sit this is even more important.” He turned the frame around so I could see it from his side of the desk. It said, “Give them a Good Word or none at all.”
Broadcasting good news activates you, makes you feel better. Broadcasting good news makes other people feel better too.
GROW THE “YOU-ARE-IMPORTANT” ATTITUDE
This is a fact of paramount significance: Each human being, whether he lives in India or Indianapolis, whether he’s ignorant or brilliant, civilized or uncivilized, young or old, has this desire: He wants to feel important.
Ponder on that. Everyone, yes, everyone-your neighbor, you, your wife, your boss-has a natural desire to feel he is :’somebody.” The desire to be important is man’s strongest, most compelling nonbiological hunger.
Successful advertisers know that people crave prestige, distinction, recognition. Headlines that produce sales read like this: “For Smart, Young Homemakers”; “Persons with Distinctive Tastes Use –“; “You Want Only the Best”; “Be the Envy of
Everyone”; “For Women Who Want to Be Envied by Women and Admired by Men.” These headlines in effect tell people, “Buy this product, and you put yourself in the important class.”
Satisfying the craving, the hunger, to be important carries you forward to success. It is basic equipment in your success tool chest. Yet (and read this sentence again before you go on) even though displaying the attitude “You are important” gets results, and even though it costs nothing, few persons use it. A little fill-in is needed here to show why.
On the philosophical side, our religions, our laws, our entire culture are based on the belief of the importance of the individual.
Suppose, for example, you were flying your ‘own plane and were forced down in an isolated mountain region. As soon as your accident was known, a large-scale search for you would begin. No one would ask, “Is that fellow important?” Without knowing anything about you except that you are a human being, helicopters, other aircraft, and searching parties on foot would begin looking for you. And they would keep on looking for you, spending thousands of dollars in the process, until they found you or until not one trace of hope remained.
When a little child wanders off into a woods, falls into a well, or gets into some other dangerous predicament, no one is concerned with whether or not the child comes from an “important” family. Every effort is made to rescue the child because
every child is important.
It’s not too wild a guess that, of all living creatures, probably not more than one in ten million is a human being. A person is a biological rarity. He is important in God’s scheme of things.
Now let’s look at the practical side. When most people shift their thinking from philosophical discussions to everyday situations, they tend to forget, unfortunately; their ivory-tower concepts of the importance of individuals. Tomorrow, take a good look at how most people exhibit an attitude that seems to say; “You are a nobody; you count for nothing; you mean nothing, absolutely nothing to me.”
There is a reason why the “you are unimportant” attitude prevails. Most folks look at another person and think, “He can’t do anything for me. Therefore, he’s not important.”
But right there is where people make a basic blunder. The other person, regardless of his status or his income, is important to you and for two giant, dollars-and-cents reasons.
First, people do more for you when you make them feel important. Years ago, in Detroit, I rode a certain bus to work each morning. The driver was an old grump. Dozens-maybe hundreds-of times, I saw this driver pull away from the curb when a wildly waving, shouting, and running passenger was just a second or two from the door. Over a period of several months I saw this driver show special courtesy to only one passenger, and this passenger was shown special courtesy many times. The driver would wait for this passenger.
And why? Because this passenger went out of his way to make the driver feel important. Every morning he greeted the driver with a personalized, sincere “Good morning, sir.” Sometimes this passenger would sit near the driver and make little comments like “You sure have a lot of responsibility”; “It must take nerves of steel to drive through traffic like this every day”; ”You sure keep this thing on schedule.” That passenger made the driver feel as important as if he were piloting a 180-passenger jet airliner. And the driver in return showed special courtesy to the passenger.
It pays to make “little” people feel like big people.
Today; in thousands of offices all over America, secretaries ate helping salesmen make sales or lose sales depending on how the salesman has treated them. Make someone feel important, and he cares about you. And when he cares about you, he does more for you.
Customers will buy more from you, employees will work harder for you, associates will go out of their way to cooperate with you, your boss will do more to help you if you will only make these people feel important.
It pays to make ‘big” people feel even bigger. The big thinker always adds value to people by visualizing them at their best. Because he thinks big about people, he gets their best out of them.
Here’s the second giant reason for making others feel important: ,When you help others feel important, you help yourself feel important too.
One of the elevator operators who carried me “up and down” for several months had the look of complete unimportance written all over. She was fiftyish, unattractive, and certainly uninspired in her work. It was obvious that her longing to be important was completely unfulfilled. She was one of the millions of people
who live for months at a time without ever being given a reason to believe that someone notices them or cares about them.
One morning shortly after I became one of her regular “uppers and downers,” I noticed that she had had her hair redone. It was nothing fancy. It was obviously a home-made job. But it had been cut and it did look better.
So I said, “Miss S. (Note: I had learned her name), I do like what you’ve done to your hair. It really looks fine.” She blushed, said, “Thank you, sir,” and nearly missed her next stop. She appreciated the compliment.
Next morning, 10 and behold, when I stepped into the elevator I heard, “Good morning, Dr. Schwartz.” Not one time beforehad I heard this operator address anyone by name. And in the remaining months that I had an office in the building I never heard anyone called by name except me. I had made the operator feel important. I had sincerely complimented her and called her by name.
I had made her feel important. Now she was repaying me by making me feel important.
Let’s not kid ourselves. People who do not have a deep down feeling of self-importance are slated for mediocrity. Again and again this point must be driven home: You must feel important to succeed. Helping others to feel important rewards you because it makes you fie! more important. Try it and see. Here’s how to do ‘it:
1.Practice appreciation. Make it a rule to let others know you appreciate what they do for you. Never, never let anyone feel he is taken for granted. Practice appreciation with a warm, sincere smile. A smile lets others know you notice them and feel kindly toward them.
Practice appreciation by letting others know how you depend on them. An earnest ‘Jim, I don’t know what we’d do without you” type of remark makes people feel necessary, and when they feel necessary they do increasingly better work.
Practice appreciation with honest, personalized compliments. People thrive on compliments-whether two or twenty, nine or ninety, a person craves praise. He wants to be assured that he’s doing a good job, that he is important. Don’t feel that you should hand out praise only for big accomplishments. Compliment people on little things: their appearance, the way they do their routine work, their ideas, their loyal efforts. Praise by writing personal notes complimenting people you know on
their achievements. Make a special phone call or a special trip to see them ..
Don’t waste time or mental energy trying to classify people as “very important persons,” “important persons,” or “unimportant persons.” Make no exceptions. A person, whether he is garbage collector or company vice president, is important to yon. Treating someone as second class never gets you first-class results.
2.Practice calling people by their names. Every year shrewd manufacturers sell more briefcases, pencils, Bibles, and hundreds of other items just by putting the buyer’s name on the product. People like to be called by name. It gives everyone a boost to be addressed by name.
Two special things you must remember. Pronounce the name correctly, and spell it correctly. If you mispronounce or misspell someone’s name, that person feels that you feel he is unimportant .
And here’s one special reminder: When talking with people you don’t know well, add the appropriate title-Miss, Mister, or Mrs. The office boy prefers Mr: Jones to just Jones. So does your junior assistant. So do people at every level. These little titles help tremendously to make people feel important.
3.Don’t hog glory, invest it instead. Just recently I was a guest at an all-day sales convention. After dinner that evening the vice president in charge of sales for the company passed out awards to the two district managers, a man and a woman, whose sales organizations had attained the best records for the year just ended. Then the vice president asked those district managers to take fifteen minutes to tell the entire group how their organizations did so exceptionally well.
The first district manager (who, I later learned, had been appointed a manager only three months before and was therefore only partially responsible for his organization’s record) got up and explained how he did it.
He conveyed the impression that his efforts and his efforts alone caused the sales increase. Remarks such as “When I took over, I did such-and-such”; “Things were in a mess but I cleared them up”; “It wasn’t easy but I just grabbed hold of the situation and wouldn’t let go” characterized his talk.
As he talked, I could see the increasing resentment gathering in the faces of his salesmen. They were being ignored for the sake of the district manager’s personal glory. Their hard work, which was responsible for the sales increase, was completely unrecognized.
Then, the second district manger got up to make her short talk. But this lady used an entirely different approach. First, she explained that the reason for her organization’s success was the wholehearted effort of her sales force. Then she asked each one to stand and paid a sincere personal compliment to each for his or her efforts.
Note this difference; the first manager squandered the vice president’s praise entirely on himself. In doing so, he offended his own people. His sales force was demoralized. The second passed the praise on to her sales force, where it could do more good. This manager knew that praise, like money; can be invested to pay dividends. She knew that passing the credit on to her salespeople would make them work even harder next year.
Remember, praise is power. Invest the praise you receive from your superior. Pass praise on down to your subordinates, where it will encourage still greater performance. When you share praise, your subordinates know you sincerely appreciate their value.
Here’s a daily exercise that pays off surprisingly well. Ask yourself every day, “What can I do today to make my wife and family happy?”
This may seem almost too simple, but it is amazingly effective. One evening, as part of a sales training program, I was discussing “Building the Home Environment for Selling Success.” To illustrate a point, I asked the salesmen (who were all married), “When was the last time, aside from Christmas, your wedding anniversary; or her birthday; that you surprised your wife with a special gift?”
Even I was shocked at the answers. Of the thirty-five salesmen, only one had surprised his wife in the past month. Many of the group answered ‘between three and six months.” And over a third said, “I can’t remember.”
Imagine! And some men wonder why their wives no longer treat them like Mr. King with a crown!
I wanted to impress these salesmen with the power of the thoughtful gift. The next evening I arranged to have a florist appear just before the close of the session. I introduced him and leveled with them: “I want each of you to discover what a little unexpected remembrance will do to build a better home environment. I’ve arranged with the florist for each of you to get a fine long-stemmed red rose for just 50 cents. Now if you don’t have 50 cents, or if you think your wife isn’t worth that [they laughed], I’ll buy the flower for her myself. All I ask is that you take the rose to your wife and then tomorrow evening tell us what happened.
“Don’t, of course. tell her how you came to purchase this rose for her.”
Without exception, every fellow testified the next evening that the mere investment of 50 cents had made his wife happy.
Do something special for your family often. It doesn’t have to be something expensive. It’s thoughtfulness that counts. Anything that shows that you put your family’s interests first will do the trick.
Get the family on your team. Give them planned attention.
In this busy age a lot of people never seem able to find time for their families. But if we plan, we can find it. One company vice president told me of this method, which he says works well for him:
“My job carries a lot of responsibility, and I have no choice but to bring quite a lot of work home every night. But I will not neglect my family because it’s the most important thing in my life. It’s the main reason I work as Hard as I do. I’ve worked out a schedule that enables me to give attention to my family as well as to my work. From 7:30 to 8:30 every evening I devote my time to my two young children. I play games with them, read them stories, draw, answer questions-anything they want me to do. After an hour with those kids of mine, they’re not only satisfied, but I’m 100 percent fresher. At 8:30 they trot off to bed, and I settle down to work for two hours.
‘At 10:30 I quit working and spend the next hour with my wife. We talk about the kids, her various activities, our plans for the future. This hour, undisturbed by anything, is a wonderful way to cap off the day.
“I also reserve Sundays for my family. The whole day is theirs. I find my organized program for giving my family the attention it deserves is good not only for them, but also good for me. It gives me new energy.”
WANT TO MAKE MONEY? THEN BET THE PUT-SERVICE-FIRST ATTITUDE
It’s perfectly natural-in fact, it’s highly desirable-to want to make money and accumulate wealth. Money is power to give your family and yourself the standard of living they deserve. Money is power to help the unfortunate. Money is one of the means to living life fully.
Once criticized for urging people to make money, the great minister Russel H. Conwell, author o(Acres of Diamonds, said, “Money printed your Bible, money builds your churches, money sends. your missionaries, and money pays your preachers, and you would not have many of them, either, if you did not pay them.”
The person who says he wants to be poor usually suffers from a guilt complex or a feeling of inadequacy. He’s like the youngster who feels he can’t make As in school or make the football team, so he pretends he doesn’t want to make As or play football.
Money, then, is a desirable objective. What’s puzzling about money is the backward approach so many people use in trying to make it. Everywhere you see people with a “money-first” attitude. Yet these same people always have little money. Why? Simply this: People with a money-first attitude become so money conscious that they forget money can’t be harvested unless they plant the seeds that grow the money.
And the seed of money is service. That’s why “put service first” is an attitude that creates wealth. Put service first, and money takes care of itself.
One summer, evening I was traveling by car through Cincinnati. It was time for a gas-up. I stopped at an ordinary looking but surprisingly busy service station.
Four minutes later I knew why this particular service station was so popular. After filling my car with gasoline, checking under the hood. and cleaning the outside of my windshield, the attendant walked around to my side of the car and said, “Pardon me, sir. It’s been a dusty day. Let me clean the inside of your windshield.”
Quickly and efficiently, he did a thorough job of cleaning the inside of my windshield, something, not one service station attendant in a hundred ever does.
This little special service did more than improve my night visibility (and it improved it a lot); it made me remember this station. It so happened that I made eight trips through Cincinnati during the next three months. Each time, of course, I stopped at this station. And each time I got more service than I expected to get.
Interesting too was the fact that each time I stopped (once it was 4 A,M.) there were other automobiles filling up also. In all, I probably purchased about 100 gallons of gasoline from this station.
The first time I stopped the attendant could have thought to himself, “This guy is from out of state. Odds are twenty to one that he’ll never be back. Why do more than give him the routine treatment? He’s only a one-time customer.”
But the attendants in that station didn’t think that way. They put service first, and that’s why they were busy pumping gasoline while other stations looked almost deserted. If the gasoline was any better than a dozen other brands, I didn’t notice it.
And the price was competitive.
The difference was service. And it was obvious that service was paying off in profits.
When the attendant on my first visit cleaned the inside of my windshield. he planted a money seed.
Put service first, and money takes care of itself-always.
The put-service-first attitude pays off in all situations. In one of my first jobs I worked closely with another young fellow, whom I’ll call F. H.
F. H. was like many persons you know: He was preoccupied with why he needed more money instead of being preoccupied with ways to make money. Bach week F. H. spent hours of company time working on his personal budget problems. His favorite topic of conversation was “[‘m the most underpaid man here. Let me tell you why.”
F. H. had the not uncommon attitude of “This is a big company. It’s netting millions. It’s paying a lot of people big salaries, so it ought to pay me more too.”
F. H. had been passed over several times for pay increases. Finally one day he decided that it was high time he went in there and demanded more money. About thirty minutes later F. H. was back, all heated up. His expression made it obvious that next month’s check would look exactly like this month’s check.
Immediately F. H. began to let go. “Boy, am I mad! What do you suppose the old man said when I told him I wanted more money? He had the gall to ask me, ‘Why do you believe you are justified in asking for an increase?
“I gave him plenty of reasons,” F. H. went on. “I told him I’d been passed over when others around here were getting pay raises. I told him my bills are getting larger and my paycheck isn’t. And I told him that I do everything around here they ask me to do.
“Can you beat that? I Heed a raise, but instead of paying me more, they give out raises to other guys around here who don’t need it half as much as I do.
Why, the way he acted,” F. H. continued, “you’d think I was asking for charity. All he would say is ‘When your record shows that you deserve more money, you’ll get more money.’
“Sure, I could do a better job if they paid me for it, but only a fool does something he isn’t paid for.”
F. H. is an example of the breed that is blind to the ‘now” of making money. His last remark sums up his mistake. In effect, F. H. wanted the company to pay him more and then he would produce more. But this is not how the system works. You don’t get a raise on the promise of better performance; you get a raise only by demonstrating better performance. You can’t harvest money unless you plant the seeds that grow money. And the seed of money is service.
Put service first, and money takes care of itself.
Consider which producers make the money from movies. The ‘get-rich-quick producer proceeds to make a picture. Putting money ahead of entertainment (service), he cuts corners everywhere. He buys a poorly written script and employs second-rate writers to adapt it. In employing actors, arranging sets, even recording sound, he puts money first. This producer thinks the moviegoer is a sucker, someone who can’t tell good from bad.
But the get-rich-quick producer seldom does get rich quick. There never is a bandwagon movement to buy anything secondclass, especially when it is given a first-class price.
The producer who enjoys the largest profits from pictures puts entertainment ahead of money. Rather than chisel the moviegoer, he does everything possible to give people more and better entertainment than they expect to get. The result: people like the movie. It gets talked about. It gets good reviews. And it makes money.
Again, put service first, and money takes care of itself.
The waitress who concentrates on giving the best possible service needn’t worry about tips; they’ll be there. But her counterpart who overlooks the empty coffee cups (‘Why refill them? They don’t look like tippers.”) won’t find any gratuities.
The secretary who resolves to make those letters look better than the boss expects will do all right on future paychecks. But the secretary who thinks, “Why worry about a few smudges? What do they expect for $65 a week?” -she is stuck at $65 a week.
The salesman who gives full service to an account need harbor no fears he’ll lose the account.
Here is a simple but powerful rule that will help you to develop the put-service-first attitude: Always give people more than they expect to get. Each little extra something you do for others is a money seed. Volunteering to work late and get the department out of a tight spot is a money seed; giving customers extra service is a money seed because it brings customers back; advancing a new idea that will increase efficiency is a money seed.
Money seeds, of course, grow money. Plant service and harvest money.
Spend some time each day answering this question: “How can I give more than is expected of me?” Then apply the answers.
Put service first, and money takes care of itself.
In quick recap, grow attitudes that will carry you forward to success.
1.Grow the ”I’m activated” attitude. Results come in proportion to the enthusiasm invested. Three things to do· to activate yourself are:
Dig into it deeper. When you find yourself uninterested in something, dig in and learn more about it. This sets off enthusiasm.
Life up everything about you: your smile, your handshake, your talk, even your walk. Act alive.
Broadcast good news. No’ one ever accomplished anything positive telling bad news.
2.Grow the “You are important” attitude. People do more for you when you make them feel important. Remember to do these things:
Show appreciation at every opportunity. Make people feel important.
Call people by name.
3.Grow the “Service first” attitude, and watch money take care of itself. Make it a rule in everything you do: give people more than they expect to get.
-David J. Schwartz
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