The Dirty Little Secret of Successful Companies
How many times have you heard the head of a company say it’s successful because of its great people? You hear it in speeches and you read it in interviews, books, and other company propaganda. And it sounds great — gracious and humble and nice. It may even be true, but it is not the whole story.
What these people don’t tell you in those interviews and books — and I’ve read quite a few — is that great companies may be great at a lot of things, but they do not always hire the right people. And that leaves them in the same place as the rest of us (but probably less often). It’s a dirty little secret that even great companies have to fire the people who don’t work out. You don’t read about it very often, because firing people doesn’t make for great public relations. It doesn’t seem gracious or nice. But that can leave a false impression.
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Taming Your Inner Perfectionist
Laura Stack, CSP
“A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with what he has done.” — Cardinal John Newman, British Clergyman
“I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” — Anne Lamont, American author and political activist
“People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it.” — Edith Schaeffer, American author
As Voltaire once pointed out, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Think about that. As I interpret it, here’s what he meant: while a desire for perfection is admirable, it becomes increasingly difficult the closer you get to the goal. At some point, you have to admit to yourself that you’ve done what you can, and accept that it’s good enough.
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Finding Purpose in Your Goals and Meaning in Your Mission
Waldo Waldman, CSP
It’s already a month into 2011 and I hope you’re all off to a great start. One of the most effective things you can do to reach greater heights this coming year is to set high but achievable goals in your personal and professional life. Establishing challenging goals that are specific (and measurable) helps you formulate a game plan for success.
A key component in reaching your goals is to write them down and visualize them every day. This makes your goals real. (I put my goals on my bathroom mirror so that I see them every day. I did this when I wrote my book Never Fly Solo as I wanted to become a NY Times bestseller.)
When you see your goals, it challenges you to ask yourself: “What have I done TODAY to reach them?” “What’s my plan?” “Am I progressing towards my goals?”
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There Are Two Kinds of C.E.O.
I recently had an interesting conversation with Rafael Pastor, the chairman and chief executive of Vistage, a leading organization for chief executives. He relayed a story that one of his members had told him. This particular C.E.O. has a school-age son who came home one day and asked if his father would call himself something other than a C.E.O. It seems that the boy’s classmates were giving him a hard time about the fact that his father runs a company — as if it were something to be embarrassed by. My first thought was, “What?” Maybe I could understand it if his father were a politician! But then I started thinking.
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There’s Always Time for Candy
by Darren Hardy
I’m at my publishing office in Dallas this week helping close out the upcoming April issue of SUCCESS (Starbuck’s returning white knight CEO Howard Schultz on the cover – fantastic issue!).
Anyway, the Super Bowl fever here is at an almost hysterical pitch. Reminds me of one of the favorite Super Bowl stories…
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the Joe Montana/Bill Walsh 49ers dynasty years. There is a famous story about Joe Montana who earned the name ‘Joe Cool’ that I love and in it lies a fantastic success lesson.
It was Super Bowl XXIII. The San Francisco 49ers are playing the Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers are down 16-13. They have only one possession left. They have to drive 92 yards if they hope to win. At the start of this crucial drive Joe exclaims to tackle Harris Brown, “Hey, check it out, in the stands, near the exit ramp, there’s John Candy”. Harris grabs the tight end John Frank and points out Candy to him too, “Hey, John. There’s John Candy.” Fifteen seconds later Joe claps his hands in the huddle and says, “You guys want it? Let’s go.” 11 plays and 92 yards later, Joe Cool leads his team to a touchdown with only 34 seconds left, winning Super Bowl XXIII 49ers 20, Bengals 16.
During crucial and critical times, that is when you need to be most cool. If you are going to lead people, YOU have to be the eye of the storm. You have to bring calm to the situation, you have to be cool… Joe Cool. So the next time you get into a crucial moment, take some time to look around, you just might see John Candy.
Content republished with permission from Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS magazine. For more great insights, tips and strategies on success and achievement go to http://DarrenHardy.SUCCESS.com More about Darren Hardy can be found at: http://DarrenHardy.SUCCESS.com/About