Just as business organizations need operating principles to guide behavior of employees, individuals benefit with a documented set of principles, developed by them, for them.
As we journey through our career and personal life, we need beliefs and principles to guide us through challenging times and good times. Following are tenants, which I have found helpful. They may not be right for you; they are simply the ones I try to follow.
n Be active. Satisfy your inherent need to feel worthwhile by striving to pay back to society for all the blessings you have received. The alternative is to atrophy and die.
n Stay focused on your aim. Strive toward your ultimate Aim in life in every aspect - career, social, family and financial. Identify what you hope to achieve and make every decision toward that aim.
n Genuinely care about others. Practice the Golden Rule as a matter of habit.
n Be dependable. Others need to be able to rely on your words and actions.
n Be enthusiastic. Norman Vincent Peale published a wonderful book on this subject titled "Enthusiasm Makes the Difference." People gravitate toward those who exhibit enthusiasm and want to help and work with them. Enthusiasm and confidence rub off on others.
n Be a friend. Be friendly to others and your group of friends will multiply. Stephen Covey said we need to start inside out, in other words start with our own behavior and we will receive what we sow.
n Always be honest. Be honest with others and most of all, with yourself. Surveys reveal that the most important trait of the best bosses people have ever worked for is always honesty.
n Be a leader. If you want to get ahead in life, you need to get ahead of the pack. Leaders lead! Have the self-confidence and courage to innovate.
n Be a good listener. Communication has two parts, sending and receiving. Make sure you are listening at least half the time in any setting. We learn by listening, not talking.
n Continue to learn. Proactively seek to learn, relentlessly and forever, to exercise your brain.
n Persevere. Stay focused in your undertakings and see them through. Tenacity is a common trait of successful people.
n Be positive. You tend to get what you expect in life. Optimism does not cost any more and makes you much happier.
n Take pride in everything you do. We have an inherent need to be proud of our achievements, those around us, and most of all, ourselves.
n Trust and respect others. Develop mutual trust and respect throughout all of your circles - business, family, volunteer work and social settings. Do not be a critic; criticism drives wedges and makes one unpopular.
n Stay true to your faith. We all need a rudder to keep us true to our desired direction.
You may wish to develop your own list of tenants, print them out, and review them often.
Louis Schultz, managing director of Process Management LLC, has assisted organizations worldwide with performance improvement. He currently works with area business owners as a SCORE counselor. E-mail him with questions or comments at lou@process