This week’s message comes via an article I read recently in some well-known magazine. Dick Nettell was running the transition between Bank of America and FleetBoston (his first job was as an 18-year-old ‘lot boy’ cleaning company vehicles). Dick’s personal leadership philosophy contains five bullet points.

Here they are:

  1. You take care of people first and everything else comes along for the ride. There is no gray area with credibility. You do what you say you are going to do.Magic! J.C. Penney made it a point to hire people smarter than he was and let them do their thing. Hire smarter and live longer. Then, with the time you have just bought for yourself, do what you promise to do.
  2. There is no substitute for hard work. You get an opportunity and you work your ass off. It doesn’t matter if you are washing cars or merging banks. You take pride in what you do. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, dig a little deeper within and try to determine why. If you can fix it, do so. If you can’t, do everyone in your life a favor and move on down the road. It is a big, long and winding road.
  3. You have to be a role model. This is a key point. People are watching you at all times. You can take this to the bank. You must not only behave like a professional, but you have to do so at all times. Consistency is what leaders do. ALL THE TIME. Not just when it is convenient.
  4. Public recognition is a drug that is more addictive than cocaine. Once people get it, they want it again and again. Make it a point to spot all the good things going on and make it a point to applaud those good things. Don’t be phony. There are plenty of legitimate good things happening out there. Find them and applaud them. Recognition is more powerful than money or drugs. It is truly addictive.
  5. Tell stories. People remember stories, especially with humor. Although you may not be a good story teller, you do have a sense of humor …. somewhere …. I hope. Don’t suppress it. Laugh out loud. At yourself. At the situation. Be real. And then keep it real.

That’s it for today. Five points to focus on.

  1. Think ‘people-first’.
  2. Take pride in your work.
  3. Be a role model.
  4. Think ‘recognition’.
  5. Tell stories and laugh.

Work at keeping it real this week, and while you are at it….spread the word.

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Mike Marchev, CTC, is a fun, down-to-earth business consultant and speaker. His primary focus is to introduce fun back into the selling process. He is the president and founder of HEAD-1ST-SALES. Ask about his members only Inner Circle Sales & Marketing Club.