It shares lessons on management, efficiency, persistence, and happiness.
Reflecting on the year behind me, I think about my successes but often find myself wandering down a rabbit hole where my failures are hiding.
When looking forward to the coming year with all its possibilities and successes yet to be, I still tend to be haunted by the past year’s missteps.
When stuck there, I go back to a quote attributed to Albert Schweitzer, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
When I recognize myself dwelling on the negative, I think of all my blessings and the good I have accomplished, which makes me happy and helps me bring a positive attitude to my work and the people around me.
The Schweitzer saying is included in a quote-a-day calendar from the Institute of Management Consultants. I look at that calendar frequently and find great value in it. I’m reminded of the great wisdom and value in that little 365-page book of quotes and offer some of them to you as we finish this year and prepare for the next.
On being a manager:
Ken Blanchard, an author and leadership expert, reminds us how we should measure our success. “As a manager the important thing is not what happens when you are there, but what happens when you are not there.”
Success as a manager is about what you’re able to accomplish through others. It’s about your ability to make their contributions meaningful to them and your business. It’s about balancing empathy for your staff and the demands of your business.
On being effective:
When I think about being effective, I’m reminded of a quote by Gandhi that reminds me that “There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is much less competition there.”
The world is full of people eager for praise whether they are worthy. Focus on doing the work and doing it the best you can and all the success and praise you could ever want will eventually find you.
I find humor is a wonderful lubricant for helping my mind hear and absorb words of wisdom. Who better to provide wisdom wrapped in humor than Mark Twain, who was once quoted as saying “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.”
Sometimes I’m positive I know the answer but find my facts are just bad assumptions. Be careful about what you say you know. Better to say what you feel or believe — those are the things that define you, that lead you to success and make you human.
On being persistent:
The last quote has far reaching impact for me and can often be the difference between success beyond expectations and failure when success seemed to be guaranteed.
My calendar credits B.C. Forbes, founder of Forbes Magazine, with saying “Remember, diamonds are only lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
Success in business is a process that takes time and hard work. Just as it takes millions of years to turn coal into one of the hardest materials on earth, it takes time, patience, and persistence to build a good business. Remember, you never fail until you stop trying!
May the past year always be a reminder for you of better years to come.