Sailing the high Cs to success in business – Minneapolis Star Tribune

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I wrote a chapter in my recent book — “You Haven’t Hit Your Peak Yet!” — on “The Seven Cs of Success.” They included: clarity, competence, constraints, concentration, creativity, courage and continuous learning.

A reader sent me a very fitting quote from Zig Ziglar: “The three Cs of life: choices, chances, changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”

Who would have known there were so many Cs to help sail through life? And I have listed several more:

Curiosity: Curiosity is one of nature’s greatest gifts. The old saying “You learn something new every day” should be taken very seriously. Be curious about everything around you. The future belongs to the curious; the ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out.

Commitment: When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. Commitment is a prerequisite to success. Commitment is the state of being bound — emotionally, intellectually or both — to a course of action.

Competition: The breakfast of champions is competition. Competition has made me a better businessman, a better golfer and a better person. And when there isn’t another company or business to compete with, I try to outdo myself. If that sounds simple, well, it is.

Communication: The most basic yet critical life skill is communication. From time to time, reevaluate your performance in these fundamental areas: speaking, listening, writing, leading meetings and resolving conflict.

Consistency: Don’t be resistant to being consistent. If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it. Consistency is especially important in business. Consistency establishes reputations.

Compassion: Compassionate people really care. Compassionate people are also more positive. That’s why you should practice compassion every day of your life. Helping someone up won’t pull you down.

Caring: It’s contagious! Help spread it around. People don’t care how much you know about them once they realize how much you care about them. Learn as much about your customers and suppliers as you possibly can because you can’t talk about business all your life. Build those relationships and take it from a business level to a personal level.

Customers: Nothing is more important than customer service. No customer service, and pretty soon, no customers. The key is to latch onto your customers and hold them fast. Don’t just meet their needs. Anticipate them.

Charisma: Some people walk into a room and all heads turn. When they begin to speak, people are mesmerized. They instantly gain respect and trust. In a word, they have charisma, one of the most desirable and enviable qualities in the world.

Charm: My mother used to tell me that you could catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. When I finally understood what she was talking about, I realized that our personalities often determine the outcome of situations.

Challenge: Unless you live on Easy Street, you will face plenty of challenges. Welcome challenges; they make you better. Business challenges are a fact of life. How you handle them determines whether you will stay in business.

Cooperation: Getting along is the key to getting ahead. Competition and cooperation are not opposites. We often must work together to have the best outcomes and stay competitive.

Mackay’s Moral: “C-ing” is believing and succeeding.

Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail [email protected]