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A Special Six Pack

Taking care of business doesn’t start or end with believing people are
basically trustworthy. You will see this as you consume another six pack.

work at being truly trustworthy.

The first slot in this six pack is for
trust; but the question isn’t, “Who do you trust?” It isn’t,
“Who trusts you?” either, since even world-class scoundrels likely
are trusted sometimes by someone. The question is, “Is there any good
reason why anyone should trust you?”

Now that gives it a whole new perspective. You say, “You can trust
me; you have my word on it.” Well, okay, but so what? Seeing is believing,
show me, talk is cheap, time will tell, and all that. Your being trustworthy
isn’t one of those things you can just proclaim and think that is the end of
it. It’s not something you tell people about you; it’s a judgement other people
make about you. As one or another of those very wise souls puts it, “Your reputation is created when you are
not there.”

candid, every time, with everyone.

The next slot is reserved for being candid.
Actually, it’s a double slot, with being trustworthy and being candid sitting
side-by-side, since you can’t have one without the other.

Consider someone who is blunt, direct, frank, and straight forward.
There is someone who is candid, sure enough. Got the picture? Okay, erase that
picture and consider someone who is neither blunt, direct, frank, nor straight
forward. Is this someone you are going to trust? Not likely!

Now picture someone who is authentically candid and who combines their
candor with trustworthiness, genuine sincerity, and a liberal splash of
sensitivity. Wow! there is someone who is truly exceptional.

care of business by focusing on business.

Being focused fills the next slot in this
six pack. Taking care of business can get very complex and complicated; and if
you don’t stay focused, it will soon be all she wrote, as they say. While you
are in the heat of the game, though, it’s not enough to simply keep your eye on
the ball. You have to keep it on the other players too; and since they have all
got balls of their own, you also keep your eye on their balls. The super-stars
at taking care of business are the players who have the uncanny ability to
focus on their ball, the other players, and the other players’ balls simultaneously
— or at least that is how it looks to the unsophisticated observer. Strictly
on a “from my mouth to your ear” basis, it ain’t necessarily so. The
high flyers have mastered a secret technique. They only focus on one ball or
one player at a time and never on a player and a ball at the same time. Now,
that is focus! but there is more.

Players ready for the first-string can predict from other player’s
moves where their balls are going; and since they know where all the balls are
headed, they don’t have to know where other players or their balls actually
are. Do you get it? You don’t keep track of or worry about other players. The
key to taking care of business is keeping focus on the balls and knowing where
yours is in relation to where the other balls will end up.

If you don’t quite get it yet, focus on your ball, your business. Next,
locate the other balls in the game and predict where they are going. Your
objective is to move your ball in relation to where the other balls are headed.
Focusing on the other players in the game, including those on your team, only
serves your interest in knowing where the other balls will most likely end up
so you can keep your ball where you need it to be: headed toward your goal. If
you now see being focused means you attend to all the balls and all the
players, one ball at a time and one player at a time, you’ve got it.

yourself to a moral approach to taking care of business.

Slot four is reserved for a moral approach
to taking care of business. This doesn’t mean people who don’t take a moral
approach are bad or evil people, though they may be. It simply means they don’t
take a moral approach, i. e., they don’t take a principle-centered,
value-centered approach to business.

Having principles directing your actions and values forcing your
choices says, For example, “I never knowingly give a customer a product or
service below the standard I promised.” That means you do it right, the
first time, on time, every time. Now there is a principle to live up to, one that
certainly directs your actions.

What principles direct your actions, direct how you take care of
business? If you have three or four clear, non-negotiable principles by which
you always do business, you are up there on the moral high ground where most
people you do business with spend little time.

Values follow principles; but they are not simply a list of things you
like. For example, your principle is you do the right things right, the first
time, on time, every time; but what are the “right things?” Perhaps
they are products that reliably do what they are supposed to do or services
that consistently accomplish what they are intended to accomplish. You value
products and services that work, the first time, every time. Having that
“value” then forces many choices you make about products and
services, about how you use your resources, and about people who produce or use
those products and services.

and consistently pursue your principles and values.

Slot five holds predictability and works
best as a double slot with a moral approach to taking care of business. There
certainly are those unscrupulous types who are totally predictable: you can
simply assume they are only taking care of No. 1 and they will screw you every
chance they get. If predictability is joined with moral principles and values,
though, it is indeed a pleasure to experience. People don’t always know what
you are going to do or how you are going to do it; but they always know why you
do it: you are following your principles and values. You are innovative,
original, creative, and uniquely you, sure enough. At the same time, you are
predictable and  anyone who understands
your principles and values knows it’s so.

persistence, persistence.

The final slot in this six pack is reserved
for persistence. Being worthy of trust, candor, staying focused, taking the
moral high ground, and predictability are honorable and worthwhile pursuits;
but none of them are easy, automatic, or guaranteed paths to success. Rather,
they are sometimes slow and often tedious, personal commitments.

may be time to put the old dog in the truck and call it a day.

Finally, suppose you are hot on the trail
of a great deal, a resolution to a nasty conflict, an answer to a tough
question; but it suddenly all goes sour. Have you been there, up close and
personal? Sure you have. It’s frustrating to say the least and is usually down
right maddening. The nearly irresistible temptation is to poke at it just one
more time, take just one more shot.

Sure, the problem with resisting temptation is this may be the only
chance you get; it may be now or never; and everyone knows winners never quit
and quitters never win. At the same time, though, K. Rogers in The Gambler
advises, “You got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, and know
when to walk away.” Actually, it’s the knowing when to walk away that may not
be the key to success but certainly is an effective way to cut your losses; and
as Grandpa says, “Winners don’t win more; they just loose less.”

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