37 Secrets Only Successful People Know
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS
1. How to Become More Optimistic
- EXPECT something wonderful to happen every day.
- TREAT people as you’d want to be treated.
- DON’T waste breath fighting about things you can’t change.
- CONCENTRATE on the job at hand, not the results you seek.
- ASSUME other people mean well.
- AVOID depressing people and conversations.
- EAT something delicious every day.
- TURN OFF the background television.
- ADOPT an attitude of gratitude.
- REMEMBER that the best is yet to come.
2. How to Eliminate Stress
- CULTIVATE the patience and perspective to let go of your results.
- FOCUS on what you’re doing now rather than the results.
- IF you’re overworked, negotiate a more reasonable workload.
- CUT your hours to the “sweet spot,” which is about 40 hours a week.
- AVOID people who won’t or can’t control their own stress.
- FIND a place where you can work quietly away from distractions.
- TURN OFF news programming that’s designed to rile you up.
- TURN DOWN projects that you can’t do well.
- STOP arguing with fools and strangers online.
- ARRANGE tasks consecutively rather than trying to multitask.
3. How to Overcome Fear
- CONFRONT your fears head on to reduce their power.
- IMAGINE dealing with the fear to make it less daunting.
- REMEMBER that fear is just excitement in disguise.
- USE fear to spawn the energy you need to perform well.
4. How to Cope With Rejection
- REALIZE that rejection is just a difference of opinion.
- UNDERSTAND that rejection only hurts because you let it.
- REMEMBER that every rejection moves you closer to your goal.
- KEEP other opportunities in reserve so you can quickly move on.
5. How to Rise Above Failure
- CREATE goals that motivate you to achieve something possible.
- ALWAYS write goals down; display them where you’ll see them.
- DECIDE by saying “I must…” or “I will…” rather than “I’ll try….”
- BREAK your big goals into smaller, measurable milestones.
- CHECK whether you’re moving toward or away from your goals.
- WELCOME setbacks because they’ll hone your plan.
- REMEMBER that the only true failure is failing to take action.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CAREER
6. How to Achieve Your Dream Job
- KNOW what would constitute your dream job.
- FIND role models and incorporate their way of thinking.
- HAVE the courage to sacrifice your security.
- LEARN to sell your ideas and yourself.
- CREATE a plan and start executing it today.
- ADJUST your goal as you learn more about yourself.
7. How to Attain Career Security
- LIVE below your means until you’ve got six months of income saved.
- DEVELOP expertise that makes it less likely you’ll be fired.
- CULTIVATE new opportunities and record them in an escape plan.
8. How to Get More Done Each Day
- DON’T take calls from people you don’t know, unless you’re working in telesales or product support.
- USE email instead of time-consuming voice mail
- LIMIT your chitchat with co-workers.
- TURN OFF “alerts” that interrupt your thinking.
- KEEP TRACK of how you spend time; that’s half the battle.
- REMEMBER that 20 percent of your actions produce 80 percent of your results.
- ONLY DO the 20 percent that produces the 80 percent of your results.
- PRIORITIZE based on what accomplishes the most with the least effort.
9. How to Use LinkedIn Effectively
- YOUR personal brand will define how people see you.
- GET a professional portrait and expunge unprofessional ones.
- CUSTOMIZE your résumé to match your career goals.
- SOLICIT recommendations that are realistic and relevant.
- AVOID blogging, unless you’re being paid to do so.
- KEEP your irrelevant opinions off the internet.
10. How to Land a Job Interview
- CREATE and sell your own job description, if possible.
- GET a current employee to recommend you, if possible.
- CUSTOMIZE your résumé to match the job description.
- EXPLAIN “who I am” in terms of the specific job.
- DESCRIBE specifically how you helped former employers, not what you did.
- INCLUDE benefits that echo phrases from the job description.
11. How to Ace a Job Interview
- DON’T put all your eggs in this one basket.
- FIND out all you can about the hiring firm.
- DEVISE questions that show you’ve done your research.
- REHEARSE answers to the standard questions.
- WEAR what you’d wear if you worked there; don’t be late.
- GET the offer, then decide whether you really want the job.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES
12. What Great Bosses Believe About Their Jobs
- BUSINESS is an ecosystem, so cooperate, don’t fight.
- COMPANIES are communities, so treat people as individuals.
- MANAGEMENT is service, so make others successful first.
- EMPLOYEES are your peers, so treat them like adults.
- MOTIVATE with vision, because fear only paralyzes.
- CHANGE is growth, so welcome rather than shun it.
- TECHNOLOGY eliminates busywork and frees creativity.
- WORK is fun, so don’t turn it into a chore.
13. How to Create Loyal, Effective Employees
- MANAGE individuals, not numbers.
- ADAPT your style to each person.
- MEASURE what’s truly relevant.
- ONLY one priority per person.
- STAY even-tempered.
- TAKE responsibility for your low performers.
- SHARE your thoughts and ideas.
- ASK questions rather than providing answers.
- TREAT everyone as equally as possible.
- DON’T expect more than you’re willing to give.
- EXPLAIN the reasoning behind your decisions.
- DON’T prevaricate, decide now!
14. How to Hire a Top Performer
- KNOW exactly whom you’re looking for.
- CONSTANTLY seek viable candidates.
- LOOK for character, not experience.
- RESILIENCE is the mark of potential greatness.
- SEEK out the self-motivated.
- ATTITUDE is all-important.
- DON’T settle for canned references.
15. How to Hold a Productive Meeting
- HAVE an agenda before you meet.
- PROVIDE background information.
- DON’T let the meeting meander.
- DOCUMENT what decisions were made.
16. How to Offer Constructive Criticism
- ADDRESS undesirable behaviors when they happen.
- OFFER praise, then identify the behavior you want changed.
- ASK questions to understand the “why” behind the behavior.
- AGREE upon a plan to change the behavior.
- MONITOR and reinforce the changed behavior.
17. How to Redirect a Complainer
- SCHEDULE a conversation when they try to start one.
- SET the agenda for the conversation as a “problem-solving” session.
- LISTEN respectfully to the entire complaint.
- ASK what the complainer plans to do.
- CONFIRM that your advice is truly wanted.
- PROVIDE your best advice (if it’s wanted).
- END the conversation at the first “Yeah, but….”
18. How to Fire Somebody
- TELL it like it is without the biz-blab.
- SHOW empathy for your co-workers.
- EXPLAIN why it’s happening, as far as you legally can.
- CUT quickly, heal, and move on.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CO-WORKERS
19. The Ten Types of Annoying Co-Workers
- WAFFLERS can’t decide, so force the issue.
- CONQUERORS must win, so make them team leaders.
- DRAMATISTS crave attention, so ignore them.
- ICONOCLASTS break rules needlessly, so avoid them.
- DRONERS are boring, so find something else to do.
- FRENEMIES sabotage, so keep them at arm’s length.
- TOADIES are irrelevant; be polite but ignore them.
- VAMPIRES leach energy, unless you stay upbeat.
- PARASITES steal credit, so track who’s contributed.
- GENIUSES are all talk, so pester them until they deliver.
20. How to Earn the Respect of Your Peers
- BE yourself rather than your role.
- SHOW interest in other people.
- SHARE the limelight.
- DRESS and groom to match your ambitions.
- PAUSE before speaking to mentally frame your thoughts.
- SPEAK from your chest without verbal tics or an end of sentence rise in pitch.
21. How to Play Clean Office Politics
- FIND OUT what other people need and want.
- BUILD mutually useful alliances with those you can trust.
- KEEP TRACK of the favors you owe and the ones owed you.
- USE your alliances at key points to help achieve your goals.
22. How to Recruit a Mentor
- MENTORS crave to teach people what they’ve learned.
- SEEK OUT mentors who have experience and skills you lack.
- ASK for advice and let the relationship develop.
- BE KIND when you outgrow the relationship.
23. How to Shine in a Meeting
- TREAT meetings as a possible way to advance your agenda.
- AVOID meetings that don’t serve your own agenda.
- DECIDE whether each meeting will be useful or useless.
- EITHER decline to attend or prepare well; no in between.
- TAKE notes, so you can speak coherently when it’s your turn.
- SPEAK confidently, and, if appropriate, segue into your agenda.
- PUBLISH your own “minutes” of the meeting.
24. How to Cope with an Office Bully
- DON’T try to calm the bully down or apologize.
- INSIST on respectful, professional behavior.
- IF the unprofessional behavior continues, leave the immediate area.
- COPE with your own emotions privately.
- REVISIT the issue at a later date.
- DECIDE whether the relationship is worth it.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR COMMUNICATIONS
25. The Five Rules of Business Communications
- KNOW your reason for communicating.
- PICK a medium that’s appropriate for the other person.
- SIMPLIFY your message for easy mental consumption.
- EDIT out all buzzwords and corporate-speak.
- AVOID jargon, unless dealing with fellow experts.
26. How to Have a Productive Conversation
- KNOW the reason you’re having a conversation.
- IGNORE your internal dialog.
- LISTEN carefully to the other person.
- CONSIDER what was said and echo it back.
- RESPOND with something that adds to the conversation.
27. How to Write a Compelling Email
- KNOW what decision you want made.
- EXPRESS that decision as a conclusion at the beginning.
- SUPPORT that conclusion with simple arguments.
- PROVIDE evidence to bolster each argument.
- REPEAT your conclusion as an action item.
- WRITE the subject last and include a benefit.
28. How to Create a Great Presentation
- PLAN OUT an emotional journey for the audience.
- FLAG the places where the audience will feel emotions.
- BUILD a story that creates the emotions in that order.
- ARRANGE everything into a simple structure.
- MAKE slides relevant, short, simple, and readable.
- CUSTOMIZE your presentation and rehearse it.
29. How to Deliver a Great Presentation
- STAND UP rather than remain seated when you speak.
- CHECK your equipment in advance.
- HAVE somebody else introduce you.
- SET AND RESPECT a time limit.
- AVOID “warm-up” jokes, unless you’re a comedian.
- ADJUST your presentation to the “feel” of the room.
- LESSEN stage fright by speaking to individuals, not the entire audience
- SPEAK directly to audience members.
- DON’T meander and skip.
- MAKE eye contact with multiple people.
30. How to Work a Room
- BE CURIOUS about people and what they do.
- WHEN ASKED, describe yourself in terms of the value you provide.
- IF the other person seems uninterested, move on.
- EXPLAIN how you’re different from the competition.
- IF the other person seems uninterested, move on.
- OPEN a conversation to assess mutual needs.
- IF interest continues, ask for a real meeting.
31. How to Negotiate a Deal
- DEFINE what’s on the table in the deal.
- DECIDE what’s important to you and what’s not.
- HAVE reasons why those things are important to you.
- RESERVE a plan B, so your hand isn’t forced.
- LET the other person open the negotiation.
- WORK together rather than digging your heels in.
- CREATE a deal that reflects what you both value.
- STOP negotiating when the bulk of the deal is defined.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR BOSS
32. The Twelve Types of Bosses
- VISIONARIES are inspiring but can act like jerks.
- CLIMBERS want to get ahead, so expect no loyalty.
- BUREAUCRATS hate change, so document everything.
- PROPELLERHEADS love gadgets, so become an expert.
- FOGEYS want respect, so recruit them as mentors.
- WHIPPERSNAPPERS are insecure, so don’t make suggestions.
- SOCIAL DIRECTORS love consensus but may suddenly explode.
- DICTATORS make fast decisions but cause disasters.
- SALES STARS would rather be selling, so let them do so.
- HATCHET MEN execute layoffs, so get another job pronto.
- LOST LAMBS need your help but may get dependent on you.
- HEROES are rare, so enjoy them while it lasts.
33. How to Keep Any Boss Happy
- DO what you say you’ll do.
- KEEP your boss in the loop.
- CARE about your quality of work.
- ACCEPT decisions when they’re made.
- SOLVE problems without whining.
- BE concise and clear.
- MAKE your boss successful.
34. How to Get the Best from Your Boss
- COMMUNICATE what you need in order to do your best.
- KEEP your manager informed of your progress.
- MAKE a case for keeping you in your job.
- ENSURE that everyone knows how much you contribute.
- UNDERSTAND your boss’s goals and desires.
- CULTIVATE a common interest.
35. How to Ace Your Performance Review
- FIND OUT what you must accomplish and document the conversation.
- TRACK and report on your accomplishments against your metrics.
- WRITE your performance review draft or provide “inputs” to same.
- IF the boss attempts to renege, insist on some other reward.
36. How to Handle an Unreasonable Request
- BE flexible about what’s unreasonable.
- IF you accept the task, negotiate something in return.
- CULTIVATE the courage to say no.
- REMEMBER that once you do it, it’s part of your job.
37. How to Ask for a Raise
- DON’T bother discussing what you need, want, or expect to be paid.
- BASE your proposed raise on your financial contribution.
- LET your boss know how much it would cost to replace you.
- GATHER information to buttress your case.
- ESTABLISH a discrepancy between your value and your pay.
- FIELD objections, so they reinforce your case.
- PUSH until you’ve gotten a commitment with a number.
Excerpted and adapted from the book Business Without the …, by Geoffrey James. © 2014 by Geoffrey James. Reprinted by permission of Business Plus. All rights reserved.
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