Excerpt 1: The Three Tenets of Success

A successful business is guided by its Story. But Story needs substance to become real. Substance based on knowing and understanding the needs of people, substance that creates solutions and solves problems for people, substance that develops engagement and connection with people.

And so I developed the triumvirate of paying attention…to gather information, adding value…by creating solutions, and having fun…for engagement and connection. Thus was born the Three Tenets: Pay Attention · Add Value · Have Fun. If you Pay Attention in the proper ways you will learn how to always Add Value which makes it easy to do things that ensure all Have Fun…which leads to engaged customers and employees and company success.

The first step to creating your story is to Pay Attention. It sounds simple but it’s not. There is so much going on around you that you become overwhelmed. Your focus narrows as you exclude everything that isn’t related to your immediate task. This narrowed focus becomes the norm, not the exception. You lose the ability to notice and recognize the important things going on around you that feed your story…or starve it.

Paying Attention is the process of recognizing that which adds to business success and incorporating it into what you do, even if it means changing direction. It is the process of discovering and understanding where the market is guiding you and how to take advantage of this guidance. It is the creation part of Story, the dialogue that leads you to true understanding of what you are, where you are going, and how to create the passion leading to unending loyalty.

The second step is Add Value. Pay Attention helps you build your story and engender passion in customers and prospects. Add Value ensures you earn the passion, keep the passion, grow the passion. Story without foundation is merely a hallucination; the passion it builds is ephemeral without action to support it. Align what you do with your story. If it moves your story forward, it has value. Everything you do needs to be viewed through the prism of how, and if, it adds value.

It then becomes simple to determine what actions to take. It if adds value, do it always. If it doesn’t, never do it again. Build on what adds value. Spend the time and the resources of the organization enhancing value-adding activities while ignoring activities of little or no worth.

Have Fun is the third step for success. As you begin to know and understand your story, as you Pay Attention and Add Value, passion emerges. Passion is fed by having fun. People like to be with people who are fun, who have energy and enthusiasm. People find themselves unable to tear themselves away from people infused with excitement and passion. Be fun, exude fun, exemplify fun in your story and all you do.

Let me be clear about this. We’re not talking about forced fun, reckless fun, thoughtless fun, random activities that bring you joy but have nothing to do with moving business forward, engaging your employees, and developing tight relationships between your organization and your customers. We’re talking about the fun that comes from understanding each other totally and clearly, the fun that comes from having open and honest communication, the fun that comes from working together to solve problems and add value. The fun that comes from the sheer joy of success.

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