Many years ago we had a relaxing dinner with a client and his wife. After several glasses of wine, he leaned over, got right in my face, and said, “…Morgenstern, your biggest problem is that you’re simply too damn nice. You’d be a lot more successful if you had more a**h*** in you.”
I paused for a moment, and then burst out laughing. That’s just not who I am.
They say nice guys finish last. But for more than 30 years, including nearly 15 with Morningstar Communications, we’ve proven you don’t have to act like a jerk to be successful.
They say you need to differentiate to succeed. We say you need to focus on your excellence – not your difference – to succeed.
They say you need to sell in order to survive. Be smart, share your knowledge and people will come to you because they already know you are a valuable resource to help them achieve their goals.
They say you need to be tough. I say you need to be compassionate.
They say you need to focus on the bottom line. I say you need to focus on doing outstanding work for smart, successful clients.
They say business exists to make profits. I say business exists to help others, and profits become the byproduct.
Stop listening to what “they” say, and start listening to your inner voice – it will always tell you the right thing to do.
My friend (and client) Lori Mallory, CEO of Kansas City Internal Medicine, recently gave me a book, “Love is the Killer App.” Originally published in 2002, it’s even more true today. In essence, this book validates much of my worldview on how to succeed in business … and in life.
The book extolls the virtues of being a “Lovecat.” This is defined as, “… the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing your intangibles with your bizpartners,” according to the author, Tim Sanders. He defines the intangibles as our knowledge, our network and our compassion.
This philosophy is hard-wired in my DNA. Always has been; always will be.
Your personal brand identity is your greatest treasure. Not only will your personal brand always travel with you; it often precedes you. “The only thing you ever own is your reputation and your relationships. Everything else is transitory.” (I quote a lot of people, but this one is actually one of my own!)
Having power in business used to mean holding your cards close to your vest; not letting anyone in. That approach won’t work today. Not anymore. Not in today’s world.
The world is run by intangibles – knowledge, networks and compassion. He or she who offers it up, makes the connections and gives without an immediate expectation of a return, will continue to thrive in the 21st century.
They say nice guys finish last. I say nice guys finish first. And, they enjoy the journey even more.
Onward and upward.Tagged Eric Morgenstern, Love is the Killer App, lovecat, Morningstar Communications