To Act Or Not To Act

Great plans can be developed and limitless opportunities planned; but, if action is not taken to put the events into play, nothing happens.  Opportunities do not come to  those who wait.  They are captured by those who attack.

In 1932, which was during the Great Depression, an energetic young man graduated from college and had absolutely no idea what he wanted to do with his life.  During this time, jobs were hard to get and in the summers he was fortunate to go back to an old job, lifeguarding at a local swimming pool.

He caught the eye of the father of some children he was teaching to swim who became interested in his decision about the future he desired.  He encouraged the young man to search his heart and  decide what he really wanted to do.  After much thought, the young man made that decision.  He wanted to become a radio announcer.

The young man conveyed his decision to his new mentor and began taking the necessary action to make his dreams come true.  After some short preparation, he packed his bags and set out to get into the radio business.  He hitchhiked to Chicago where many radio stations existed, but he failed to secure employment.  Determined to reach his goal, he made inquiries all across Illinois and Iowa.  Finally a station in Davenport, Iowa offered him a job as a sports announcer.   This opportunity was the first of many that came forth for this young energetic man.  The man who went onto fame and fortune and also who made a fundamental difference in the lives of people throughout the world.  Yes, this young man of action, President Ronald Reagan.

In order to ACT effectively, you should employ three key attributes.  Fail to employ any one of the three and your potential for success falls short.  The three attributes necessary for proper action are: ATTITUDE, COMMITMENT and TENACITY.

ATTITUDE guides performance.  Golf legend great Arnold Palmer’s father once told him, “Remember, whatever game you play, 90% of success is from the shoulders up.”  ATTITUDE provides you the incentive to move forward.  It enables you to overcome fear and realize that with a good attitude, you can turn negative experiences into positive outcomes.  ATTITUDE is a choice you make each day.  You have a plan to launch or an opportunity to pursue.  ATTITUDE enables you to broadly focus and to realize that your grasp of ATTITUDE’s draw toward a task will trigger your overall ability to respond.

The optimist and a pessimist had combined their resources and decided to enter business together.  Sales were outstanding and after less than 6-months the profits were very positive.  The optimist said to his partner, “What an outstanding start we have had.  Customers love our products and we are selling more and more week after week!”  His pessimist partner looked at him and replied,  “Sure we have.  However, if things keep going like this, we will have to order lots more inventory.”  ATTITUDE makes the difference.  Having that proper ATTITUDE enables you to set in motion the next activity which can lead you to greater success.

COMMITMENT is what enables you to transform a promise or plan into reality.  It is where your thoughts are.  To fundamentally succeed in any endeavor, total COMMITMENT is required.  A chicken and a pig were engaged in a discussion about COMMITMENT.  The chicken told his friend that he was COMMITTED to providing eggs every morning.  The pig replied that giving eggs was not COMMITMENT.  It is simply participation.  “Giving ham is a total COMMITMENT.”  As former legendary NFL head coach Dick Vermeil once said, “If you don’t invest very much, then defeat doesn’t hurt very much and winning is not very exciting.”

It was once said that COMMITTED people seek the successful outcome of their desires with amazing depth and passion.  Author and pastor Robert Schuller noted, “Irrevocable commitments that offer no loopholes, no bail-out provisions, and no parachute clauses will extract incredible productivity and performance.”  It is much like the story of the newspaper reporter who gained an exclusive interview with the devil.  The reporter, interested in the deceptive tactics the devil employed to confuse people asked, “What is the most useful tactic in dealing wth people?  Is it dishonesty, or lust or simply jealousy?”  “Oh no,” replied the devil.  “The most powerful weapon is apathy.  The tactic that destroys COMMITMENT.”  That is very true.  Lack of commitment will simply tear life out of the most infectious dreams.  Only through COMMITMENT will you be prepared to give life everything you have.  COMMITMENT is the prerequisite to any success.

TENACITY comes from a vision.  A vision that demands you don’t give up!  When General Ulysses Grant was battling for his very life at Shiloh during the Civil War, he surveyed the field and concluded that he was going to lose.  However, he kept fighting.  Even after his defeat when all the newspapers and influential leaders were demanding his removal, President Lincoln came to his aide.  Lincoln quickly noted that he could not spare Grant.  Lincoln said, “He fights.”  “He’s got the grip of a a bulldog, and when he gets his teeth in, nothing can shake him off.”  That TENACITY provided Grant with that special something that helped him become not only a great military leader but also President of the United States.

Artist and author Julia Cameron said, “Often it is TENACITY, not talent, that rules the day.”  President Theodore Roosevelt spend many early hours bedridden.  He had severe asthma that limited his ability to engage in activities like other kids.  He often lay struggling to breathe and was afraid to sleep for fear he would not wake up.  Being weak, he was easy prey for neighborhood bullies and only his brother Elliott’s protection kept him from great harm.

Teddy was filled with TENACITY as he sought to become strong mentally and physically.  He set a goal to become self-sufficient and worked to bring that resolve to reality through daily exercise and hours of weight lifting.  He also became an avid reader and absorbed books on every conceivable subject.  Later as a student at Harvard, Roosevelt became well known for his seemingly limitless energy and enthusiasm.  TENACITY enables you to soar when others simply coast. Achievers are resolute in their efforts and TENACITY guides their results.

ATTITUDE, COMMITMENT, and TENACITY are crucial to getting underway on virtually any project or goal.  Each provides an unwavering fuel that will guide your directives in a manner which enables you to obtain from your endeavors what you seek or what is necessary for success to be realized.  As President John F. Kennedy concluded, “There are risks and costs to a program of action.  But they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”  Apply yourself.  Do it!


Think BIG! Coaching and Training, Inc.

Herman Dixon

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

P. (304) 839-5101



Foundational Planning

It is important to remember that planning is vital to success whether it be from a personal or business perspective. There are also strong foundational basics of plans that in some manner should be maintained to enable your planning engine to always run smoothly.  A foundational plan with guiding basic components should always provide you a picture of where you are and where you should be going. Thus, a strong foundational plan with deep-rooted basic principles can insure that you are moving in the right direction.

Victor Hugo, the famed French poet and novelist, said, “He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” Therefore it is important to make no small plans but to make only big plans and follow those plans which are conducive to keeping you on the pathway to lasting success. 

The story is told of famed rebel Spartacus who led a first century B.C. fight to gain freedom for himself and his fellow slaves from the clutches of the Roman empire.  His viable army of soldiers were born fighters, many having been trained for warfare from birth despite being from many countries of the known world. This rag-tag group was virtually invincible when Spartacus was in the field leading the fight. They defeated army after army who was sent to recapture and or destroy them.

Spartacus built and began to execute a solid plan. The foundational basics of the plan directed the rebels to fight their way northward into the Alps and escape to former homelands or safer environments away from the pressures of Roman influence. However, as win after win came to them, the rebel army became overconfident and pressured Spartacus to make a stand and show the great Roman army that they were no longer going to be pushed around. As history points out, Spartacus succumbed to their demands, abandoning the foundational basics of his plan and was destroyed along with many of his rebel band. Thus the moral of the story is simple: understand that you can lose all you have achieved when you abandon the foundational basics of plans that made you a success.

Here are five (5) foundational basics that should be part of every successful business plan.
When you do not neglect these basics and have clarity as to their understanding and impact, your propensity for success in all endeavors will be firmly set.

First, what are you building? Everybody is building something but do you really understand what you want to create? Who is your customer? What do you have to offer? Who else is in the market that you must compete with? Where will your work be conducted? Understanding and clearly articulating these simple facts will enable you to create more specifically what you are envisioning.

Second, what is the reason for your business to exist?
What is your unique position in the marketplace? What promises are you making to potential customers? What specific needs, desires, wants does your product provide or what problems or other challenges will your product solve? Understanding the reason for your business existence should enable you to more succinctly brand yourself and compel others to follow your brand.

Third, what will you measure?
You must insure that you have a quantitative feel of your business and are always focused on results. What are specific targets you will seek? What in the end will define the success or shortfall of your work efforts? Understanding this conceptual and building specificity into its acceptable outcome will forever change your efforts and better bring forth the worthwhile results you seek.

Fourth, how will you go about building your business? Simply showing up while a valuable part of success, will not guarantee success. Success comes as a result of executing a thoroughly designed game plan. That game plan enables you to set a direction, establish a value proposition and set forth guidelines that cascade you through key decisions and clarifies what you will and will not do. Those boundaries will better insure you stay on track and attract those customers you want to serve and can serve more effectively.

Finally, what is the work to be done?
How will you in essence get the “dirt under your fingernails” that defines the actions vital to achieve what it is you want to achieve. Each step in this avenue should related to a measurement or an action you will take to go about building your business. It clarifies specifically how this business operational puzzle comes together.  The stronger the actions you take, the more effective the potential for reality arises.

Always following the foundational basics most often guarantees higher levels of success. You find yourself more directly focused on what really matters: results. When results guide your undertakings, more effective communication is built, synergy grows and this produces greater excitement among people about the possibilities.

What changes would history have seen if Spartacus had only stayed firm with his foundational plan basics? What changes will your business show if you too employ or stay true to your business plan foundational basics? Only time and your commitment can make that determination.

What Type Of Ticket Do You Hold?

Recently I was reviewing some information about the Old West.  I came across some interesting history about the stagecoach lines which fundamentally changed the early travel on the frontier.

Stagecoach lines had three classes of tickets.  First Class tickets provided the holder that regardless of what happened on the journey, you never had to leave your seat.  Second Class passengers had to exit their seats when something happened on the trip but nothing else was demanded.  Third Class passengers found life much different.  If something happened, you were responsible to get the situation fixed and help get the stagecoach back on its way.  It was in essence a “working ticket.”

In life and career, you can also find three types of people.  First, those who feel all there is to do is “show up.”  There is nothing more these individuals feel should be done.  Simply “being there” is enough.  Next, you will find people who stand around and watch what is happening.  These individuals  consider themselves “experts” and are also the first to offer critical commentary about issues but have no desire to provide or assist in solutions.  Finally, you find those individuals who get things done.  Each steps out and “pushes or pulls” when it is needed.  They are the true “go to” individuals. These “workers” provide and execute the solutions and get the results needed.

It is important to realize that life’s adventures do not provide a “free” ride.  However, life does offer you every opportunity to advance, to gain; but, it also demands that you “work” to achieve that success.  You will never accomplish anything of significance if you simply come along for the ride or stand around and talk about how a situation should have been approached.  You must get in there, get your hands dirty and work to achieve the goal!

Harry Truman was a no-nonsense president whose attitude toward life was summed up this way: “I found that the men and women who get to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand with everything that had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.”  Thus a willingness to work and seek solutions does matter.

It is easy to be pulled by your successes into a state of complacency.  It is easy to “let-up” in your drive to reach valued accomplishments when things are really going your way.  Why shouldn’t you?  You have paid your “dues” along the way.  It is time to celebrate all that success and put those hours of toil that got you to where you are now, aside. You are there! But, are you really?

When you set aside and lose the desire for work, you in essence lose your drive and ambition to make things happen.  Thus, you lose.  You join those who either stand on the outside talking about what should be done or who simply want to show up because each feels deserving.  In reality, have you not truly lost who you in essence are?

To be the winner you strive to be, you must realize that though others may consider you an expert, there is yet much more to learn.  Never abandon your will to work though your processes toward getting the results you need may indeed evolve.  Take a “third class” mindset and build a “first class” result for your life and career.  The “seat” you strive to hold for the journey will in essence guide your pathway.


Think BIG! Coaching and Training, Inc.

Herman Dixon

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

P. (304) 839-5101

Looking In The Right Places

There is an often told true story of how a poor farmer inspired by discoveries of diamond mines in his country, sold his farm and went off in search of riches.  He spent the balance of his life traveling the lands unsuccessfully for the shining objects that brought such riches to those who possessed them.  Finally tired, devastated and despondent, he jumped into a river and perished.

The man who purchased his farm was walking the property one day and came upon a stream.  As he peered into the water, he noticed a bright flash at the stream’s bottom.  Investigating the sighting, he found a large stone appearing to be a crystal and after looking it over, stuck it in his pocket and took it home.  When he arrived at his house, he cleaned the stone and placed it on his mantel so that he might admire its reflection,

A few days later, a friend visited his home and was drawn to the stone.  As he examined the discovery, his eyes grew large and he yelled in excitement to his friend, “Where did you find this?”  The farmer looked at his friend and replied that he had found it in one of the streams on the property. The friend asked to be taken to the exact spot.  After arrival, they walked the stream further and saw many of the same stones along the waterway. The farmer remarked that he surely had many beautiful crystals it would seem.  The friend quickly explained to his farming companion, after further examining other stones, that what he thought to be crystals were actually diamonds.  In fact, the stream bed was littered with those glittering diamonds.

The farm which had been sold to him eventually turned out to become one of the largest diamond mines on the entire African continent.  If only the first farmer had taken time to study and evaluate what he had, his story might have been different.  It shows you that there exists great possibilities if you will look in the right places.

Whether you are a CEO, entrepreneur, part of a leadership team, a sales professional or otherwise, there truly does exist “acres of diamonds” all around you.  That discovery simply demands your patience, mental insight, willingness to explore possibilities and dedication to accomplishment to visualize its findings.  The question becomes, what are you currently overlooking or underachieving?

Business and life itself is never as bad as you may proclaim.  To uncover your possibilities, confront yourself with some crucial questions:

1)  Are you clear on your vision and mission?  Do you precisely know what you are attempting to build and why you are building it?  Unless you can clearly state those factors without hesitation and regret, success can never be completely obtained.

2)  Have you given your very best effort in your required endeavors?  Having all the knowledge, skill and ability means little if you are not “all in” regarding the tasks at hand.  Simply going through the motions is unsatisfactory.  You must do more than simply showing up.

3)  Do you seek solutions or do you focus on praising problems?  Problems are not the answer to your issues.  Solutions are the only answer.  If you aren’t focusing on solutions, you are compounding your difficulties.

4)  Regarding customers and other pertinent parties, do you have viable relationships or simply associations?  Building viable relationships with those you serve or interact is the critical must for lasting success. Until people “buy-in” to your authenticity, they are positioned to  “bug-out” at the first opportunity.

5)  Do you understand what is available in your market and where the “donut holes” of your competitors appear?  You might be overlooking untapped options unless you actively study and master your market.  Further, understanding where your competitors fall short in the arena of services should enable you to be positioned for triumph.

6)  Where is your knowledge level as it pertains to your profession and the industry at large? The moment you stop learning how to be the best you can be, is the day you stop being the best you may have been. Strive for excellence by always learning more and soaring to greater heights of ability.

7)  What must you do in the future to be able to retain and grow business and relationships? Self analysis and need understanding are vital to moving to where the business market or others interests may be moving. It is important to debrief activities to insure you are not overlooking key information that will enable you to position yourself for the continuing success you seek.   

8) Are you allowing your fears to sabotage your potential gains? Fear is simply “false evidence appearing real.”  Don’t run away from your fears, run toward them.  In doing so you will overcome that nagging voice that says, “YOU can’t do it or YOU don’t deserve it.”  When YOU control your fears, YOU control your future.

9) Are you accountable?  Pointing fingers when things go wrong is easy.  However, as the old adage proclaims, “…When you point a finger toward others or issues, there are three others pointing back at you.” Accepting responsibility for any shortfalls or oversights is the first step toward accomplishment.

10)  Is your glass half-empty or half-full?  Despite all other actions, attitude still rates high on the scale of success.  Pity parties never achieve anything.  A positive attitude allows you to turn negative experiences into good outcomes. What you believe puts you on the road to achieve.

Opportunity abounds for those who devote the time and commit the effort to uncover possibilities. Don’t overlook any “diamonds” that may be lurking for you to gather.  Remember, successful outcomes arise quite often from simply, “looking in the right places.”


Think BIG! Coaching and Training, Inc.

Herman Dixon

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

P. (304) 839-5101

Business Basics

Success in business never comes easy.  It is a much sought goal that often eludes even the most proficient professional.  The Statistic Brain Research Institute lists this information about business failures:  first, 25% of all new business fails in year 1; an additional 11% or 36% have failed at the end of year 2;  it climbs to 44% at the end of year 3; and, has risen to 50% at the end of year 4.

The top 4 reasons for failure of business in general is:

1) Incompetence. This results in 46% of those failures with such things as a thorough lack of planning and simply not paying taxes as among the challenges.

2)  Lack of managerial experience.  This is a cause in 30% of the shortfalls and boils down to not knowing what to do day-to-day in the operation.

3)  Lack of experience in the particular line being served.  This cause impeached 11% of the business world with no understanding of inventory or how to balance services and or goods to affect results as the primary factors.

4) Neglect.  While only impacting 1% of the business results, this cause often has even greater impact both economically and emotionally that often carries over into other sectors.

So, how can you avoid some of the pitfalls of business shortfalls and better position yourself for greater success potential?  Here are 10 simple business basics that might help:

1)  You must regularly be present in your business.  Part-time attendance will not do.  Unless you are seen to have an active role, nothing will happen.  As a business owner or leader your commitment to the business can inspire others to act.  This does not mean you cannot take a day off or even go on vacation.  It simply demands that you not be absentee in your responsibilities.

2)  You have to ask someone to buy.  You cannot simply open a door and expect your business avenues to be filled to overflow with potential customers or clients.  You have to ask and keep asking to be successful.  You ask in a manner not overbearing in its format but in a manner that those you ask know you are sincere in your effort and that you feel you can satisfy a need they have.  When you guide people through the buying decision, you lay the foundation that can build a lasting relationship.

3)  Staff must be involved.  Whether your staff consists of 1 or 50, you must have those staff members involved in the business in some manner.  The greater the involvement, the greater the potential you have to better brand your business and gain the results you need for lasting success.  Staff cannot simply take up space, they must help you fill your space with positive results.

4)  You must have a valid business plan.  Experience has often shown that too many business professionals do not have a valid business plan.  Each may have a plan that is necessary for meeting corporate requirements or satisfying the bank; but, those plans are rarely followed.  A valid business plan clearly defines what is being build; why the business exists; what results are to be measured; how you will build the business; and then, it clearly lists the precise work to be done.  In essence a valid business plan gets results and does not simply take up space in the bookcase of your office.

5)  Customer or clients must know you care.  Simply selling a product or service to someone does not end contact with customers or clients.  It begins the process.  You must show those who have invested in you or your product that each is more than a policy number or an invoice.  Each must know that you are not taking them for granted and that you are sincere in your care for them.  When that is evident in the manner you choose, you will become more than a simple business provider.  You will become a trusted business source.

6)  You must build your brand.  Being visible in the community enables you to better build who you are and what you can do.  Therefore you must volunteer some time; donate to events, entities, and desired causes; and, work directly to build your community expertise and climate. When you give back, you will receive far more in return whether economically or personally.

7)  Keep fit.  Eating a proper diet, exercise and getting sleep is paramount to better health, happiness and success in life. Business demands energy and having that “super bowl” mindset each day.  You can’t give your best efforts if your health is not in line with your life needs.  To short change nutrition, exercise, sleep or other related musts, will only lead to a disastrous conclusion for what “might have been.”  You owe it to yourself, your business, and all those walking through life with you to be at your best in every possible encounter.  Therefore, fitness is a must.

8)  Keep learning.  You are never too old to learn new things or even discover how to do those things you know better.  Continuing education and development from reading books to taking classes or attending seminars is critical to lasting success.  You need to challenge your mind and be open to new waves of information that will enable you to better perform personally and grow your business impact more broadly.  Never deny yourself the opportunity to learn.

9)  Never fear failure.  Failure is simply finding out what does not work.  Successful business professionals discover this daily.  Each understands that every “no” gets closer to a “yes” and to become the “big shot” in their industry, demands you keep on shooting.  Failure is only limiting if you fail to get up and get back into the action.  Utilize each shortfall to gain insight that helps you climb higher in your next effort.  In doing so, you step closer to the success you seek.

10)  Think.  Making time to think about your business and its needs is crucial.  This is perhaps one of the most overlooked needs you face.  Whether you do this in a format that takes a “debrief” position or one where you analyze what is working or is not working and what must be done to succeed, the decision to schedule private time to simply “think” is vital to your business success and your personal growth as a leader.  Not only will this enable you to better align time management needs, but it can also bring about fresh new ideas that should enable you to soar in your results.

Avoid the business shortfalls and apply the 10 simple business basics in your endeavors.  They will work if you will work at them. Help your business gain the sense of order necessary for success and enjoy the fruits of a job well-done.


Think BIG! Coaching and Training, Inc.

Herman Dixon

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

P. (304) 839-5101


The Power of Influence

Influence is a powerful reality in life.  In the hands of the proper person it can provide a source of undeniable accomplishment as it builds trust and fosters worthwhile endeavors.  In the hands of the corrupt and challenged, it can create adverse interference, foster ill-fated movements and lead to ultimate personal and social destruction.  Thus it is critically important that you carefully dissect the who, what and how you allow yourself to be influenced.

Perhaps the greatest ally or foe you have in this influence battle is yourself.  What you say, how you think or what you do has an impact not only on you; but, can also impact those who see, listen to or watch you.  This certainty demands a great deal of self-evaluation.  What you do or fail to do can and most often does carry forth actions that impacts the evolution of other actions.  You can begin a chain reaction that brings about world order or ultimate chaos directly or indirectly in nature.  It is a responsibility you must bear.

Recently, I came across a poem by an unknown author that defines the realities of influence and how you must respond.  Its title is simply, “Are You A Wrecker Or A Builder.”  It goes as follows:

I watched them tearing a building down,

A gang of men in a busy town.

With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell

They swung a beam and the sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are those men skilled,

And the men you’d hire if you had to build?”

He gave me a laugh, said “No, indeed;

Just common labor is all I need.

I can easily wreck in a day or two

What builders have taken a year to do.”

I thought to myself as I went my way,

“Which of these roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,

Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,

Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town

Content with the labor of tearing down?”

It is so very important that you utilize your personal influence in a manner that builds positive character; promotes consistent rightful actions; causes others to focus on “can’s” not “can’ts”; and, excites many to strive for excellence in every endeavor.  As an unknown author once proclaimed, “Influence never dies; every act, emotion, look and word makes influence tell for good or evil, happiness or woe, through the long future of eternity.”  You hold the key to what can be.  Be an influence “builder” not a “wrecker.”


Think BIG! Coaching and Training, Inc.

Herman Dixon

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

P. (304) 839-5101


Seven Keys To Building Effective Relationships

In business or in life, how you build effective relationships will most often determine whether or not you succeed or fall short in results.  Relationships are those critical pieces of reality that enable you to more effectively secure a foothold in the life of another.  As English businesswoman Anita Roddick said,  “I believe in businesses where you engage in creative thinking, and where you form some of your deepest relationships.  If it isn’t about the production of the human spirit, we are in big trouble.”  Thus it is vital to insure that you strive to set and build effective relationships in your business and or personal endeavors.

Here are seven keys to enable you to more directly build effective relationships for greater success potential:

1)  Be “all in” with your efforts.  When you are committed to an effort, you seem to always strive to do your best.  Being “all in” as you go about building relationships will help you better transform intentions into realities.  It also demands a firm knowledge of what you are committing to undertake and the effort really must consume your thoughts.  When your alignment is set, you then can blast through any barriers, overcome the odds, and propel your efforts and your goals toward a victorious conclusion.

2)  Grab their attention.  Virtually anyone can form an association with others.  However, an effective communicator will always be looking for that “edge” which enables him or her to become more than just another face in the crowd.  The first twenty to thirty seconds are crucial in this effort since people generally form some opinion, whether valid or not, about you. Your actions also must demand nothing short of a “super bowl” mindset as it pertains to your ultimate goal if you are to gain the attention necessary to secure a favorable impression. Your actions could be a simple welcome, a relevant humorous comment, or a more personal directive that allows your contact to see that there is truly more than expected in your engaging opening.

3)  Speak to their needs.  It is not necessarily important what you may need; but, it is often far more important what other people need that matters.  Therefore, it is vital to understand and approach the needs of others in such a manner that it shows your understanding of what is impacting them.  Once others sense your understanding of their needs, it begins to build a foundation for mutual respect that is critical to the ongoing development of effective relationships.  It also places you in a more favorable position to readily gain more effective solutions to pending needs versus blindly guessing what might be necessary.  As the well-known commentary proclaims, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

4)  Focus.  Noted author and speaker Brian Tracy once said, “The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire…”.   Focus is that unwavering value that keeps you determined, energized, and directed to achieve a desired goal.  When you have focus, its strength will not allow your energy or effort to be altered from its guiding purpose despite any obstacles that may arise.  By placing your attention to focus on building effective relationships, you will build a powerful asset that should enable you to soar in results and solidify your added-value in the eyes of those who matter.

5)  Build a dialogue. Monologues get attention but dialogues get results.  Engaging people in substitutive conversation is vital to growing relationships.  Dialogue insures that people become part of the process.  The “give and take” of such an intention helps impacted parties to gain a sense of common ground and confirmation that their words do matter.  When people have assurances that they are impacting actions and influencing decisions, they release their protective personna and a “family dinner table” atmosphere often occurs.  You can’t build a lasting effective relationship if dialogue is absent.

6) Listen.  You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.  Listening is an art that must be perfected.  It demands you channel your mind to disavow an urge to speak and dedicate your energy to fully listen to what your customers, your family or other speakers may be saying.  It also requires you to not prejudge comments but to allow individuals to convey their thoughts in full. In essence, you just may discover valuable new ideas with your efforts. Listening is the pathway to success.  As the great Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years’ study of books.”

7)  Authenticity matters.  You must always be the best “you” possible.  Former president Abraham Lincoln perhaps said it best, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  People want to align themselves with those who are “genuine” in their interactions.  You build relationships based on the “who” of your personality and image.  You must be the same when people are not looking as you are when people are looking.  Authenticity is the “foundational rock” that assures the certainty of your “true” self.

Effective relationships are the foundational cornerstones anchoring your pyramid of success.  They secure your risks, accentuate  your dreams and fundamentally establish your legacy.  Utilize the Seven Keys as you go about your efforts and build an ongoing quiver of relationships that will propel your efforts to greater levels of achievement and satisfaction.


Think BIG! Coaching and Training, Inc.

Herman Dixon

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

P. (304) 839-5101