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‘Never stop doing what you enjoy’

Success Saga: (From left) J. Surendran, Brian Tracy and Puja Gupta of Life By Design  

Brian Tracy lives in a world of high numbers — he has consulted for 1,000-odd companies, addressed over 50,00,000 people in 5,000 seminars across 60-plus countries, written 45 best-sellers, runs businesses and pulls a spectrum of describing phrases after his name. He has been introduced to his audience as a motivational speaker, mentor, author, consultant, thought-leader, business coach, and workshop director. And, he was in the city recently. After an evening’s workshop for kids and a day-long one Psychology Of Winning at Leela Palace, he rounded off his visit with a keynote address on business leadership before launching Success Recipe, a book he has co-authored with J. Surendran.

Even as I fought a sense of déjà vu and found it hard to agree with all that he said, I had to acknowledge the delivery was flawless. He spoke non-stop for an hour — in an even tone without ever raising his voice. The words flowed smoothly — well-polished, neatly spaced and infused with dry humour. It was copybook business gyan — but peppered with current and past examples, familiar stories, statistics, study results and personal anecdotes.

Quality matters

“If you have a high-quality product, charge for it,” he said, quoting the success of TCS in the tough European markets. Invest in improving quality, not in ads. More people will buy your product, recommend it to others.

Successful people have the courage to take action, he said. Move out of the comfort zone. For 2,000 years, large armies fought battles up-close and personal, and leaders led from the front. Animal behaviour experts pick the leader of the pack by watching which one faces the predator or leads others to safety. Alexander led a cavalry division of 6,000 and fought side-by-side with his father at the age of 18. Yes, you could make wrong decisions, but you proceed with vision and courage.

You need integrity to win the trust of people, he said. It was said of an oil magnate that if he shook hands, you could trust him, he would never go back on the deal. Leaders also strive for excellence — in products and services. It is called the “law of the lid”, the lid being the leader. Steve Jobs was forced out, but returned, eliminated 100 out of the 104 models they were trying to make. In three years, the company made iPod and history; iPhone was sold at premium prices.

Accept responsibility for what you do. A truly superior person will not find excuses, he is non-defensive. Learn to be a good communicator. Remember 90 per cent of your worktime goes in communicating with managers, investors, customers, the press, or in making presentations.

A shy engineer, when suddenly elevated to the post of president of a Fortune-500 company, realised he had to be a good communicator to be the best contributor. He took a course in public speech, later taught communication skills to managers/supervisors.

Leaders are always in motion except when they have to do slow thinking, he said. This surgeon he knew would say, “Let me think about it,” and come up with new ideas, insights. You need both quick and slow action. It’s impossible to fail when you try anything without fear.

Insist on excellent work. When engineers brought in models for the iPhone, Jobs would change/add a button, a part. When asked why he wouldn’t accept a product even when it was superior to everything in the market, he would say, “I don’t love it yet. If I love it, the market will love it.” It changed an entire world of phones.

There was more at the Q&A. A hobby can’t become business unless it is a product / service with a market, he said. Don’t offer discounts, that’s not why people buy. Think Merc, Apple products. Pricey, but are bought! Find new people if workers won’t strive for higher goals.

He owed his success to a natural ability to take sources, put them together, he said. You will move towards what comes naturally to you. Never stop doing what you enjoy. “That is the key to success.” Not always possible, I told him. Then do it differently, he offered. “Choose subjects you want to write on.”


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 1:36:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/never-stop-doing-what-you-enjoy/article5213794.ece

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