3 Timeless Business Success Principles

So this group of tribal African kids all listen as they are given the instructions to a game.

“I will place this basket full of fresh fruits over there under that tree. Then, we will have a race. The first to reach the basket will be the winner of all the fruits.”

The man who spoke these words then gave a signal to start the race. What would you guess happened next?

The whole group of kids held hands and, bonded together in this manner, all ran over to the tree and then sat down in the shade and enjoyed their prize together.

When asked why they did such a thing, one of the kids replied, “UBUNTU!”. “How could one of us feel happiness while the rest are in despair, unhappy?”

In the Xhosa culture UBUNTU means: “I am, because we are.”

Now, I know this may get the hackles up of any red-blooded competitive entrepreneur. But let me ask you something… When we shake hands with a customer, patient, employee, contractor or colleague, aren’t we doing the same thing?

Perhaps overshadowed bythe horrific story coming out of Aurora, Colorado last week, came news of another great , though not so sensational loss, the passing of Dr. Steven Covey, truly a giant in the area of self-improvement, with his massively popular book and course, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.

One of the many things he taught that has stuck with me over the years is, “Win-Win or no deal”. Just another way of saying “UBUNTU!”

As we head into the second half of 2012,let’s take a quick look at three other timeless keys to a great life that we can thank Dr. Covey for pointing out.

Begin with the End in Mind.
Before embarking on a project, if you get clear on your really important goals, then wasted activity tend to will fall away. Envision clearly what you want to be, do and have in every role you play.

Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.
I first heard this from Dr. Covey, but my kids taught me how in works in parenting school… Communication, whether with a customer, spouse, child or the server bringing you food in a restaurant is so much easier when you take a moment to open up and put yourself in their shoes.

Sharpen the Saw.
We all need regular renewal. Whether it’s energy and health, or reading for pleasure or professional development or serving our communities for spiritual renewal, there’s value and power stepping away from the daily grind and into activities that “re-create” us.

(Do you need permission to do this? Okay, I give you permission. There, now you have no excuse!)

I don’t know about you, but for me it takes repetition to really ingrain a thing, so I hope you found this to be a helpful refresher course in business fundamentals and “Living the Dream”.