In my very last article, I shared a little bit about our most recent training/consulting project, in which we worked with a great bunch of analytical-minded engineers and architects. What surprised me greatly was their repeated response to, “What characteristics of a team contribute to quality service in an organization?” Interestingly enough, more than one participant cited the importance of “kindness” in providing top-tier service to their internal/external customers. We did not expect this from such a stereotypically “un-touchy-feely” group. But research indicates that they were right on track.
“The kind of person you are, and how you behave and treat others will determine what kind of world we will live in. We have seen the destructive outcomes when people have forgotten what it means to be kind to others. Your kindness toward others can be the starting point in bringing about goodness and peace wherever you may be–at home at school, at work, or in your community. You are a unique person, with special gifts. You have much to give others.”
This little book can keep this message alive for the rest of your life. It also makes a wonderful gift for any occasion. One of my early business mentors, Mac Anderson, (founder of Successories) stated it well:
“This is the paradox of the power of kindness. It doesn’t feel powerful at all. In fact, it almost feels too simple to be important. Kindness, more than anything, is an attitude that brings us back to the simplicity of being. It is also the one way you can be assured of making a difference with your life.”
Consider the following story that Mac shared with me, which exemplifies the power of kindness. He wrote:
The year was 1863, on a spring day in Northern Pennsylvania. A poor boy was selling goods door to door to pay his way through school. He realized he had only a dime left, and that he was hungry. So he decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.Instead of a meal, he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry and so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”
“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.” As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strengthened also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Years later, that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.
Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, he went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown, he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day, he gave special attention to the case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested from the business office to pass the final billing to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words:
“PAID IN FULL WITH ONE GLASS OF MILK…”
Dr. Howard Kelly*
*Dr. Howard Kelly was a distinguished physician who, in 1895, founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. According to Dr. Kelly’s biographer, Audrey Davis, the doctor was on a walking trip through Northern Pennsylvania one spring day when he stopped by a farm house for a drink of water.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo Buscaglia
Finally, I leave you with a thought from the great English writer, Aldous Huxley. Best known for his novels including Brave New World, Mr. Huxley was also a pioneer in the study of techniques to develop human potential.
In a lecture toward the end of his life, he said this: “People often ask me…what is the most effective technique for transforming their lives?” He then said, “It’s a little embarrassing that after years and years of research, my best answer is – just be a little kinder.“
“Success is a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” –Coach John Wooden
I vividly recall my mom, Dr. Linda Andrade Wheeler, preparing for one of the many corporate training seminars she did when we partnered in business together at The Human Connection, Inc. It was in the early 90’s and one of the handouts to be shared with seminar participants was legendary Coach John Wooden’s, “Pyramid of Success” motivational program (a faded copy still remains in my research file, but here’s a new, printable PDF). Wooden tied success not to achievement, wealth or fame, but to how close a person came to their potential.
In essence, the Pyramid of Success consists of philosophical building blocks for winning at basketball and at life. According to John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, there are 12 lessons in leadership. At the summit of the pyramid is “success”. Each of the blocks represents a trait that a person must possess in order to become successful in life just like in playing a basketball game. At the time, as a recent Bruin graduate (1989), I was both intrigued and proud to be remotely associated–however indirectly–with such a legendary motivator and strong Christian. During his long tenure with the Bruins, Coach Wooden became affectionately known as the “Wizard of Westwood. Continue reading
This month marks the seven-year point of my stint working with military personnel based here in Hawaii. I consider myself fortunate to play a small role in helping our fighting men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces achieve their financial goals.
By doing what I do, they are given the peace of mind and the assurance that they can provide for their families on a long-term basis. For me this is why I do the thing I do.
There are great parallels between what we have created at SuccessHawaii and what I do at The Wheeler Group LLC through our association with the military. Like SuccessHawaii, our goal is simple–“to help our clients reach theirs.”
This month marks the seven-year point of my stint working with military personnel based here in Hawaii. I consider myself fortunate to play a small role in helping our fighting men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces achieve their financial goals. By doing what I do, they are given the peace of mind and the assurance that they can provide for their families on a long-term basis. For me this is why I do the thing I do.
There are great parallels between what we have created at SuccessHawaii and what I do at The Wheeler Group LLC through our association with the military. Like SuccessHawaii, our goal is simple–to help our clients reach theirs.
When meeting with prospective customers, I share with them the concept and idea that my mom, Dr. Linda Andrade Wheeler, passed on to me: If you don’t have a dream, you can’t make a dream come true. It all begins with goals. This is the beginning point. Without having a clear idea of what they want in life, the point of meeting with me is lost. They, like all of us, need a crystal clear vision of where they want to be financially in the future. Once we nail that down, we can move forward breaking their financial goals into manageable, realistic steps that will get them where they want to be.
“If you don’t have a dream, you can’t make a dream come true.”
In the past, Dr. Wheeler has given of herself and has conducted free seminars for the troops here in Hawaii. The emphasis of these classes is not simply money management, but rather a much more comprehensive approach to managing one’s life. It all starts with the notion of self-management. The core element in all of this is the empowering concept of developing a personal philosophy that makes you the owner of your own destiny, and not the victim of your circumstances.
In order to make this work, you need to develop a specific and practical plan of action for personal development. Your personal belief about yourself and what you deserve in life greatly impacts the actions you take in designing your destiny. In this day and age, it is all about balancing everything: mentally, emotionally, intellectually, physically and financially. In the Hawaiian language, there is a term that sums this up quite nicely. In essence the term, “Hookaulike”, means to bring into balance all the things to make you feel in harmony with the universe.
The second element she addresses in the seminar is the component of managing your time; ever critical in this fast-paced world we live in. A primary focus in this approach to time management is to plan your work; and work your plan. As she succinctly puts it,
“Goals without action is daydreaming; action without goals is spinning your wheels; but action with goals will get results.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve daydreamed and spinned my wheels many times. I appreciate the simple and constant reminder that we all need to put goals on paper, and then figure out the best way to make them come true.
So what does it take to accomplish your goals and meet with the success you’re looking for?
Well, the next time I conduct seminars–for the 500th Military Intelligence division at Schofield Barracks (through Sgt. Major Marty Glenn) on October 17th, and in November for MSgt. Noel DeMello and his crew at the Hawaii Air National Guard–I will share that it takes desire, discipline and dedication. Like anything else, you don’t get anything for nothing. When it comes to wealth accumulation, you never get anywhere if you don’t have the savings habit. ‘Pay yourself first and what you don’t see, you won’t miss,’ is the old cliché, but altogether correct. But when you give something, you’re more likely to get something back. You’ve got to give to get what you desire. Like everything else in this world, it begins with you.