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How Not to Be Left Behind

by Kevin D. Crone

September 23, 2013

Have you noticed that How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie has been showing up on top ten lists all over the world? What’s going on? Why is that?HTWF-book

The book is a 77-year-old classic that was selected back in 2000 as the top business book of the twentieth century. I just read another review recently in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest paper, where the reviewer also discussed A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. According to the reviewer, both books provide a necessary road map to business success. Because we have entered the new “conceptual economy,” where the importance of emotional skills (which use the right side of the brain) can’t be overstated, Dale Carnegie’s critical work can’t be underscored enough. Recognizing the need for valuable emotional skills seems to be new and in contrast to what has been going on for the last ten years or so.

Left-brain thinking had been considered as more important because technology and science have been winning the day for quite a while.  Smart, rational, analytical left-brainers like Steve Jobs have been highly publicized and seemingly in command. So again – why is How to Win Friends and Influence People in the top ten now?

Even though left-brain thinking has won the information economy and brought us iPads, BlackBerrys and so much amazing software, many low-level tech jobs are heading to Asia where manufacturing can be done cheaper, faster, and with a computer. The new conceptual economy, according to Pink, “will reward people who see the big picture, identify trends, and think holistically.”  The winners in the new economy don’t write code for computer games – they’re the ones who dream up the games, and they let loose the inventiveness of their good old right brains. The right-brain qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning will increasingly determine who flourishes in the future.

Professional success and personal fulfillment are important; just ask any young person. They want meaning. They will create meaning for themselves in their seemingly boring worlds.

Customers want technology, but they also have a need for emotional connection, something that never went away during the information years. Your customers want to know that you care, that you’re interested, that you listen, that you genuinely have a grasp on their issues, wants, and aspirations. They want you to be ahead of them, if possible. At the very least, they want you have an understanding of what they are doing and an appreciation of what they are feeling.

Employees want those things, too.  I just finished studying and writing about a research project on engagement and leadership.  What is the number one focus human resource professionals and enlightened managers need to have to make sure their organizations are competitive and change-ready?  The answer is not about finding more left-brain solutions – if anything, technology has nearly dehumanized too many people already. The answer is: the development of leaders, who are sorely needed.  We need more leaders who follow Dale Carnegie’s wonderful, timeless, right-brain practices.

Our families need leadership as well.  In a family, that might mean someone who shows honest sincere appreciation, who doesn’t excessively criticize, condemn or complain, a person who is sincerely interested in others, who can stop talking about themselves and can listen sincerely and ask questions. These are Dale Carnegie’s principles.  He has many more that provide genuine, impactful and significant results.

It has been my privilege to listen to thousands of people report on how they used Dale Carnegie’s principles to impact their customers and their teams, their families and themselves. I’m convinced these same practices have been magical and useful in my life, and also profitably employed by the likes of Jay Leno, Warren Buffett, Sam Walton, Lee Iacocca, and so many more great people. The best leaders I know routinely use these principles. And now it’s cool to make human relationships the focal point of how we conduct business – it’s even in vogue.  This is all part of the humanized economy.

Let’s see what all this means to business, and to Canada’s businesses’ ability to not just get things right technically but, to also get things right (right-brained that is) for their marketplace and their customers.  Getting things right here means to be innovative, to add value, to increase our productivity, and to be the respectful and good place to raise families that we used to be known for.

What does this mean to you today?  Your analytical side may say, “I don’t get it. ” However, the right side might just allow inspiration in, you do have two sides – and everyone needs them both. I suggest we take advantage of the new economy trend and unshackle the right brain more often. It requires a whole new mindset for many. Let’s see, what are those thirty Dale Carnegie principles again? The Toronto Star said, “Carnegie wrote about those lessons in the first place, which likely explains why this 77-year-old masterwork is hipper and better than ever.”

MMM Action:
What can you do to get a dose of right-brained thinking? Is there something you should read or some conversations you could have?

Have a great week!

Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
(905) 826-7300 ext. 223
A Special Invitation from Kevin D. Crone, Canada’s Monday Morning Mentor…

Join me personally for a couple of hours in a small group dialogue, as we get ready for a great business year.

Date: September 24th, 2013
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Dale Carnegie Training Room, 2121 Argentia Road, Suite 103, Mississauga, Ontario
Complimentary to attend

We will work primarily on finding more customers and keeping them.  You might be surprised at some of the answers and at the primary reason why sales growth isn’t happening as much as you want it to.  We will examine the eight essential components of a business that should be in place for it to happen. I will share the latest research on managing talent and engaging your team.  Everyone has unique questions and I promise to talk to each person one-on-one.  Again, we all need more inspiration and belief and a big dose of clear, simple implementation.  This meeting will help with that, and it’s complimentary.

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