Thursday 1 May 2008

Nice guys will always win

It is not true, by the way, that nice guys always finish last. Remember that the best way to receive is to give. This is what today’s piece is about. If you want to be a nice person then give of yourself. Give of your time, your compassion and of your talents. Be patient with people. Listen to those around you and be polite. Remember, what goes around comes around.

I know that many cynics will shout out that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But, I think that one has to really ask themselves if their intentions are true. A lot of people will speak of making a difference and many companies will have an inspiring mission statement. In fact, two competing companies may have similar (if not identical) missions yet one will consistently out-perform the other. Why is this? It is not the uniqueness of one’s mission that determines success - it is the authenticity. As Lisa Forrester points out, "It is not the quantity of success that matters, it is the quality." Perhaps those of you who have found yourselves on the road to hell when telling everyone that what you are doing is good are not being genuine about the purpose of your mission. I have been going on about this for ages now. Don’t focus on the bottom line; don’t even think about it. Do things from the heart. And watch, the world will conspire to reward you.

Yes, there is one fundamental thing we can't ever discount, and that is luck. We all need to have luck shine on us every once in a while. One thing is for sure though, the more you try the luckier you get.

Let’s revisit one of our old inspirations, George Merck. Do you remember this man? He built a global empire that saves lives every day with medicine. George Merck and his offspring that followed gave of themselves. They practiced what they preached and they never asked anyone to do what they wouldn’t do themselves. Think about this the next time you try and get someone to do your dirty work. Let’s go back to those guiding words that Merck once told his management over 50 years ago, "We try to remember that medicine is for the patient. We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear. The better we have remembered it, the larger they have been."

What is Merck saying? He is not saying anything for or against making money. In fact, money does not even enter into the equation. What he is saying is that a company’s purpose (and a human being’s purpose) is something spiritual and soulful – it has nothing to do with getting rich quick. Merck tried to help people. Sometimes he succeeded and sometimes he did not. But he never gave up and he always kept at it. He was a medicine man – that is where his talents were; his God given talents. And he put them to good use – the Merck pharmaceutical company has helped save life for well over 100 years, all across the globe. And guess what, people want their lives saved. People want to be looked after. And guess again, people are prepared to reward those who help them. Is this really that hard to work out?

Posted by Ronnie Apteker