July 29, 2016

I came across a book in a second hand store a while back with a 25 cent sticker on it so, I bought it. The cover said it was a #1 Nationwide Best Seller. The title of the Book is, “In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies.’ It was co-authored by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. I pulled it off the shelf and browsed through it discovering it was full of short stories illustrating various aspects of excellence and the difference it makes in business.

We know the powerful positive effect of “feel good now.” Scriptures call for a cheerful heart because of its valuable benefits in so many ways. I personally was significantly impacted back in 2010, the year I was introduced to and encouraged to practice this important ingredient for success. This was the year that both my father and my father-in-law died. I remember in those days repeatedly encouraging myself to turn sadness into gladness and sorrow into joy. For me, it was a reminder of the fact, the joy of the Lord is my strength. I knew that it would not be helpful to myself, or anyone else, if every time someone met me I was vibrating a negative or unhappy feeling. There are so many different benefits to living from a place where we have developed the habit and character of feeling and being TERRIFIC!

The authors in the above book I mentioned tell of a small company which produced titanium products. For years its performance was substandard. There was low productivity and profits for a number of years. Things changed when “Big Jim” Daniell, a former professional football player and ex-captain of the Cleveland Browns was hired as Chief Executive Officer of the Company. The “Wall Street Journal” described Jim as, “Pure corn – a mixture of schmaltzy sloganeering, communication, and a smile at every turn.” He had signs placed all over the plants with sayings like, “If you see a man without a smile, give him one of yours,” or, “People rarely succeed unless they enjoy it.” All the signs were signed by “Big Jim.”

The story of the successful comeback of the company was not much more complicated than that. The company’s logo was a smile-face. It was on the stationary, the signs in the factories, the hard hats the workers wore. “Big Jim” spent a significant amount of time on the factory floor talking and joking with the workers and getting to know them by name.

The result, with virtually no increase of investment money the company saw productivity increase and remain 80% higher than it had been. The workers were significantly more happy with union grievances dropping from 300 to about 20.

The power to change a person’s day around from being negative to positive can be found in something as simple as a smile and a word of encouragement or recognition. This is true not just in the workplace, but everywhere you might find yourself. If you want to truly live up to your full potential it would be worth your effort to apply and share with others this feel good principle.

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