My family went to see the movie ‘Night in a Museum’ last Monday. It was okay. Kind of a Jumanji meets Bill and Ted. What message there was in the movie had to do with leadership, self-confidence and human relations. I could not help but think of my Carnegie experience some more. A co-worker of mine, who took the course at the same time, frequently talks about how he has changed, and mentions his behavior in terms of ‘before Carnegie’ and ‘after Carnegie’. It is much the same for me.
During the movie, I thought about how the five drivers of success all work together, and work for anyone in many situations. The five drivers of success are:
I put these in a list in no particulat order, but they should go in a circle of some kind, kind of like the spokes on a wheel. There is no priority to the list, and they all work together. It is actually difficult to separate them.
The method Carnegie uses to help people improve in these areas is a powerful thing. One learns specific things to do in each area. You hear and read about examples in each area. There are specific goals and commitments made for the week. And a two minute talk to the group about what you did, and what the results were. This continues for three months. I’d like to give a brief glimpse at these five areas, not as an expert, but one who is learning.
A vital thing. If you can not view yourself as a good person, who can be a positive influence on others, it will be difficult for you to accomplish much in life. I believe many of us, deep down, believe in ourselves. We may not admit it, but there is a spark there. By going out of our comfort zone and using proper techniques in communication, human relations, leadership and attitude, we can see positive results and build our confidence. Increased chances of success in all areas will then be available to us.
We can not expect to build friendships and be a positive influence if we do not communicate well. Communication is so much more than the words that are used. Our energy, enthusiasm, body language and facial expressions, are very important parts of what we communicate. Also communication is always a two way street. In many cases, true leadership and positive human relationships will only come when the other person does much, if not most, of the talking. You will then be in a position to know where the other person is coming from, and then be in position to be a friend and a positive influence. In time this will help your self-confidence, human relations, leadership and attitude.
So much in life revolves around the quality of our human relationships. I used to think human relations would just take care of themselves. They don’t. We must actively do things to promote quality human relations if we want to be successful at much of anything. This is not being manipulative, it is taking responsibility for the quality of our relationships. So much of happiness and success in life will depend on what the quality of our relationships with others are. High quality human relations will increase our confidence, communication, leadership and attitude.
Leadership is something that is difficult for me to define. To me, when one cares about the success of a project, a company, a group, more than his own personal success and ambition they are in a position to be a leader. Helping others to succeed is leadership. Helping others to improve is leadership. Being a positve influence is leadership. This often does not require a position of importance, a degree, a calling, or anything of the sort. The low man on the totem pole can be a leader. A friend can be a leader. A parent. A child. ‘A little child shall lead them’. As one awakens to their potential for pure leadership – not just management – their self-confidence, communications, human relations and attitude will all improve. See a pattern here?
For most of us, attitude is something that we can choose. What type of person do you want to be? For many, being a friendly, energetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, happy person is a matter of choice – and understanding what this type of person ‘looks’ like and acts like. As a man thinketh – so is he. As one begins to value and incorporate an improved attitude into their life, all other areas will be strengthened as well.
Success in many areas of life is often available for the taking. It is not really a competition with others, but a desire for something better for yourself and for those in your area of influence. I am so glad that I am beginning to wake up to some of these things. They are not natural for me. I am noticing subtle improvements in my life. I do not believe I have made a 180 degree change, but perhaps a 5 degree change. But it is encouraging to see how even minor improvements in these areas can have such a positive affect.
I hope this helps someone.