Fifty Years Experience: 101 Principles to Live and Work By, Pt 1

Written by William Pauwels on December 3, 2013

I learned early in my 50 year career that we are not always smart enough to remember all that we know.  So, it is well to be reminded of what we know.  Accordingly, I formed the habit of writing down and reviewing the principles of success whenever I had time to kill.  Following are 101 of the most important concepts that kept me from venturing too far off the proven path. 

Hopefully, some of these principles – many of which you probably already know – will help you compete more effectively in the years ahead, if you review them often.
1) Success is steady progress toward a worthwhile goal or ideal.

2)Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people don’t do.
3) Be a totally reliable person  . . . someone that others can always count on without reservation.
4) Look, Listen and Learn  … to discover and meet the needs, wants and expectations of customers, clients, prospects and employers.  (In a manner that’s advantageous to you and to your company.)
5) Discover the no-brainers and do them, immediately.
6) Optimize your strengths and advantages and Minimize your weaknesses and disadvantages.
7) Commit to Continuous Improvement, personally, and throughout your organization.
8) Commit to the Highest Quality and to Excellence in your every activity, product and service.
9) There is always a better, more cost effective way.  Find it.  Do it.
10) Excellence is the result of doing (1) through (9).
11) Do the right things … do the best you can … and always treat people the way you’d like to be treated.
12) Clearly identify your Unique Selling Proposition.  Always promote it.
13) Develop and commit to specific, written Goals and Objectives.
14) Keep your Goals and Objective clearly in focus at ALL times.
15) Keep and prioritize a Things-To-Do List and do the most important things now.
16) Remember:  Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance.
17) Nothing sells like outstanding company performance.
18) Nothing sells like a good product and/or application.
19) When communicating with your boss, begin as follows:
a) To succeed, we might consider . . .
b) To grow, we might consider . . .
c)  To defeat competition, we might consider . . .
d) As you know . . .
20) To have a productive meeting, get everyone committed to the philosophy:
a) It’s not who’s right but what’s right.
b) SILII … Say it like it is.
c)  TILII … Tell it like it is.
21) Happiness is the absence of unhappiness.  Happiness is a choice. 
22) Never allow anyone or anything to make you unhappy.
23) Greet this day with love in your heart.  This is the greatest secret of success in all ventures and no one can resist its force. 
24) Develop a Positive Mental Attitude.
25) Be aware of what’s good about right now.
26) Develop the Attitude of Gratitude.
27) Form good habits and become their slave.
28) Make love your greatest weapon.
29) Be pleasant and cheerful at all times … but never giddy.
30) Smile when appropriate … but never at the wrong time.
31) Be serious when appropriate … but never unpleasant.
32) People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.
33) Use the six Ws all day for quick, action planning: What? When? Where? Who? Way? and Why?
34) For more detailed planning answer these questions:
a) Where have we been?
b) Where are we at?
c)  Where are we going?
d) How are we going to get there?
e) How will we know we are getting there (measure)?
f)   What will it cost to get there?
g) Will it be worth it?

To be continued …

Images: Courtesy of:

William Pauwels
William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.