Secrets of Successful People

Secrets of Successful People:

1. How to Become More Optimistic

  • EXPECT something wonderful to happen every day.
  • TREAT people as you’d want to be treated.
  • DON’T waste breath fighting about things you can’t change.
  • CONCENTRATE on the job at hand, not the results you seek.
  • ASSUME other people mean well.
  • AVOID depressing people and conversations.
  • EAT something delicious every day.
  • TURN OFF the background television.
  • ADOPT an attitude of gratitude.
  • REMEMBER that the best is yet to come.
  1. How to Eliminate Stress
  • CULTIVATE the patience and perspective to let go of your results.
  • FOCUS on what you’re doing now rather than the results.
  • IF you’re overworked, negotiate a more reasonable workload.
  • CUT your hours to the “sweet spot,” which is about 40 hours a week.
  • AVOID people who won’t or can’t control their own stress.
  • FIND a place where you can work quietly away from distractions.
  • TURN OFF news programming that’s designed to rile you up.
  • TURN DOWN projects that you can’t do well.
  • STOP arguing with fools and strangers online.
  • ARRANGE tasks consecutively rather than trying to multitask.
  1. How to Overcome Fear
  • CONFRONT your fears head on to reduce their power.
  • IMAGINE dealing with the fear to make it less daunting.
  • REMEMBER that fear is just excitement in disguise.
  • USE fear to spawn the energy you need to perform well.
  1. How to Cope With Rejection
  • REALIZE that rejection is just a difference of opinion.
  • UNDERSTAND that rejection only hurts because you let it.
  • REMEMBER that every rejection moves you closer to your goal.
  • KEEP other opportunities in reserve so you can quickly move on.
  1. How to Rise Above Failure
  • CREATE goals that motivate you to achieve something possible.
  • ALWAYS write goals down; display them where you’ll see them.
  • DECIDE by saying, “I must…” or “I will…” rather than “I’ll try….”
  • BREAK your big goals into smaller, measurable milestones.
  • CHECK whether you’re moving toward or away from your goals.
  • WELCOME setbacks because they’ll hone your plan.
  • REMEMBER that the only true failure is failing to take action.


  1. How to Achieve Your Dream Job
  • KNOW what would constitute your dream job.
  • FIND role models and incorporate their way of thinking.
  • HAVE the courage to sacrifice your security.
  • LEARN to sell your ideas and yourself.
  • CREATE a plan and start executing it today.
  • ADJUST your goal as you learn more about yourself.
  1. How to Attain Career Security
  • LIVE below your means until you’ve got six months of income saved.
  • DEVELOP expertise that makes it less likely you’ll be fired.
  • CULTIVATE new opportunities and record them in an escape plan.
  1. How to Get More Done Each Day
  • DON’T take calls from people you don’t know, unless you’re working in telesales or product support.
  • USE email instead of time-consuming voice mail
  • LIMIT your chitchat with co-workers.
  • TURN OFF “alerts” that interrupt your thinking.
  • KEEP TRACK of how you spend time; that’s half the battle.
  • REMEMBER that 20 percent of your actions produce 80 percent of your results.
  • ONLY DO the 20 percent that produces the 80 percent of your results.
  • PRIORITIZE based on what accomplishes the most with the least effort.
  1. How to Use LinkedIn Effectively
  • YOUR personal brand will define how people see you.
  • GET a professional portrait and expunge unprofessional ones.
  • CUSTOMIZE your résumé to match your career goals.
  • SOLICIT recommendations that are realistic and relevant.
  • AVOID blogging, unless you’re being paid to do so.
  • KEEP your irrelevant opinions off the Internet.
  1. How to Land a Job Interview
  • CREATE and sell your own job description, if possible.
  • GET a current employee to recommend you, if possible.
  • CUSTOMIZE your résumé to match the job description.
  • EXPLAIN “who I am” in terms of the specific job.
  • DESCRIBE specifically how you helped former employers, not what you did.
  • INCLUDE benefits that echo phrases from the job description.
  1. How to Ace a Job Interview
  • DON’T put all your eggs in this one basket.
  • FIND out all you can about the hiring firm.
  • DEVISE questions that show you’ve done your research.
  • REHEARSE answers to the standard questions.
  • WEAR what you’d wear if you worked there; don’t be late.
  • GET the offer, then decide whether you really want the job.


  1. What Great Bosses Believe About Their Jobs
  • BUSINESS is an ecosystem, so cooperate, don’t fight.
  • COMPANIES are communities, so treat people as individuals.
  • MANAGEMENT is service, so make others successful first.
  • EMPLOYEES are your peers, so treat them like adults.
  • MOTIVATE with vision, because fear only paralyzes.
  • CHANGE is growth, so welcome rather than shun it.
  • TECHNOLOGY eliminates busywork and frees creativity.
  • WORK is fun, so don’t turn it into a chore.
  1. How to Create Loyal, Effective Employees
  • MANAGE individuals, not numbers.
  • ADAPT your style to each person.
  • MEASURE what’s truly relevant.
  • ONLY one priority per person.
  • STAY even-tempered.
  • TAKE responsibility for your low performers.
  • SHARE your thoughts and ideas.
  • ASK questions rather than providing answers.
  • TREAT everyone as equally as possible.
  • DON’T expect more than you’re willing to give.
  • EXPLAIN the reasoning behind your decisions.
  • DON’T prevaricate, decide now!
  1. How to Hire a Top Performer
  • KNOW exactly whom you’re looking for.
  • CONSTANTLY seek viable candidates.
  • LOOK for character, not experience.
  • RESILIENCE is the mark of potential greatness.
  • SEEK out the self-motivated.
  • ATTITUDE is all-important.
  • DON’T settle for canned references.
  1. How to Hold a Productive Meeting
  • HAVE an agenda before you meet.
  • PROVIDE background information.
  • DON’T let the meeting meander.
  • DOCUMENT what decisions were made.
  1. How to Offer Constructive Criticism
  • ADDRESS undesirable behaviors when they happen.
  • OFFER praise, then identify the behavior you want changed.
  • ASK questions to understand the “why” behind the behavior.
  • AGREE upon a plan to change the behavior.
  • MONITOR and reinforce the changed behavior.
  1. How to Redirect a Complainer
  • SCHEDULE a conversation when they try to start one.
  • SET the agenda for the conversation as a “problem-solving” session.
  • LISTEN respectfully to the entire complaint.
  • ASK what the complainer plans to do.
  • CONFIRM that your advice is truly wanted.
  • PROVIDE your best advice (if it’s wanted).
  • END the conversation at the first “Yeah, but….”
  1. How to Fire Somebody
  • TELL it like it is without the biz-blab.
  • SHOW empathy for your co-workers.
  • EXPLAIN why it’s happening, as far as you legally can.
  • CUT quickly, heal, and move on.


  1. The 10 Types of Annoying Co-Workers
  • WAFFLERS can’t decide, so force the issue.
  • CONQUERORS must win, so make them team leaders.
  • DRAMATISTS crave attention, so ignore them.
  • ICONOCLASTS break rules needlessly, so avoid them.
  • DRONERS are boring, so find something else to do.
  • FRENEMIES sabotage, so keep them at arm’s length.
  • TOADIES are irrelevant; be polite but ignore them.
  • VAMPIRES leach energy, unless you stay upbeat.
  • PARASITES steal credit, so track who’s contributed.
  • GENIUSES are all talk, so pester them until they deliver.
  1. How to Earn the Respect of Your Peers
  • BE yourself rather than your role.
  • SHOW interest in other people.
  • SHARE the limelight.
  • DRESS and groom to match your ambitions.
  • PAUSE before speaking to mentally frame your thoughts.
  • SPEAK from your chest without verbal tics or an end of sentence rise in pitch.
  1. How to Play Clean Office Politics
  • FIND OUT what other people need and want.
  • BUILD mutually useful alliances with those you can trust.
  • KEEP TRACK of the favors you owe and the ones owed you.
  • USE your alliances at key points to help achieve your goals.
  1. How to Recruit a Mentor
  • MENTORS crave to teach people what they’ve learned.
  • SEEK OUT mentors who have experience and skills you lack.
  • ASK for advice and let the relationship develop.
  • BE KIND when you outgrow the relationship.
  1. How to Shine in a Meeting
  • TREAT meetings as a possible way to advance your agenda.
  • AVOID meetings that don’t serve your own agenda.
  • DECIDE whether each meeting will be useful or useless.
  • EITHER decline to attend or prepare well; no in between.
  • TAKE notes, so you can speak coherently when it’s your turn.
  • SPEAK confidently, and, if appropriate, segue into your agenda.
  • PUBLISH your own “minutes” of the meeting.
  1. How to Cope with an Office Bully
  • DON’T try to calm the bully down or apologize.
  • INSIST on respectful, professional behavior.
  • IF the unprofessional behavior continues, leave the immediate area.
  • COPE with your own emotions privately.
  • REVISIT the issue at a later date.
  • DECIDE whether the relationship is worth it.


  1. The Five Rules of Business Communications
  • KNOW your reason for communicating.
  • PICK a medium that’s appropriate for the other person.
  • SIMPLIFY your message for easy mental consumption.
  • EDIT out all buzzwords and corporate-speak.
  • AVOID jargon, unless dealing with fellow experts.
  1. How to Have a Productive Conversation
  • KNOW the reason you’re having a conversation.
  • IGNORE your internal dialog.
  • LISTEN carefully to the other person.
  • CONSIDER what was said and echo it back.
  • RESPOND with something that adds to the conversation.
  1. How to Write a Compelling Email
  • KNOW what decision you want made.
  • EXPRESS that decision as a conclusion at the beginning.
  • SUPPORT that conclusion with simple arguments.
  • PROVIDE evidence to bolster each argument.
  • REPEAT your conclusion as an action item.
  • WRITE the subject last and include a benefit.
  1. How to Create a Great Presentation
  • LESSEN stage fright by speaking to individuals, not the entire audience.
  • PLAN OUT an emotional journey for the audience.
  • FLAG the places where the audience will feel emotions.
  • BUILD a story that creates the emotions in that order.
  • ARRANGE everything into a simple structure.
  • MAKE slides relevant, short, simple, and readable.
  • CUSTOMIZE your presentation and rehearse it.
  1. How to Deliver a Great Presentation
  • STAND UP rather than remain seated when you speak.
  • CHECK your equipment in advance.
  • HAVE somebody else introduce you.
  • SET AND RESPECT a time limit.
  • AVOID “warm-up” jokes, unless you’re a comedian.
  • ADJUST your presentation to the “feel” of the room.
  • SPEAK directly to audience members.
  • DON’T meander and skip.
  • MAKE eye contact with multiple people.
  1. How to Work a Room
  • BE CURIOUS about people and what they do.
  • WHEN ASKED, describe yourself in terms of the value you provide.
  • IF the other person seems uninterested, move on.
  • EXPLAIN how you’re different from the competition.
  • IF the other person seems uninterested, move on.
  • OPEN a conversation to assess mutual needs.
  • IF interest continues, ask for a real meeting.
  1. How to Negotiate a Deal
  • DEFINE what’s on the table in the deal.
  • DECIDE what’s important to you and what’s not.
  • HAVE reasons why those things are important to you.
  • RESERVE a plan B, so your hand isn’t forced.
  • LET the other person open the negotiation.
  • WORK together rather than digging your heels in.
  • CREATE a deal that reflects what you both value.
  • STOP negotiating when the bulk of the deal is defined.


  1. The 12 Types of Bosses
  • VISIONARIES are inspiring but can act like jerks.
  • CLIMBERS want to get ahead, so expect no loyalty.
  • BUREAUCRATS hate change, so document everything.
  • PROPELLERHEADS love gadgets, so become an expert.
  • FOGEYS want respect, so recruit them as mentors.
  • WHIPPERSNAPPERS are insecure, so don’t make suggestions.
  • SOCIAL DIRECTORS love consensus but may suddenly explode.
  • DICTATORS make fast decisions but cause disasters.
  • SALES STARS would rather be selling, so let them do so.
  • HATCHET MEN execute layoffs, so get another job pronto.
  • LOST LAMBS need your help but may get dependent on you.
  • HEROES are rare, so enjoy them while it lasts.
  1. How to Keep Any Boss Happy
  • DO what you say you’ll do.
  • KEEP your boss in the loop.
  • CARE about your quality of work.
  • ACCEPT decisions when they’re made.
  • SOLVE problems without whining.
  • BE concise and clear.
  • MAKE your boss successful.
  1. How to Get the Best from Your Boss
  • COMMUNICATE what you need in order to do your best.
  • KEEP your manager informed of your progress.
  • MAKE a case for keeping you in your job.
  • ENSURE that everyone knows how much you contribute.
  • UNDERSTAND your boss’s goals and desires.
  • CULTIVATE a common interest.
  1. How to Ace Your Performance Review
  • FIND OUT what you must accomplish and document the conversation.
  • TRACK and report on your accomplishments against your metrics.
  • WRITE your performance review draft or provide “inputs” to same.
  • IF the boss attempts to renege, insist on some other reward.
  1. How to Handle an Unreasonable Request
  • BE flexible about what’s unreasonable.
  • IF you accept the task, negotiate something in return.
  • CULTIVATE the courage to say no.
  • REMEMBER that once you do it, it’s part of your job.
  1. How to Ask for a Raise
  • DON’T bother discussing what you need, want, or expect
  • to be paid.
  • BASE your proposed raise on your financial contribution.
  • LET your boss know how much it would cost to replace you.
  • GATHER information to buttress your case.
  • ESTABLISH a discrepancy between your value and your pay.
  • FIELD objections, so they reinforce your case.
  • PUSH until you’ve gotten a commitment with a number.

Excerpted and adapted from the book Business Without the Bullsh*t, by Geoffrey James.  © 2014 by Geoffrey James.  Reprinted by permission of Business Plus.  All rights reserved.


Published by honnutrition

Qualified Nutritionist, Health Writer, Nutritional Journalist. Nerdy with a touch of class.

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