Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Management Traps and How to Avoid Them

Much has been written about the secrets of good management and few will argue that the best managers are inspired, visionary, dedicated, industrious, energetic, energizing and display integrity, leadership, common sense and courage.

So where is it that managers commonly fail or falter and lose their precious foothold on the corporation's top rungs? The following, from the career experts at bayt.com, are ten of the most basic management traps and tips to avoid them:

Weak managers set weak goals

As a manager your role is to get specific jobs completed by employees in the most optimal, efficient and innovative manner and in order to do that, you need to set clear objectives. Successful managers set SMART goals - goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. They are able to communicate these goals clearly, simply and concisely to their employees so that none are vague or uncertain about expectations.

By all means reach for the stars in your objectives but to do so without supplying employees with the training, resources, flexibility and freedom they need to accomplish their goals and a schedule of regular supervision and feedback is to set them (and yourself) up for failure.

Weak managers micro-manage - effective leaders inspire

The days of command and control organizations are long over - today's managers recognize that in order to leverage their skills and maximize their team's output they need to adopt a flexible approach and 'lead' their teams to excellence rather than closely supervise, instruct and control them. The best leaders communicate to their employees a vision and ignite in them the fire; motivation and desire to work towards making this vision a reality.

Good leaders unleash their employees to innovate and achieve optimal solutions by communicating top-level goals and objectives and a suggested blueprint for success, and then leaving the employees to determine how to get there most optimally while ensuring they have the aptitudes, training, resources and work environment necessary to achieve superior results.

While a program of regular feedback and supervision is essential, managers should ensure that their management style is not repressive, meddling or overly overbearing.

The golden rule is to communicate the 'what' and the 'why' of the work that needs to be done and leave the employees to determine the 'how' without burdening them with strict instruction manuals or prescribed rules and patterns that are largely redundant and inconducive to speed, creativity, progress and innovation.

Weak managers are afraid of hiring/cultivating strong leaders

Strong leaders/managers have the self-confidence to hire the best people, take them to new levels and cultivate in them all the qualities needed to make them in turn effective leaders of the future. Weak leaders replicate themselves in their hiring decisions and hire mediocre players, mistakenly believing that an employee with more skills, acumen or industry knowledge than themselves will ultimately undermine them or make them look bad.

The best managers are characterized by an ability to stimulate their employees to superior performance and through coaching, training, feedback as well as by example, inspire in them all the qualities needed to make effective managers.

A good manager helps employees achieve their full potential and constantly raises the bar so that employees never stop learning, innovating and growing. Coaching, training, career planning and programs for ongoing growth and development of key staff are high on the priority lists of the best managers.

Weak managers belittle their employees

Bosses who favor the archaic 'tough' management style where employees are singled out for public reprimand and negative feedback is plentiful while recognition and positive reinforcement are scarce will fail to win the loyalty, respect and commitment of their teams over the long run. Without an inspired, fired up, self-confident employee base these managers set themselves and their teams up for failure.

Effective leaders by contrast, respect their employees and give them regular feedback with intelligent constructive criticism and loudly laud special accomplishments in both public and private, while communicating any negative feedback ONLY in private and focusing such criticism strictly on the job performance, not the person's character. Strong leaders recognize and reward a job well done.

These leaders inspire their teams to perform at their best and are able to elicit from them a high degree of loyalty and a 'hunger' to raise the bar and continuously excel. In such organizations, employees are not afraid to challenge their boss's ideas or upset the status quo in the interest of innovation and excellence and are encouraged to take risks to elevate the business to a new level. The autocrats and bureaucrats on the other hand sap their employees' self-confidence, drive and energy with their overbearing management style and fail to induce in them any motivation to raise the bar or excel.

Weak managers have obsolete skills - strong leaders constantly reinvent themselves

In today's knowledge-driven economies and highly competitive environment, skills, training and education rapidly become obsolete and effective managers know that they must constantly re-educate themselves and update their skills to maintain an edge.

While over-confident managers with inertia to further education fall by the wayside, good managers regularly take an honest inventory of their skills and abilities and upgrade their technical knowledge and soft skills wherever appropriate. They encourage their teams to do likewise with sound career planning and performance appraisal programs and an emphasis on training and self-education.

Weak managers have poor communication skills

Good communication includes cultivating and maintaining open channels of communication with the team and others in the organization, giving constructive, intelligent feedback, eliciting ideas through brainstorming sessions or otherwise, articulating the company vision and mission in no uncertain terms, setting clear objectives and listening attentively with an open-mind to employees grievances, suggestions and any other issues.

Effective leaders have an open-door policy that welcomes input, suggestions and feedback from employees and recognize that good ideas and the next best idea/process/innovation can come from anywhere. Strong leaders listen; weak leaders talk. Strong leaders pay attention to their employees and encourage them to express professional opinions and ask for more responsibility; weak leaders think they are above such open-door policies.

Employees who are not listened to and are not made to feel important or respected as professionals or individuals are unlikely to innovate or express any exciting new ideas that can move a company forward.

Weak managers blame

Everybody makes mistakes and strong leaders protect their good people from taking the fall when they err. Good bosses recognize that the occasional slip-ups are inevitable and can be learning opportunities and are ready to take personal responsibility when the team makes a misstep. A good boss realizes that his most promising employees want to succeed, will grow as a result of their mistakes and are unlikely to repeat the same mistakes. They do no set their people up as a negative example for the rest of the organization nor point fingers when the going gets tough.

Good bosses are personally accountable for their actions as well as the actions of their subordinates and do not allow a culture of blame to permeate the organization.

Weak managers take full credit for their team's accomplishments

While weak leaders usurp all the credit for a job well done by their teams, the strongest leaders will give the full credit to the team as a whole or the team member responsible for the project. Strong leaders motivate, energize and inspire by giving credit where credit is due and being generous with reward and recognition wherever appropriate. Strong leaders publicly thank their employees for a job well done and recognize that a motivated, successful, energized team will reflect directly on the boss.

Weak managers thrive on bureaucracy

Weak leaders are fond of, augment and live well with the layers and bureaucratic shackles that tie an organization down; strong leaders remove them. Today's effective leaders recognize that in order to compete they must operate like a small company with a high level of speed, responsiveness and flexibility. They realize that to maintain their edge in today's marketplace their organization needs to be responsive to changing market conditions and remove the shackles, boundaries, layers, clutter and obsolete policies, procedures and routines that get in the way of the freedom and free flow of people, resources and ideas.

Weak managers are divorced from their teams

Effective managers genuinely care about their employees and take the time to get to know them and to understand their strengths, weaknesses, what makes them tick and their goals and ambitions. They also take the time to learn something about their personal life.

While weak managers will maintain an outdated aloofness and a formal distance from their teams, exceptional managers are able to bring out the best in every employee and win their loyalty and respect by understanding their unique needs, motivations and abilities and showing the team that they are important and personally significant.

Strong managers are team players and through their constant involvement with their teams communicate to them that they are there for them and supportive of them.

Effective managers by building a supportive work environment, build a camaraderie and team spirit that enthuses and excites the team to new levels of performance. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

BJP Election Manifesto 2014

Bharatiya Janata Party

Election Manifesto

Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat
Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas

Our Pledge

Ek Bharat - Shreshtha Bharat
Vibrant and Participatory Democracy
Empowered and Inspired People
Inclusive and Sustainable Development
Quality life in Villages and Cities
Basic Amenities to All
Flourishing Agriculture
Productive Youth
Involved Women
Robust physical and social Infrastructure
Innovative and Technologically driven Society
Globally competitive Economy
Brand India built on Quality
Strong, Effective and Futuristic Institutions
Open, Transparent and Systems-based Government
Pro-active, Pro-people Good Governance
To build a Modern India: the best foundation is our own Culture;
the best tool our own hands; and the best material our own aspirations
Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas


India is the most ancient civilization of the world and has always been looked upon by the world as a land of wealth and wisdom. India has been credited to have developed, apart from philosophy and mathematics, science and technology of a very high order, which had attracted scholars from all over the world. Al-Andalusi, a Spanish scholar in the 11th Century, in his monumental work 'Tabaqat al-Umam' had discussed the state of science in different countries. He writes, "The first nation to have cultivated science is IndiaIndia is known for wisdom of its people. Over many centuries all the kings of the past have recognized the ability of Indians in all branches of knowledge." Andalusi further states, "Indians, as known to all nations for many centuries, are the metal (essence) of wisdom, the source of fairness and objectivity. They are the people of sublime pensiveness, universal apologues, and useful and rare inventions."

India's contribution to the march of civilization goes back to several thousand years before the Christian era. From the Vedas to Upanishads and Gautam - the Buddha and Mahavira - the 24th Jain Tirthankara and then to Kautilya and Chandra Gupta and down up to the eighteenth century, India was respected for its flourishing economy, trade, commerce and culture. It had an international outreach from Korea to Arabia, from Bamiyan to Borobudur and beyond. Before the advent of Britishers, Indian goods were internationally recognized for their quality and craftsmanship. India had a much bigger role and presence in industry and manufacturing than any nation in Europe or Asia. It had a well-developed banking system and equally renowned businessmen, along with its financiers, who were contributing to create a flourishing and progressive economy. According to Sunderland, India was also one of the greatest shipbuilding nations and consequently had an access to international markets. Indian prosperity held the world in thrall. It was this wealth which attracted the foreigners - from Alexander to the Britishers.

Historical records establish the level of progress and prosperity attained by India before the advent of the Europeans. Indian advancement in mathematics, astronomy, physics and chemistry along with the biological sciences has been well recognized. India was a land of abundance, prosperity, affluence, a land of sharing and caring living in perfect harmony and peace with the nature. From ancient times almost all religions practiced in different parts of the world, have existed peacefully in India and will continue to do so. India thus provides the most ennobling experience in spiritual co-existence. BJP recognizes that no nation could chart out its domestic or foreign policies unless it has a clear understanding about itself, its history, its roots, its strengths and failings. In a highly mobile and globalized world, it is imperative for a nation to know its roots that provide sustenance to its people.

Indian freedom struggle, which was inspired by Tilak, Gandhi, Aurobindo, Patel, Bose and others, had a clear vision of the civilizational consciousness of India. These leaders had directed the freedom movement, keeping the Indian ways and thoughts in the centre of their action. They had a vision to reconstruct the political and economic institutions of India as a continuum of civilizational consciousness, which made India one country, one people, and one Nation.

After achieving independence, the leaders at the helm of affairs lost the spirit and the vision, which the freedom movement had evoked. They discarded the vision and adopted the institutional framework of administration created by the Britishers which was quite alien to India's world-view. It is unfortunate that these leaders could not comprehend India's inner vitality, which was the main force responsible for India's survival despite several attacks and prolonged foreign rule and thus, failed to rekindle the spirit of India.

Even after nearly seven decades of our independence, the country has not been able to discover its innate vitality, the sense of time and the will to act. As a result, in spite of being the oldest civilization and a young republic, we are engulfed by a multi-dimensional crisis. A crisis, which has encompassed all walks of life. The rising disparities, social and communal divide and terrorism leading to a fractured society, are worsening the situation rapidly. The present crisis is the result of this confusion and disconnect from the seekings and sensibilities of the people. This is worse confounded by the weak and spineless leadership of the UPA Government. The tragedy is further heightened by their failure to diagnose the malady and find the remedy. Instead of creating a socio-economic and political paradigm of governance drawn from the civilizational consciousness of India, the leaders tried to follow whatever was being practiced in this or that western country.

Thus, we have wasted more than half of a century. Many other countries, even with smaller size and lesser resources, have surpassed us in development parameters. Another reason for this is that the Governance in these decades was marred by lack of trust, leading to excessive controls. It was also marked by lack of openness in Government and lack of people's participation. This has led to concentration of power in a few hands and lack of transparency breeding corruption and nepotism on a massive scale. The so-called 'liberalization' came in 1990s, but it was half-hearted. It didn't work because the rest of the eco-system remained the same. However, the beginning of the 21st century showed some light under the NDA rule. India started being reckoned as an economic superpower. The six-year rule of NDA had given the Nation many firsts, building an image in the International community. However, many of the hopes, potentials and projects have not been fully realized in the subsequent years. But after 2004, UPA came into power and the situation started worsening again. We missed a historic national opportunity once more.

UPA's biggest blow to the Indian political system is that they have taken out Genuineness from Governance; Authenticity from Administration. UPA has shown Governance of Enactment, not Action. It has given an Administration of Entitlement without Delivery. We have become a polity of Promises, and not Performance. We represent an economy of deficits, a work culture of delays and an asset base of deficiency. Worse, Congress-led UPA has made India a global synonym of Corruption, Scandal and Stagnation. To make it even worse, today, we are passing through total Decision and Policy Paralysis. Sluggish economic growth, unprecedented price rise and unstable Currency are its most visible facets.

The following demand urgent solutions; economy including agriculture, energy, environment including natural resources, education and health, employment, external and internal threats to security, empowerment, Governance, and erosion of moral and societal values.

If India has to survive as a nation, which it has to, in order to play its destined role in the comity of nations, if it has to make its voice heard for creating a peaceful and egalitarian world order, then we must take up the challenges with urgency and determination and provide proper solutions for them. It is a pity that we have a demoralized leadership presiding over the state apparatus, which is incompetent to handle the present problems. What is needed today is to arrive at a consensus about the 'Idea' of India and also to think and redesign our approach in consonance with the seekings and preferences of the Indian people.

The situation in the country is deteriorating rapidly. Delay in resolving the crisis would be dangerous.  What is needed is to take lessons from history, recognise the vitality and resilience of India, the power of its world-view and utilize its strength, which drove it to glorious heights and analyse its weaknesses, which led to this abysmal fall. Pick up the thread from the point where the continuum of our civilizational consciousness was lost and reorient the polity in consonance with those strong points of Indian psyche which will be the engine for our future glory. Let's keep the windows open, have a clear understanding of the global scenario and how without destroying our uniqueness we can assimilate the best of the technological advancements.

We can achieve this goal provided the leaders seriously set to this task. What we need is a political party committed to deliver and a leadership with strong determination and political will. As Vivekananda had said, "All power is within you. You can do anything. Believe in that." Yes, the power lies in the people of India, in the inner sanctum sanctorum of Mother India. What is needed is to ignite the spark and Mother India would rise in her full glory.

As Sri Ma had once said that India had become the symbolic representation of all the difficulties of modern mankind but India will also be the land of its resurrection to a higher and truer life. The BJP will leave no stone unturned to fulfill the dream of 1.22 billion Indians.

Today, India is blessed with the rare capacity and opportunity of Democracy, Demography and Demand. If we are able to consolidate and harness them, we will be able to reach the heights which India deserves. The biggest reason for a sorry state of affairs is bad intentions on the part of those who have ruled the country for sixty years. And that is where we would show the first difference. For BJP, the goal of the policies and practices would be: Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat! The path would be:

Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. This is our commitment to the Nation and to the People.

With this determination of the party under the charismatic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, we enter the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha and would work whole-heartedly to give a stable, strong, visionary and progressive Government to India.

It is an opportunity to change our fate and of our nation.

Glory to Mother India, glory to Her children.

Dr. (Prof.) Murli Manohar Joshi
Manifesto Committee -2014
March 26, 2014

Full text of BJP Election Manifesto 2014

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Law of Attraction

For life is the mirror of king and slave.
‘Tis just what you are and do;
Then give to the world the best you have,
And the best will come back to you ~ MADELINE BRIDGES.

The old adage that “He profits most who serves best” is no mere altruism.

Look around you. What businesses are going ahead? What men are making the big successes? Are they the ones who grab the passing dollar, careless of what they offer in return? Or are they those who are striving always to give a little greater value, a little more work than they are paid for?

When scales are balanced evenly, a trifle of extra weight thrown into either side overbalances the other as effectively as a ton.

In the same way, a little better value, a little extra effort, makes the man or the business stand out from the great mass of mediocrity like a tall man among pigmies, and brings results out of all proportion to the additional effort involved.

It pays—not merely altruistically, but in good, hard, round dollars—to give a little more value than seems necessary, to work a bit harder than you are paid for. It’s that extra ounce of value that counts.

For the law of attraction is service. We receive in proportion as we give out. In fact, we usually receive in far greater proportion. “Cast thy bread upon the waters and it will return to you an hundred-fold.”

Back of everything is the immutable law of the Universe—that what you are but the effect. Your thoughts are the causes. The only way you can change the effect is by first changing the cause.

People live in poverty and want because they are so wrapped up in their sufferings that they give out thoughts only of lack and sorrow. They expect want. They open the door of their mind only to hardship and sickness and poverty. True—they hope for something better—but their hopes are so drowned by their fears that they never have a chance.

You cannot receive good while expecting evil. You cannot demonstrate plenty while looking for poverty. “Blessed is he that expecteth much, for verily his soul shall be filled.” Solomon outlined the law when he said:

“There is that scattereth, and increaseth yet more;
And there is that withholdeth more than is meet,
but it tendeth only to want.
The liberal soul shall be made fat;
And he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

The Universal Mind expresses itself largely through the individual. It is continually seeking an outlet. It is like a vast reservoir of water, constantly replenished by mountain springs. Cut a channel to it and the water will flow in ever-increasing volume. In the same way, if you once open up a channel of service by which the Universal Mind can express itself through you, its gifts will flow in ever increasing volume and YOU will be enriched in the process.

This is the idea through which great bankers are made. A foreign country needs millions for development. Its people are hard working, but lack the necessary implements to make their work productive. How are they to find the money?

They go to a banker—put their problem up to him. He has not the money himself, but he knows how and where to raise it. He sells the promise to pay of the foreign country (their bonds, in other words) to people who have money to invest. His is merely a service. But it is such an invaluable service that both sides are glad to pay him liberally for it.

In the same way, by opening up a channel between universal supply and human needs—by doing your neighbors or your friends or your customer’s service—you are bound to profit yourself. And the wider you open your channel— the greater service you give or the better values you offer—the more things are bound to flow through your channel, the more you are going to profit thereby.

But you’ve got to use your talent if you want to profit from it. It matters not how small your service—using it will make it greater. You don’t have to retire to a cell and pray. That is a selfish method—selfish concern for your own soul to the exclusion of all others. Mere self-denial or asceticism as such does no one good. You’ve got to DO something, to USE the talents God has given you to make the world better for your having been in it.

Remember the parable of the talents. You know what happened to the man who went off and hid his talent, whereas those who made use of theirs were given charge over many things.

That parable, it has always seemed to me, expresses the whole law of life. The only right is to use all the forces of good. The only wrong is to neglect or to abuse them.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. This is the first and the greatest Commandment.” Thou shalt show thy love by using to the best possible advantage the good things (the “talents” of the parable) that He has placed in your hands. “And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Thou shalt not abuse the good things that have been provided you in such prodigality, by using them against your neighbor. Instead, thou shalt treat him (love him) as he would treat you. Thou shalt use the good about you for the advantage of all.

If you are a banker, you’ve got to use the money you have in order to make more money. If you are a merchant, you’ve got to sell the goods you have in order to buy more goods. If you are a doctor, you must help the patient you have in order to get more practice. If you are a clerk, you must do your work a little better than those around you if you want to earn more money than they. And if you want more of the universal supply, you must use that which you have in such a way as to make yourself of greater service to those around you.

“Whosoever shall be great among you,” said Jesus, “shall be your minister, and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” In other words, if you would be great, you must serve. And he who serves most shall be greatest of all.

If you want to make more money, instead of seeking it for yourself, see how you can make more for others. In the process you will inevitably make more for yourself, too. We get as we give— but we must give first.

It matters not where you start— you may be a day laborer. But still you can give—give a bit more of energy, of work, of thought, than you are paid for. “Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile,” said Jesus, “go with him twain.” Try to put a little extra skill into your work. Use your mind to find some better way of doing whatever task may be set for you. It won’t be long before you are out of the common labor class.

There is no kind of work than cannot be bettered by thought. There is no method that cannot be improved by thought. So give generously of your thought to your work. Think every minute you are at it—”Isn’t there some way in which this could be done easier, quicker, better?” Read in your spare time everything that relates to your own work or to the job ahead of you. In these days of magazines and books and libraries, few are the occupations that are not thoroughly covered in some good work.

Remember in Lorimer’s “Letters of a Self-Made Merchant to His Son,” the young fellow that old Gorgan Graham hired against his better judgment and put in the “barrel gang” just to get rid of him quickly? Before the month was out the young fellow had thought himself out of that job by persuading the boss to get a machine that did the work at half the cost and with a third of the gang. Graham just had to raise his pay and put him higher up. But he wouldn’t stay put. No matter what the job, he always found some way it could be done better and with fewer people, until he reached the top of the ladder.

There are plenty of men like that in actual life. They won’t stay down. They are as full of bounce as a cat with a small boy and a dog after it. Thrown to the dog from an upper window, it is using the time of falling to get set for the next jump. By the time the dog leaps for where it hit, the cat is up the tree across the street.

The true spirit of business is the spirit of that plucky old Danish sea captain, Peter Tordenskjold. Attacked by a Swedish frigate, after all his crew but one had been killed and his supply of cannon balls was exhausted, Peter boldly kept up the fight, firing pewter dinner- plates and mugs from his one remaining gun.
One of the pewter mugs hit the Swedish captain and killed him, and Peter sailed off triumphant!

Look around YOU now. How can YOU give greater value for what you get? How can you SERVE better? How can you make more money for your employers or save more for your customers? Keep that thought ever in the forefront of your mind and you’ll never need to worry about making more for yourself!

A Blank Check

There was an article by Gardner Hunting in a recent issue of “Christian Business,” that was so good that I reprint it here entire:

“All my life I have known in a vague way that getting money is the result of earning it; but I have never had a perfect vision of that truth till recently. Summed up now, the result of all my experience, pleasant and unpleasant, is that a man gets back exactly what he gives out, only multiplied.

“If I give to anybody service of a kind that he wants I shall get back the benefit myself. If I give more service I shall get more benefit. If I give a great deal more, I shall get a great deal more. But I shall get back more than I give. Exactly as when I plant a bushel of potatoes, I get back thirty or forty bushels, and more in proportion to the attention I give the growing crop. If I give more to my employer than he expects of me, he will give me a raise— and on no other condition. What is more, his giving me a raise does not depend on his fair-mindedness - he has to give it to me or lose me, because if he does not appreciate me somebody else will.

“But this is only part of it. If I give help to the man whose desk is next to mine, it will come back to me multiplied, even if he apparently is a rival. What I give to him, I give to the firm, and the firm will value it, because it is teamwork in the organization that the firm primarily wants, not brilliant individual performance. If I have an enemy in the organization, the same rule holds; if I give him, with the purpose of helping him, something that will genuinely help him, I am giving service to the organization. Great corporations appreciate the peacemaker, for a prime requisite in their success is harmony among employees. If my boss is unappreciative, the same rule holds; if I give him more, in advance of appreciation, he cannot withhold his appreciation and keep his own job.

“The more you think about this law, the deeper you will see it goes. It literally hands you a blank check, signed by the Maker of Universal Law, and leaves you to fill in the amount—and the kind—of payment you want! Mediocre successes are those that obey this law a little way—that fill in the check with a small amount—but that stop short of big vision in it. If every employee would only get the idea of this law firmly fixed in him as a principle, not subject to wavering with fluctuating moods, the success of the organization would be miraculous. One of my fears is apt to be that, by promoting the other fellow’s success, I am sidetracking my own; but the exact opposite is the truth.

“Suppose every employee would look at his own case as an exact parallel to that of his firm. What does his firm give for the money it gets from the public? Service! Service in advance! The better the service that is given out, the more money comes back. What does the firm do to bring public attention to its service? It advertises; that is part of the service. Now, suppose that I, as an employee, begin giving my service to the firm in advance of all hoped for payment. Suppose I advertise my service. How do I do either? I cannot do anything constructive in that firm’s office or store or plant or premises that is not service, from filing a letter correctly to mending the fence or pleasing a customer; from looking up a word for the stenographer, to encouraging her to look it up herself; demonstrating a machine to a customer or encouraging him to demonstrate it himself; from helping my immediate apparent rival to get a raise, to selling the whole season’s output. As for advertising myself, I begin advertising myself the moment I walk into the office or the store or the shop in the morning; I cannot help it. Everybody who looks at me sees my advertisement. Everybody around me has my advertisement before his eyes all day long. So has the boss—my immediate chief and the head of the firm, no matter where they are. And if I live up to my advertising, nobody can stop me from selling my goods— my services! The more a man knocks me, the more he advertises me; because he calls attention to me; and ill am delivering something better than he says I am, the interested parties—my employers—will see it, and will not be otherwise influenced by what he says.

“More than that, I must give to every human being I come in contact with, from my wife to the bootblack who shines my shoes; from my brother to my sworn foe. Sometimes people will tell you to smile; but the smile I give has got to be a real smile that lives up to its advertising. If I go around grinning like a Cheshire cat, the Cheshire-cat grin will be what I get back— multiplied! If I give the real thing, I’ll get back the real thing—multiplied! If anybody objects that this is a selfish view to take, I answer him that any law of salvation from anything by anybody that has ever been offered for any purpose, is a selfish view to take. The only unselfishness that has ever been truly taught is that of giving a lesser thing in hope of receiving a greater.

“Now, why am I so sure of this law? How can you be sure? I have watched it work; it works everywhere. You have only to try it, and keep on trying it and it will prove true for you. It is not true because I say so, nor because anybody else says so; it is just true. Theosophists call it the law of Karma; humanitarians call it the law of Service; businessmen call it the law of common sense; Jesus Christ called it the law of Love. It rules whether I know it or not, whether I believe it or not, whether I defy it or not. I can’t break it! Jesus of Nazareth, without reference to any religious idea you may have about Him, without consideration as to whether He was or was not divine, was the greatest business Man that ever lived, and he said: ‘Give and ye shall receive—good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over!’ And this happens to be so—not because He said it—but because it is the Truth, which we all, whether we admit it or not, worship as God. No man can honestly say that he does not put the truth supreme.

“It is the truth—the principle of giving and receiving—only there are few men who go the limit on it. But going the limit is the way to unlimited returns!

“What shall I give? What I have, of course. Suppose you believe in this idea—and suppose you should start giving it out, the idea itself, tactfully, wisely, and living it yourself in your organization.

How long do you think it will be before you are a power in that organization, recognized as such and getting pay as such? It is more valuable than all the cleverness and special information you can possibly possess without it. What you have, give—to everybody. If you have an idea, do not save it for your own use only; give it. It is the best thing you have to give and therefore the thing best to give—and therefore the thing that will bring the best back to you. I believe that if a man would follow this principle, even to his trade secrets, he would profit steadily more and more; and more certainly than he will by holding on to anything for himself. He would never have to worry about his own affairs because he would be working on fundamental law. Law never fails—and it will be easy for you to discover what is or is not law. And if law is worth using part of the time, it is worth using all the time.

“Look around you first, with an eye to seeing the truth, and then put the thing to the test. Through both methods of investigation you will find a blank check waiting for you to fill in with ‘whatsoever you desire,’ and a new way to pray and to get what you pray for.”

By Robert Collier – Secret of the Ages