Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2012 - (Page 43)

Throwing My Loop… Key Skill BY MICHAEL JOHNSON The REMEMBER EARL NIGHTINGALE? He was a fellow who did small bits on the radio years ago about how we might do better, and in this wonderful voice that sounded like gravel drenched with sugar maple, Earl Nightingale spun unforgettable stories. He wrote a book called “The Strangest Secret,” and that secret was that our lives tend to move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. If you can find Earl Nightingale tapes, even though they were done decades ago, their usefulness and practicality is just as valuable in this century as it was in the last. I know a “secret” too. It’s neither my wisdom nor an original discovery, because others farther down the path taught me this skill is available to us all. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone came along and provided us with the primary key to doing better in the world of business and in life? What if a wise person had discovered a set of principles that would genuinely change your life, your ability to sell a product, and to increase your bank account as well? As Eliza Dolittle said, “Wouldn’t that be loverly?” A number of researchers have made positive strides in that direction. Some like Daniel Goldman in his book, “Working With Emotional Intelligence,” Howard Gardner’s “Frames of Mind,” and even though some wouldn’t put Dale Carnegie in the same category, ( I would) he too, spent his life working on this so-called “secret.” What is the secret skill? Here’s a hint: it’s not your grade-point average in college, or your discipline of study. It’s not tied to your geographic background, or the income level of your parents, and I.Q. has very little to do with it. (Another hint – AG kids do it so well.) You may have a 4.0 GPA, but without this ability, you won’t fare as well as you might, but…even if your grades are not the best, and you have the “secret,” your future can be bright. Sadly, there is no place in any formal educational setting to be taught this magic from first grade through PhD. If you have a cluster of traits and behaviors that we might put under an umbrella heading of “interpersonal skills,” you possess the number one predictor of success in the world of work. And the really good news is, each and every one of us have the ability to develop these skills. Some say you have to be born with personality or charisma…okay, that’s wrong. It’s not necessary that you be tall, attractive, rich or extremely intelligent. You can develop these skills by practicing on being you. Powerful people do it, and we can too. By powerful people, I don’t mean senators, corporate presidents, or general officers in the military. I mean people who have strong interpersonal skills. Here’s what they do… When we encounter these individuals, the first thing they do is raise their upper body just a bit, their eyes lock on yours, their hand is extended, and they greet you with a smile. They often say their name first, as in, “My name is John, Mr. Jones, and it’s nice to meet you, sir.” Note there is no phony, glad-handing encyclopedia salesman pumping your arm off here. “Phony” never works. The most remarkable characteristic about these people Second Quarter 2012 • 43

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2012

From the President
Rethinking the World's Water Systems
Financing Sustainable Through Energy Conservation
Financial Dashboards
Rural Water Testifies Before the U.S. Senate
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers /
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2012