I have had a very successful career thus far; having served as a CEO twice, a COO once, and a VP five times. At the risk of sounding arrogant, those who have worked with me or for me have sounded a recurring theme about my management style. Each of these people has been amazed at my ability to work with others, move my objectives forward, and walk away with true friends in the process. In fact, several associates have even suggested that I either write a book on my secret or at least bottle my magic potion and retail it.
It really comes down to one very simple philosophy. You can find it in the major religions of the world, it is evident in the works of the greatest thinkers of history, and whether they know it or not it can be seen in the efforts of the most successful business people. It all comes down to the concept of the hero.
From cradle to grave, we are surrounded with the epic sagas of the hero! We idolize our parents and teachers, we drop everything to watch our favorite sports stars perform incredible feats of strength and agility, and we select those we feel will be our best mentors and role models. We graduate from comic books where the superhero keeps the world safe to the works of Homer and the classical heroes.
Every one of us wants to be a hero. We crave the admiration and respect of our families, friends, and business associates. We want to perform epic feats that will make us heroes in our household, at our place of work, in our houses of worship, and in the community as a whole. What most people do not realize is that there is no requirement to sell all your possessions, embark on a year-long ocean journey, fight off mythical beasts, end up stranded on a deserted island, fight the temptations of a magical enchantress, and return home half dead only to find your household in total disarray!
The elusive recipe for becoming a hero comes down to a single ingredient; become a hero by creating heroes. The most powerful phrase you can use when dealing with another person is, “I need your help, please!” By uttering these simple words, you have positioned the other person to respond to your need. In short, you have placed them in the role of your hero. That is not to say that this strategy should be used to charm your way into getting everything you want. Rather it should be a heartfelt expression extended from one caring human being to another.
This simple approach has yielded untold successes in my personal and professional life. It has opened the door to multimillion dollar deals and it has held my defiant teenage daughters in check. I have seen otherwise stoic people instantly warm up and extend their best efforts to assist me. In other words, everyone wants to be a hero and will go out of their way to take on the role.
Sealed with the two most powerful words in the English language, the future course of the hero you have helped create will be that they go out of their way to continue being a hero to others. Often they will do so without even being solicited for assistance. In the process, they too will create other heroes of their own. Those simple words are “Thank you!”