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20 2012

Don’t Interrupt the Kaiser

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The great industrialist Henry Kaiser once said, “If your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” He would know. From building giant warships during World War II to helping found one of the largest, most efficient healthcare providers in the world, Kaiser spent his life letting his work speak for him, not the other way around. Although he died a half-century ago, his words still ring true today.In a world jammed with about a billion ways to communicate, it can be hard to remember that actions speak much louder than words- and it’s our actions that we’ll be remembered by. So here’s 3 tips to help you cut the chatter and get to the things that matter.Say “Why not?” instead of “Why?” – Instead of asking yourself whyyou and your team should take on a new project, just flip the script - try to come up with reasons not to do it. If nothing good comes up, then full steam ahead!Make a Plan (Then Get Started Anyway) – Of course planning is important, but remember, even the prettiest plans get a little messed up once they make it to the prom. Once you get into the thick of it, details will get a little smudged, timelines will morph and all that time you spent working on contingency plans will feel like a waste. Be flexible and, most importantly - have fun! In the end, no one remembers the plan - they remember the results.Even Failure is a Win – Some of the best business ideas have come from some of the most spectacular business failures (see Steve Jobs and Apple). Instead of dwelling on all the ways a new project could fail, remind yourself that even failure can be a win, if nothing else - it teaches you what not to do in the future. When life presents you with challenges, don’t spend too much time planning or asking why or worrying about failure. Just act, move, do it! Set a lunch date with your challenge; circle it on the calendar, then go. Who knows what your achievements will say to the world about you.

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