In the nearly two years it took me to write "Behind the Drive," I collected hundreds of stories about my dad from every aspect and era of his life. As the project progressed, I began to see themes and patterns emerge. And, before I finished the book, I discovered the simple formula my dad followed to achieve his extraordinary success. It's a formula each of us can use.
1. Do work you love
My dad loved his work. That's what allowed him to give everything he had to everything he did. Whether he was negotiating a deal, building a new automobile dealership or reviewing the performance of one of his other businesses, he had a passion and intensity that was contagious. He was like a kid at play.
Each of us has things we love to do - things we're good at. We are meant to cultivate and share these gifts with others.
What do you love to do, and how can you share that more completely with others? What would life be like if you did that every day?
2. Get better every day
My dad always wanted to be better tomorrow than he was today. It's something he demanded from himself and expected of others. No matter how many cars were sold or games were won, he knew that his dealerships and the Jazz could always improve. He measured the performance of every department in every dealership every day, and he analyzed the Jazz players' stats unceasingly. He knew he could always be better personally as well. Before bed each night, my dad would mentally review the day he'd just lived to find ways to be more efficient and to perform at a higher level.
What are you doing today to be better tomorrow? What daily habits or routines can you add (or eliminate) to help you improve personally and professionally?
3. Serve something greater than yourself
Though George Bernard Shaw wrote the following words, they could have just as easily come from my dad: "I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations."
Providing service to others isn't something my dad did after he became successful. Providing service to others is how he became successful.
What are you doing to improve the lives of others?