THE BLOG
03/14/2014 04:39 pm ET Updated May 14, 2014

How to Have an Impact in Today's World

Everybody at some point in their lives has asked themselves how to make things happen. Those things may range from making the basketball squad, getting into college, getting the unemployment check, to getting nominated to run for a political job [including President]--that is: the full gamut of life.

There are a lot of different theories about how to go about such an important process in life.

Rule I- Check all the boxes carefully.

Rule II- Stoke the fire in your belly.

Rule III- Play the angles carefully.

Rule IV--Make a lot of friends along the way.

Rule V--Stay focused.

Rule VI-Make it clear that you are serious.

Rule VII--Work hard all the time.

Rule VIII- Be nice to everyone--you meet the same people going up and down.

Rule IX--Be Careful and diplomatic.

Rule X--Concentrate and stay focused.

There is a great story from about 1900. JP Morgan had just merged a bunch of steel companies into US Steel. One of the important companies was Carnegie Steel run by Andrew Carnegie. It was not the largest, but it was the best run and most profitable. Morgan asked Carnegie to become the CEO. He accepted and then wondered why. He had been happily running his own great business and US Steel was a new problem every minute. He asked a friend of his who was an early version of a management consultant [say, for example, the head of McKinsey which did not yet exist], how he could get a grip on this beast called USS.

His friend said he had no idea, but, the friend did suggest that Carnegie make a list of the 10 most important things he needed to do-in their order of importance--and that they lunch in a week and he might have an idea.

They met a week later and Carnegie passed the list over to his friend saying, "OK genius now what do I do?" His friend barely looked at the list and put his hand over the bottom seven items and said; "OK, finish the first three and add three more!"

And, it worked for Carnegie, as it will work for you and everybody you know. So Rule X is really all you need, but it can not hurt to remember the first 9.

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