Harvey Mackay's one of my favorite business speakers and authors. So I wanted to share this article I received today because I think it applies directly to recruiters and our work-life.

Advice from my Dad for Father's Day
Author: Harvey Mackay

There's an English proverb that goes: "One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters."

Fathers can teach their children many important lessons. Father's Day is Sunday, June 15, and it brings to mind some of the valuable lessons I learned from my father, Jack Mackay. I've shared many of them with you in my books and columns, but here they are, in one nice package, for the 64.3 million fathers out there.

My dad headed the Associated Press in St. Paul, Minn., for many years. He lived by deadlines. When he told his 10-year-old fishing partner, "Be at the dock at 7:30 a.m." and I arrived at 7:35, I would be holding my fishing pole in one hand and waving bon voyage with the other. Time management 101.

When I began my career selling envelopes, I asked my father how I could make twice as much money as my fellow sales reps.

He asked me how many sales calls my peers made every day. I told him that everyone made about five calls a day, and I could match them call for call.

"No good," he said. "Do what they do and you'll make what they make. Figure out how you can get to 10 calls a day and your income will double."

We worked out a game plan, which became a life plan. I learned when the buyers were in the office and worked according to their schedules, which sometimes meant anytime from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday mornings. I quit making cold calls, was among the first to get a cell phone and learned many other time management tips from my father.

TRUST is the most important five-letter word in business and in life. When I was only eight years old, he said: "Son, would you like to learn a lesson that might save your life some day?"

"Sure I would, Dad," I answered.

"Just slide down the banister and I'll catch you," he urged.

I slid ... and landed on the carpet. As I dusted myself off, he announced, "Never trust anyone completely. Keep your eyes open and your wits about you."

Similarly, my father encouraged me at a young age to keep track of all the people I met on Rolodex cards, now on my computer. He was a master networker. He knew where to get stories, much like I learned where to get sales.

Maybe the most important lesson my father taught me was that your best network will develop from what you do best. In my case that was golf. When I joined the sales game after college, where I had been a varsity golfer at the University of Minnesota, my father suggested I join Oak Ridge Country Club, which I couldn't afford. Because Oak Ridge was historically at the bottom of the city golf league, I offered to play for them and try to win them a championship. Six months and numerous meetings later, I was admitted to the club where I gained access to many of the major companies around town.

My father also taught me that the big name on the door doesn't mean diddly. You have to know who the decision makers are.

In addition, he warned me against telling anyone how I vote. That's why it's a secret ballet. The Democrats think I'm a Republican, and the Republicans believe I'm a Democrat.

My father's greatest professional attribute was his nose for a good story and his indefatigable zeal in getting it. He taught me the same desire, determination and persistence for sales.

After a skiing accident that landed me in the hospital for 35 days in neck traction, he told me, "You can take any amount of pain as long as you know it's going to end."

My father taught me many more life lessons, among them:

* They don't pay off on effort . . . they pay off on results.
* No one ever choked to death swallowing his pride.
* He who burns his bridges better be a damn good swimmer.
* Education is like exercise. As soon as you quit you begin to lose the benefits.
* It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're dressed like a turkey.
* If you win say little. If you lose say less.
* We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start.

(I guess I don't mind an old-fashioned cliche' when it comes from somebody like Harvey).

Views: 47

Comment by Reginald Look, Jr. on June 13, 2008 at 9:50am
Here is a Harvey / networking story for you. I have been a huge Harvey fan since college. After college I was looking for a place to go ... anywhere outside of the MI borders. I decided I was going to go to MN (in reflection, I am not sure it was much better of and idea, but ...) I wanted to work for Harvey.

While in college, I did some waiting on tables in a restaurant in Bar Harbor, ME for a summer. One evening an older man and a woman came in and over the course of the evening and just having a chance to chat with them, I found out they were from Minneapolis. I said, 'great!, I will be out there in a couple of months." "Great, look me up." he said and we exchanged contact information. After college, I went out there and since I knew not one other soul there ... I looked him up. I was telling him my desire to work for Harvey and he said, you know, that name sounds familiar, let me look at something. Sure enough in black and white was Harvey's name and personal address on his local Synagogue roster right in front of me.

I had never been to a Synagogue, he had probably never taken someone to his synagogue, so it was set. I was off to Harvey's synagogue next Saturday night.

I have never really been a person to get awestruck by seeing other people - before or since, but that night was a little different. I will never forget, he came in a little late with his family (I was disappointed, because I didn't think he would be there ... I mean what are the chances, anyway ...) he sat 1 row back and about 15-20 seats to my left. I know his kid's thought: 'who is this guy that keeps looking at us?'

It was pretty funny as I reflect back on it. I am sure I was like a little kid. I didn't hear a word that the Rabbi said all evening. All through the service all I could think about was, 'how am I going to meet him?' After the service, in the best Harvey-esque thing that I could think of, I asked Don, the guy that I was with, who he knew that could introduce me to Harvey.

So I met Harvey and we chatted in his Synagogue for a few minutes and then we parted ways. I never really did even seek out working with his company - I was already working with a different company.

Pretty funny to reflect back on it 15 years later ... but at the time it was a big deal to me.

... anyway, I have wasted enough time ... gotta get back on the phone.


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