I know you will want to read this Tip very carefully because I am sure you have never read anything quite like it in your entire life! It has taken me a long, long time to discover the real key to success, but recently I stumbled upon something that may possibly change the entire direction of the remainder of my life. I know that you can hardly wait to hear the “Wisdom of Solomon” as it unfolds in this particular Tip. I can assure you it will be revolutionary…if not humorous!
Recently, I had to go to Old Dominion Freight Lines to transact some business. As I was getting ready to leave my office, I grabbed a note pad and slipped it on a clipboard so that I could take any necessary notes. When I got to my destination, the facility was so large that I got turned around a couple of times and needed to be re-directed more than once on the way to my appointment.
I observed something very curious as I wandered through the hallways. Everyone spoke to me spoke with such warmth and professionalism it was like I was someone very special and important who they were trying to help. Since I had never been there before, and no one even knew me, I was wondering why in the world everyone seemed to be treating me with such dignity and respect. The gentleman with whom I met also gave me a great deal of help and information.
I transacted my business and as I was preparing to leave, I happened to notice that almost everyone in a supervisory position or leadership role was carrying a clipboard. And then it suddenly occurred to me what had happened. I looked important. I looked like someone in charge. I had found the key to success…I was carrying a clipboard!
Now, I hope you are not too disappointed in discovering that the real key to success is carrying a clipboard! But, I want to press the point just for a minute, if I may. You see, by carrying the clipboard, it gave the appearance that I was either in charge or had some kind of authority. That was not my original intent or goal. I simply meant to take notes as needed. But, by having a look of organization, authority, or whatever else you might want to call it, it raised the level of respect with which everyone spoke to me and gave me their full attention and cooperation.
That experience gave me an idea; what would happen if I were to carry a clipboard with me wherever I went? Since I love to observe human behavior, I decided to give it a try.
So, all week, whether at a restaurant, gas station, or convenience store, I continued to carry my clipboard. It has certainly been interesting! It would seem that those who carry clipboards with a notepad on them are viewed to be the ones in charge. They are the ones who are treated with respect. Isn’t that crazy? Isn’t that ridiculous? Maybe everyone think I am “taking names” and they simply do not want to get into trouble! Ha!
I am not carrying my clipboard because I am trying to make anyone do anything. I am doing it simply because I want to observe the way people respond. And, it also serves to remind me to go out of my way to be nice to other people and to show them kindness for their help. In other words, it not only raises the bar for them, it also raises the bar for me to respond to each person that I deal with along the way.
Have you ever noticed there is a certain look about someone who is in authority? Notice the people who work for a security detail or who manage a store. They have a certain air of authority about them. They seem to walk with a different stride to their step. They have a deliberate sense about where they are going and what they are all about. Rather than being a “wandering generality,” they have more of a specific direction to their life and business. There is indeed something attractive about people who know where they are going. After all, I do not think many of us are attracted to people who are just wondering around aimlessly in life with no goals and no direction.
So, if you do not already own one, let me encourage you to go out this week and buy a notepad and clipboard. Walk around with it and every once in a while, jot down a few notes. It will help you to keep up with what you are doing, and it will give you the appearance of being successful. And, I believe that because you have the appearance of success, it will cause you to rise to a slightly higher standard in all that you do.
The older I get, the more I see that it does not take much to make me happy, but, this clipboard idea has really made me happy! I find it to be so funny – and I like funny! I know that you think I have completely lost my mind, and that is okay. As long as I can do anything, even if it is just a little something, that will make your life better and more successful, I can live with that!
Keep the clipboard handy and watch what happens. I am still being surprised by this profound idea of “the posture of success” and I am sure that you will be, too!
Tip: I have finally discovered the secret of success!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm