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Harvey Mackay

Columnist | Outswimming the Sharks
Recent content from Harvey Mackay
Albert Einstein believed that living to help others is the only way to live your life.

Mackay: Volunteering presents opportunities to shine

Not only can you make a difference, but sharing your strengths has a built-in benefit for you.

Mackay: Asking the right questions

Sometimes the answers you receive are determined by what and how you ask.

Mackay: Encouragement can be a truly powerful thing

A teacher asked her students if any of them had extra pencils they would be willing to share with their classmates. One student reluctantly raised…

Mackay: The power of kindness is sorely underrated

A teacher asked her young pupils to tell about their acts of kindness to animals. After several heart-stirring stories, the teacher asked one boy if…

Mackay: Others' mistakes can be the best lessons of all

With a new influx of college graduates hitting the job market, I thought it would be a good time to share some advice. I started…

Communication really means to listen closely

A new young worker at a construction site sat down to eat his lunch with the rest of the crew. As an older fellow opened…

Mackay: Time is treasure. Here's how to manage it

And getting organized is a start.

Mackay: Always try to give yourself an even break

We all try to do our best, at least most of the time. And when we don't succeed, often we are our own harshest critics.But…

Mackay: Welcome, Generation Z

America's youngest generation is nearly 70 million strong and will soon outnumber its millennial predecessors.

Mackay: Let go of old grudges

We are living in a time when being offended is in fashion.

Mackay: Life is short, so try not to go through it too fast

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, enjoying his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked…
Mackay: These kids know that it takes work to get ahead

Mackay: These kids know that it takes work to get ahead

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans was founded to combat the attitude that economic opportunity was a thing of the past.

Mackay: Go from boring to roaring

Don't run the risk of being satisfied with the status quo if the status quo means same old, same old.

Mackay: Lessons can be learned on the baseball diamond

With the baseball season in full swing (pun intended!), it’s time to salute America’s pastime. And in recognition of April being National Humor Month, I’m…

Experience in life and workplace teaches lessons that last

In every speech that I give, every column I write, every person or group that I mentor, my goal is to leave my audience with…

Mackay: Arguments in the workplace can be healthy

How do you hear all sides of an argument? By arguing!

Mackay: Never undersell value of customer service

Just like elephants, clients have long memories.

Mackay: Don't let the naysayers stifle your creativity

Creative ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. Those ideas often involve taking a risk or challenging conventional thinking. And that can be…

Mackay: Seeing the opportunity in every difficulty

Joe, a golfer, joined three people at a golf course to make up the foursome. The three friends teed off, but when Joe hit his…

Mackay: Never underestimate the potency of praise

When you sincerely praise someone — and there has to be truth in that praise — something amazing often takes place.

Mackay: Avoid judgment until you have all the information

No matter who you are, how experienced you are and how knowledgeable you think you are, always delay judgment.
Michelangelo was a notably solitary individual who paid little attention to his personal grooming habits. But his quest for knowledge would have made

Mackay: Good workplace etiquette never goes out of style

Whether you are starting out in your career or just want to improve, you need to earn the trust of your bosses and co-workers.

Mackay: The art of thinking fast can save your bacon

The keys are confidence and preparation.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus winked at a fan after signing an autograph at the 2018 3M Championship at the TPC in Blaine, Minn.

Mackay: Golden wisdom from the Golden Bear

Golf has been a big part of my life. When I was growing up in St. Paul, I dreamed about making a living playing golf…

Mackay: Don't be afraid to fail in business; be afraid about remaining comfortable

Business is filled with stories of companies that took risks and succeeded.

Mackay: Count your blessings, not your bounty

Greed is one of the most dangerous emotions. It makes people act irrationally and foolishly. It clouds your judgment.

Mackay: Your good reputation is always on the line

Without a positive reputation, success is elusive.

Harvey Mackay sees the power of being positive

In my favorite comic strip, "Peanuts," by Charles Schulz, Lucy asks Charlie Brown what day of the week he likes best. For the next few…

Put passion and thought into setting your goals

William Marston, a prominent psychologist, authored a two-year study in which he asked 3,000 people the following: "What have you to live for?"What Marston found…

Mackay: Purpose is a force that gives life meaning

The neighborhood kids had congregated in the front yard when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting on the front seat was a Dalmatian dog. The…
University of Minnesota football coach P. J. Fleck took to the field to hug players including linebacker Kamal Martin before Minnesota took on Wiscons

Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck offers lessons on leadership

Fleck said he and his staff and players operate in a HYPRR culture, which stands for how, yours, process, results and response.

Mackay: Ease conflicts before they grow too large

Smart managers and employees don't let their emotions get out of control.

Mackay: We must be able to handle the truth

A lot of people don't have a problem with a "white" lie or a fabrication, but it's still a lie and has consequences.

Mackay: Age-old wisdom can still really resonate

A good moral or proverb must teach a lesson.

Harvey Mackay: A scrappy attitude helps make strong connections

Whether you are trying to launch your entrepreneurial vision, close a big deal, land your dream job, get that promotion or support a philanthropic effort,…
One of the things that allowed Seymour Cray, founder of Cray Research, to succeed was his innovative spirit and ability to think creatively when solvi

Innovation in business never goes out of style

If you want more imagination and innovation in your workplace, you have to give people space.
There’s nothing wrong with good manners in business.

Good manners make a difference in life and your career

No matter what your rank or position, there is no excuse for rudeness.

Have you reached your real potential?

A famous art professor died and went to heaven. At the pearly gates, the professor asked St. Peter, "Sir, I spent most of my life…

In business, remember where you have been

A farmer famed for his agricultural know-how once hired a neighbor’s teenage son to help him do the spring plowing. The farmer believed in letting…
Dr. Norbert Weiner, professor of mathematics at MIT was brilliant, but a good memory was not one of his strongest suits.

Remember this: A good memory is an asset

Like every other skill, it takes practice and a commitment to get better.

Letting salespeople do what they do best

Sales is the lifeblood of all business. There are no companies unless someone brings in the business.

Mackay: Learning lessons on golf, life from centenarian

We covered a lot of ground that day, with plenty of gems of wisdom.

Harvey Mackay: Raise the roof when asking for a raise

Pete walked into his boss' office. "Ms. Smith, I'll be straight with you. I know the economy isn't great, but I have three companies after…

Mackay: Stay resilient and good things can, will happen

Successful people use confidence and courage to face defeat, slumps, failures, change and adversities of every nature -- and find a way to overcome.
Mackay: A key to success: Know how to get unstuck

Mackay: A key to success: Know how to get unstuck

Someone in the midst of a slump can't imagine the possibility of overcoming it. But it will happen.

Smallest act of kindness can have a big impact

Nice people can finish first. And they have in common some habits that are practically second nature.

Inability to decide can ruin a person's career

Remember the time-tested adage: Not to make a decision is a decision.
Cartoonist Charles Schulz displays a sketch of his beloved character "Snoopy" in his office in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Mackay: Charles Schulz learned from rejection — so can you

Any time you feel like quitting throughout your career, perhaps you will remember his story.
Considered the “father of brainstorming,” Alex Osborn devoted his life to promoting and teaching creative thinking.

Mackay: A creative process doesn't follow logical rules

Along with creativity, it's important to have a thick skin and be unfazed by criticism.

Mackay: Communication key for business, life

If we don't do it effectively, we have wasted our time.

Mackay: To move forward, make fear work in your favor

For some people, the real fear is success itself.
Dale Carnegie, seen with his wife, Dorothy, said: “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of

Mackay: How to keep calm and carry on — even under stress

If your buttons get pushed, you might need to practice some relaxation techniques so you don't lose control.

Mackay: Do something to advance your career in every meeting

Instead of just enduring meetings, learn to use them to your advantage.
John F. Kennedy narrowly missed getting the Democratic vice-presidential nomination at the party’s 1956 convention in Chicago. He applied lessons fr

Admit your mistakes, and take them as lessons

Mistakes are an opportunity to learn.A young vice president was appointed by the board of directors of a bank to replace the retiring president and…

Mackay: Hot tips and life lessons

When you help others, you are also helping yourself.

Mackay: There are many lessons to be learned from the flag

Qualities that our country was founded on should carry through in our lives and businesses today.

Harvey Mackay: Be conscious of your conscience

Act like your mother is watching. All the time.

Harvey Mackay: Hustlers are not afraid of business risk

Good things may come to those who wait, but only those things left by people who hustle.

Business lessons from the diamond

Baseball teaches many lessons and offers plenty of inspiration.
Sleep deprivation is no badge of honor.

Listen to the doctor: Sleep deprivation can hurt your career

After years of getting by on five to six hours of sleep, it might be time to reassess sleeping habits.
Thomas Edison is shown in 1877 or 1878 with the tinfoil phonograph he invented.

Mackay: A word of encouragement can change anyone's destiny

Encouragement and motivation go hand in hand, but they are not the same.
Navigating the work place can be difficult, but it can become more difficult if certain phrases are used.

Mackay: These words could kill your career

My dad always said, "Think before you speak." Easier said than done.

Mackay: Be sure you put the three bones to work

Indecision can destroy your dreams, if you allow it.

Harvey Mackay's insightful humor for tax-time blues

We all need to laugh more, especially around tax time! I received so many positive responses to my column on humorous stories with good business lessons, I decided to do a sequel.

On the road to success, adversity has value

Life is not a parabolic curve, nor does it go straight up. There are a lot of lumps, a lot of bumps. I have never…
Winston Churchill with his wife in 1948.

It can't be said enough: Persevere, persevere, persevere!

Success in life depends on your willingness to never give up, even when the reward is delayed.

Harvey Mackay: Billy Graham's shining example

Other ministers told funnier jokes or did a better job of illustrating Bible passages and organizing sermons than Bill Graham did, but no one was…

Mackay: Give your ego a reality check

When you put yourself on a pedestal and let your ego get the best of you, just remember that the size of your funeral crowd will depend largely on the weather.

Mackay: Apply street smarts to making decisions

I'm back with another installment of street smarts, those skills that go beyond what is taught in school.

Harvey Mackay: 'Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much'

No team is composed entirely of perfect people. Whether you are a superstar or a benchwarmer, you are an important member of the team.

Harvey Mackay: Don't let rudeness become contagious

Workplace rudeness can be a serious problem. It can bring down morale and lead to lost productivity. Rudeness doesn't just affect work; it can lead to lost customers.

Mackay: Valuable lessons from a self-made tire man

"One person can make all the difference in the world." And that adage certainly applied to Bruce Halle, the founder of Discount Tire.

Harvey Mackay: Networking hard or hardly networking

In my corporate speeches, I often ask the question: What is one of the most important words in the English language? That word is "Rolodex," which of course is now referred to as a "contact management system."

New year brings reminder that companies must embrace change

A new year often brings new beginnings. I was intrigued to discover how one company used a novel way to motivate employees to think about…

Harvey Mackay: Raising funds on a serious tip

A little girl asked to see the president of a large company. She explained that her club was raising money and asked if he would…
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