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Harvey Mackay

Columnist | Outswimming the Sharks
Recent content from Harvey Mackay
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…

Harvey Mackay: Learning life lessons from Hollywood

I am a movie fanatic and love to hit the cineplex whenever I get a chance. It doesn't hurt that I have a son who…
It’s important to surround yourself with success-oriented people.

Mackay: How to find and lead good employees

I don’t care if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a small-business owner or a manager or supervisor — you are only…

Harvey Mackay: Harness the power of curiosity

Thomas Edison once visited Luther Burbank, the famed horticulturist, who invited every guest who visited his home to sign the guest book. Each line in…

Harvey Mackay: If you get knocked down, get up again

We all deal with disappointment in different ways. Some pout, a few get angry and others go into denial. Repressing your feelings is a recipe…

Mackay: Try to do what is right, not what is the most convenient

On the heels of recurrent tales of corruption in most every aspect of modern life, it is a commonly accepted fact that ethics are what each of us thinks other people should apply.

Mackay: Urgency is a key factor in business, life

The people who make things happen share the same sense of urgency. Ask any entrepreneur to list the keys to getting a company off the ground, and urgency will be among the traits listed.

Harvey Mackay: The power of perspective

A woman hired a bricklayer to build a wall outside her upscale home. Talking with him while he worked, she was amazed to discover that…
From the minds and mouths of babes comes inquisitiveness, fearlessness, openness and perspective that adults could often benefit from.

Harvey Mackay: Take that childhood wisdom into adulthood

Children teach us many lessons. For example, kids are more creative and imaginative. Children don't know what is and isn't possible. To them, everything is doable.
A Minneapolis Traffic Control officer who did not want to be named issued parking tickets during lunch hour on the 3100 block of Girard Avenue South i

Avoid these temptations in business dealings

When you meet temptation, turn to the right.

Showing appreciation important in relationships

Whether spoken by you or to you, two words are among the most meaningful in the language.

Mackay: Learning to listen is a key skill for the workplace

Listening goes both ways. If you want people to listen to you, you need to listen to them.

Mackay: Sometimes, it is professional to add the personal touch

Mamie Adams always enjoyed going to a branch post office in her town because the postal employees there were friendly. She went there to buy…

Don't underestimate the value of networking while you're on the job

I've always felt that the real title to every book I've written and most of my nationally syndicated columns is Prepare to Win. But I…

Harvey MacKay: The simple factors behind high performance

Are you performing up to your potential? Are you afraid to jump to the next level? Are your habits pushing you ­forward or holding you…
Debbi Fields said she started cooking at an early age because her mother’s cooking was just “good enough,” and she wanted better. Initially, her

Mackay: Why 'good enough' doesn't cut it

There's a good reason why Debbi Fields of cookie fame is so successful, and she summed it up in an aphorism I'll never forget: "Good enough never is."

Harvey Mackay: Making a first impression last

There are many things in life you can do multiple times. Making a first impression on someone isn't one of them.

Arrogance and pride are not the same

In a village long ago, there lived a young boy who loved nothing as much as competing in athletic contests. Because he was fit and…
Salesperson turned publisher Elbert Hubbard lived by a credo: “I believe in myself.”

Mackay: Successful sales rely on 'yes or yes' propositions

Whether you run your own business or work for a company in a sales-related role, you are always looking for sales techniques that work. I have developed and learned many over the years from readers providing great advice.

Mackay: Decide to be a real decisionmaker

Many people struggle with making decisions. Whether the issue is personal or professional, the inability to decide on a course of action can ruin relationships or careers.

Mackay: The two-minute drill will increase your network – and your net worth

I could fill volumes about chance meetings that have changed people's lives, led to jobs, business opportunities, partnerships, new ideas, etc. — all because people…

Everyone has to overcome procrastination at some point

When faced with a task that you just don't want to do, many of us simply put it off until tomorrow. That's why tomorrow is often the busiest day.
Despite what children think, parents have been around the block a time or two and know what they are doing.

Mackay offers a tribute to the wisdom of parents

The Boy Scouts were at camp. In an inspection, the director found an umbrella neatly rolled inside the bedroll of a small scout. An umbrella…

Harvey Mackay: He shares a compendium of wisdom

But without question, the most frequent feedback I get is that the column-ending morals are a very useful summation of the message. Occasionally, I compile a list of my favorite morals from the past couple of years. Be my guest to share them!
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, right, gestures next to interim head coach Mike Brown during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA

Mackay: Friendships at work keep you anchored

Two friends were walking through a dense jungle. Knowing the dangers, they promised to stick together whatever happened. Suddenly, a tiger appeared in the bushes.…
Confetti reins down on the Golden State Warriors 2017 championship team at the end of their rally Thursday, June 15, 2017 in Oakland, Calif. (Karl Mon

Mackay: NBA champion Warriors provide template for life success

When you have a championship-caliber team and then you add another superstar like Kevin Durant to the mix, you can either implode or you can win a title. The team embraced its star newcomer with no jealousy. The team's sole goal was to win a championship, which it did by sharing the ball.
You probably spend most of your waking hours at work, so forming friendships is natural.

Know your limits with friends at work

With all the push, pull and tug that can go on in the workplace, you must develop your own support systems — and friends can be invaluable.
Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, left, grandson of Pablo Picasso, admired the artworks.

Mackay: Use these street-smart ideas to assist with personal growth

You learn to be book smart in school, but you better not forget that you need to also be street smart. As I like to say, knowledge does not become power until it is used!

Harvey Mackay: Failure doesn't have to be fatal

Failure can become a weight or it can give you wings. That is the message I hear every spring when I attend the Horatio Alger…

Harvey Mackay and the power of optimism

How you look at life can drastically affect how much you enjoy your life. Optimists expect the best out of life. Good news: It's an attitude that can be learned.

Mackay: Be careful when giving criticism

When you offer criticism, be aware of whom you are criticizing, how you are delivering it and how they might receive it.A number of years…
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