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Harvey Mackay

Columnist | Outswimming the Sharks
Recent content from Harvey Mackay

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…

Mackay: The amazing potential of mentoring

"One Minute Mentoring" is a must-read for folks looking for some help and those who are prepared to offer it.

Harvey Mackay: Values mean the world to organizations

You can't see values, touch them, taste them or smell them. Yet they are critical, intangible essentials that bring continuity and meaning to life. And they are every bit as important for organizations as they are for individuals.
Supporters with a leaflet of French Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon applause during a last-ditch rally and concert in Paris, Wednesday,

The importance of praise

Mark Twain once said, "I could live for two months on one good compliment."We all love to receive compliments. They make everyone feel better. It…

Workplace humor no joking matter – it eases tensions

Life is funny, the saying goes. And when it isn't funny, sometimes a sense of humor is what gets us through the tough periods.Humor plays…
Take measure of stress and find ways to curb it

Take measure of stress and find ways to curb it

Stress is a used, misused, abused and overused word in our daily conversation. But what is stress, clinically speaking?
A Gallup Poll said 31 percent of employees are engaged at work, 51 percent are disengaged and 17.5 percent are actively disengaged.

How to keep employees working for you

Employee retention is a hot business topic today. No longer do people stay at the same company for 25 years and collect the gold watch…

Mackay: Life is easier when you are liked

No matter what business you think you are in, you are in the people business. And the more people like you, the better and easier…

Learning from losing is a discipline that pays off

UCLA football coach Red Sanders once said, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." Like most kids growing up, for me the importance of finishing…

Mackay: Changing your mood can improve your life

Shaking a bad mood is important to functioning at your best. The worst thing you can do when you're in a bad mood is wallow in it, according to Psychology Today.
Mark Bertolini, Aetna�s chief executive, speaks at a DealBook conference in New York, Nov. 10, 2016. More than 100,000 Americans rushed to buy healt

Corporate culture can make all the difference

Maybe this is why corporate culture is one of the hottest topics in business today. People want to work for businesses that focus on terrific employee culture.

Mackay: Sales is everyone's job, no matter the business

Everyone is in sales. To me, job titles don't matter; every employee must think about sales. It's the only way any company can stay in…

Mackay: Coach Bill Belichick has solid off-the-field advice, too

Belichick recovered so steadily from his setback in Cleveland, I'm convinced, partly because of the tremendous depth of his personal background.
Lessons from the leaders : Those who succeed have a vision and a clear idea of where they want to go.

Harvey Mackay: Be sure not to confuse vision with goals

A railroad crew was making repairs to a section of track when a train rolled up on a parallel track. Several men in suits disembarked…

Harvey Mackay: Like Tom Brady, you have to be mentally tough to succeed

After the New England Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to advance to the Super Bowl, star Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked what makes his…
Martin Luther King Jr. is just one of the Americans who focused on hope for the future.

Mackay: Hope is the American product

The most important product that America has managed to produce is not the automobile, television or computer. It is hope — not only for ourselves,…

Harvey Mackay: Do not give up on pursuing your dreams

Awards season has started in Hollywood, and it serves as a perfect metaphor for following your dreams. While few of us dream of becoming big…
Steve Jobs, above, and Steve Wozniak tried to sell the idea of personal computers to their bosses at Atari and Hewlett-Packard. When they were rebuffe

Mackay: Make the new year your best year

For many, the New Year is a chance for a new beginning, perhaps best represented by the baby and the old man, symbols of the…
University of Kentucky coach John Calipari’s inspiring new book is “Success Is the Only Option: The Art of Coaching Extreme Talent.”

Basketball coach has good game plan for business

My definition of success is having a plan, successfully carrying it out over a long period of time and having a good time doing it.That's…
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Harvey Mackay: How you use your voice can speak volumes

When I was embarking on my "second career," public speaking, I had a little experience under my belt — member of Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie graduate…

Harvey Mackay: Try following Coach Cal's rules of the game

My definition of success is having a plan, successfully carrying it out over a long period of time and having a good time doing it.That's…

Simple rules can spark big-time changes

Hewlett-Packard was famously founded in a one-car garage by William Hewlett and Dave Packard. It has become one of the world's most innovative and successful…
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Innovative thinking can be hindered by business culture

Somewhere between necessity being the mother of invention and pure creative genius, all kinds of useful products have come into our lives. Were their creators inspired by a desire to get rich? Did they have years of schooling or technical training? Were they part of huge corporations with unlimited budgets?
Wikipedia
Famed U.S. inventor Thomas Edison with the tinfoil phonograph of his invention, which he first used on Dec. 6, 1877. Edison recorded himself

Mackay: Don't give up your dreams, big or small

December 6 is a historic day for dreamers. On this day in 1877, Thomas Edison recited "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into his phonograph invention…
iStock

Mackay: Make your attitude one of gladitude, not saditude

Ten-year-old Billy stumbled while boarding the school bus one morning and bruised his cheek on the stair. But he got up, brushed himself off, looked…

Mackay: The men and women who earned us desks

I want to share the story of a remarkable teacher who taught her students an unforgettable lesson. On the first day of school in 2005,…

Harvey Mackay: Being broke isn't the same as being broken

A lot of people believe you only have one shot at success. But that's just not true. What is true is that many people don't…

Harvey Mackay: Band-Aid solution is actually the best

This story is often told about Harry Houdini, the ­master magician whose proudest claim was that he could escape from anything. During a tour of…

Harvey Mackay: The most important things in life are not things

But one of my closest friends recently forwarded an e-mail that took a more serious view of life. It said: "Available for a limited time…

The power of persistence in business

A poor boy named Harlan with only a sixth-grade education wouldn't have made anyone's list of the most likely to succeed. His first major success…

Gossip can only cause problems in a workspace

Four psychiatrists shared a hotel suite at a convention. One night one of them said, "You know, people are always telling us their troubles, but…

Mackay: Dream it to achieve it – if you believe in yourself

There's an old saying that goes: If you can dream it, you can achieve it. That's a good start, but I think that statement needs…
The importance of constructive criticism

The importance of constructive criticism

Lucy, the constant critic of Charlie Brown in the comic strip "Peanuts," is one of my favorite characters because she always says exactly what is…

Helpful hints to enjoy a life full of success

When a lesson can be summed up in a few well-chosen words, the message often stays with the student. A little tool to jog the…
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