What Is the best advice you have ever received?
Was it a coach telling you, “When you quit, you fail.”
Or maybe it was a friend who said, “It’s ok to say no.”
Or perhaps it was your Mom who told you to wear clean underwear.
In any case, advice from the right person at the right time can often change our perspective.
That is what happened to me the first time I met Dr. Stephen Covey.
The advice he gave me at first seemed specific but I have found it to be more general and has shaped my mindset.
When Stephen Covey found out I was writing a book he told me “Make sure you write the book for the reader, not the writer.”
Let that soak in.
It’s great advice for a writer and I have thought about it often as I have written my four books.
But the thought more application when you think about it as a mindset.
It’s not about you – it’s about them!
The focus of an influencer is always on the audience.
If you are a speaker – it’s about the people listening to you.
If you are in sales – it’s about your customer or prospect.
If you are a leader – it’s about the people you are leading.
If you are a teacher – it’s about your students.
If you are a parent – it’s about your children
Almost everyone has this backwards. They think being influential means they need to become polished or powerful. Influence, though, is all about the audience. Be it an audience of one or one thousand. When it’s about them, they get it, and we grow in their eyes.
By thinking out instead of in, by concentrating on others instead of on us, a tremendous transformation takes place. We go from inner directed to outer directed, from taker to giver, from self-centered to others-focused, from tightfisted to generous, from shortsighted to farsighted, from selfish to selfless. We begin to see and act on behalf of others’ needs ahead of our own; our thoughts are in terms of “we” instead of “me.”
That’s what Stephen Covey taught me with what seemed to be a simple piece of advice. “Make sure you write the book for the reader, not the writer.”