Common Sense for the Ages

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

The other day, I bought Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching!  Like all of his books —  The Little Red book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude and The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way — the Cha-Ching book is filled with great, easy to apply common sense advice.

While I am The Common Sense Guy, Mr. Gitomer makes a great common sense observation on the very first page of the book: “If you want to learn something new, all you have to do is study something that was written 100 years ago.”  In other words, common sense is timeless.  You will have to adapt 100 year old common sense wisdom to today’s business climate, but you’ll be surprised by how well so many common sense ideas have stood the test of time.

Cha-Ching is based on the wisdom of John Patterson, the man who bought the patent for the cash register in 1880 and formed The National Cash Register Company.  In 1887, he created the NCR Primer – a sales training tool.  Cha-Ching is Mr. Gitomer’s update on the NCR primer.  He says, “John Patterson was not just a sales genius, he was a business genius.”
Principle 8 in the Cha-Ching book is “Planning prevents wandering and provides direction.”  It begins with these two quotes.

  • “If you plan your work, you will not find yourself standing on the corner wondering where to go next.” John Patterson
  • “Goals are the road map that will direct you to success.  But they don’t guarantee success.  You do.” Jeffrey Gitomer

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that goals are a key to success and outstanding performance.

Jeffrey Gitomer says that he writes his goals on post-it notes and places them on his bathroom mirror where he will see them first thing every day.  He likes this method of keeping his goals in the forefront of his mind so much that he makes an offer in his book.  He will send you a “Post-it Note Goal Achiever Starter Kit” if you send him $1 to cover postage to Buy Gitomer, 310 Arlington Avenue, Loft 329, Charlotte, NC 28203.  I am going to take him up on this offer.

I like the post-it note idea because it keeps your goals in front of you.  This is a common sense success trick that too many people fail to use.  They write their goals and then look at them at quarterly, or midyear, or annual review time.  Outstanding performers review their goals every day.  In this way, they stay focused on them.

Being focused on your goals is the best way to make sure that you achieve them.  Like Jeffrey Gitomer says, goals “don’t guarantee success.  You do.” 

Mr. Gitomer also makes an interesting semantic point. 

  • “You may have a goal, or you may have been given a goal, but your intentions will dictate the outcome of the effort (or lack of it).  What do you intend to do…What you intend to do are the thoughts behind your actions.  Intentions are the justification behind your words and deeds…If you intentions are pure, your words and deeds will follow.  If you intend to achieve your goals…your words and deeds will follow.”

I find these ideas to be very interesting and compelling.  Mr. Gitomer is suggesting that if we truly intend to do something – not just wish it were so, or even set a goal of doing it – our actions will follow and we will do it.

In my heart of hearts, I intended to write a great book on career and life success.  I wrote, rewrote, edited and sweated over what was to become Straight Talk for Success.  I just received the final corrections from my proof reader today.  I believe Straight Talk is a great book on career and life success.  It’s going to the printer later this week.  You’ll be able to judge it for yourself in about four to six weeks.

I “intended” to write a great book on career and life success.  I didn’t wish I would write a great book.  Nor did I merely set a goal of writing a great book on career and life success.  I intended to write a great book and my actions followed.

The common sense point here is simple.  Borrow a page from Jeffrey Gitomer.  Keep your goals in front of you at all times.  State them as intentions.  Become an outstanding performer and a career and life success.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.