Lessons I’ve learned lately

Jul 30, 2015

1477789_10152791298915678_4946862984534976341_nBeing human, we all have opportunities to learn (and re-learn) valuable truths for dealing with others.

You’re never too old to learn, if you keep your mind open to it. I have found over the years that whatever I’m experiencing in my life is also happening to a lot of our readers. So, I thought I would share some recent lessons I have learned.
  1. Don’t ever deny your first instincts about people. If you think maybe they are disingenuous or dishonest, they probably are. If you think they are good and worth investing in, they probably are. First impressions are accurate more often than not. Always follow your gut.
  2. It’s good to give people freedom and autonomy. It helps them develop their decision-making skills. But don’t forget to keep working on making yourself useful and productive no matter how good you are at delegating. You always have to keep getting better, doing more, being more productive, and looking for your own highest and best use inside the organization.
  3. Success is fun. No matter what anyone says about how great the learning opportunities provided by failure are, being successful is always better. Yes – the seeds of failure could be sown in your success, but success always beats the alternative.
  4. There is just no substitute for honest, ethical dealings with people, and everyone should be treated with dignity. We always have two choices when it comes to dealing with people: We can be decent or we can be a-holes. Decent people know how to treat everyone they interact with. A-holes do not and always seek to bully or coerce what they want from people.
  5. ALWAYS take care of your best clients. Give them the best people, best service, and best pricing you can. Reward their loyalty – don’t punish it by price gouging or providing poor service just because you can get away with it.
  6. When an employee says or does something so stupid that you want to fire them over it immediately, don’t. Take your time and deal with them smartly on whatever the best possible schedule is for you. Be calm and remember that a level head makes better decisions! ​
  7. No matter how many times we learn some of these lessons, we will always have the opportunity to re-learn them. We are all human beings. As such, we have a great capacity for self-delusion. We can easily talk ourselves out of doing hard stuff or into doing easy stuff. So, we repeat mistakes because of it.
What important lessons have you learned lately? Have any you want to share them with our readers? If so, email me. We may publish your feedback!
MARK ZWEIG is founder and CEO of Zweig Group. Contact him at mzweig@zweiggroup.com.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.