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Better Business Idea #74

The Power of Clarity

© 2007 by Michael C. Gray

November 1, 2007

Clarity is a defining trait for individuals of achievement.

As human beings, it seems we can accomplish almost anything we decide to. The problem seems to be deciding what we really want to do. To be a person of achievement, you must be a "meaningful specific", not a "wandering generality".

I recently learned of a terrific example. In 1969, Richard Nixon proposed cutting the $20 million subsidy to public television in half. Fred Rogers, of "Mister Rogers Neighborhood", gave a six-minute presentation to a committee of the U.S. Senate. Based on that presentation, the Senate approved the entire $20 million budget allocation to Public Television.

Fred Rogers was what some people would call a "little guy" of quiet conviction. His presentation wasn't loud or boisterous, but understated. He knew exactly what his message was. It was well planned.

This was one of the exceptional sales presentations in history, and deserves to be studied.

Thanks to Fred Rogers' quiet conviction, he made a genuine contribution to the self-esteem of America's children during a critical time of their development, in response to the violence in cartoons and other popular children's programming.

What was his daily message? "There is no one else in the world like you. You make today special just by being here. I like you just the way you are."

He also gave a terrific example of a path for a "gentle little guy" to achieve greatness. Clarity – "fire in the belly" – is a key ingredient.

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