Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on December 22, 2009

Today: Two of the most important words in any language.

“I just called to tell you how much I appreciate that CPR class you taught,” a police officer told my son Kevin, who is a veteran police officer and a training officer.

“There were a group of us watching a football game on TV. When our team scored, we all jumped up and started cheering,” the officer continued. “That’s when I noticed my uncle was just sitting there silent. And he was turning blue.

“I realized he was choking and was gonna die but because of your class, I knew exactly what to do. I immediately did a Heimlich Maneuver [abdominal thrusts] and it worked. It saved his life! If not for you, he would have died.”

“Thank you” said the officer gratefully expressing those two magic words. And dear reader, those are two of the most important words in any language.

“I value that comment,” Kevin told me. “It made a big difference to me because it validated what I do.”

“Thank you” is easy to say, costs nothing to express and is desperately needed by everyone, yet few of us offer it consistently. Remember this as you deal with others for if you regularly express your gratitude, it will make a huge difference in your relationship with them.

When Jack Welch [1935 - ] was a young man rising through the ranks in giant General Electric Company, a firm that today has 323,000 employees, one of the crucial things he did that made him standout was to thank others.

However busy he was, he wrote “thank you” notes to express his sincere appreciation to them for what they accomplished. It was so effective, that with the support of many of the recipients of the notes, Jack became the Chairman and CEO of GE, a position he held for 20 years.

Delia Jokanovich taught second and third grade students for more than 20 years at the Barton Hill Elementary School in San Pedro, CA. In 2009, when she passed away at 74, her obituary offered a memorable message:

“She was dedicated to her students and took great satisfaction in their educational progress. In later years, former students would go out of their way to thank her for what she did for them; she cherished this.” *

Of course she cherished this for it helped reaffirm the meaningfulness of her career and that her students really appreciated her devotion to them. They told her so and probably added more than a few hugs as well.

Roman philosopher Seneca [4 BC- 65 AD] captured this principle so well when he said; “There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.”

As Seneca advised, graciously help to meet that need to be appreciated and like Jack Welch and Delia Jokanovich, you too could build a big following of supporters and in the process make this a little nicer world, one person at a time.

Success Tip of the Week: How about also thanking your loved ones, simply because they love you.

Editor’s Note: * For more details about Delia Jokanovich, please see her Los Angeles Times obituary at: www.legacy.com

In the next KazanToday: How a man with just an 8th grade education became a billionaire.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!
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