• You want to know the secret to success?

    What you say, and say what you mean.

    It's really that simple.

    Take it from someone who's interviewed thousands of CEOs and top leaders over the years.

    The great ones get that. And do that. Every year.

    It's disarmingly simple

    But for all too many, ridiculously hard.

    The ones who say they'll get back to you, but don't.

    Who promise they'll work hard, but won't.

    Who say they'll definitely be on time, but can't.

    We've actually gotten used to it.

    The cable guy who says he'll be there between 12 and 3, and shows up at four.

    The doctor who gives you a 10 a.m. appointment, and you discover when you get there, he gave a dozen others in that waiting room the "same" 10 a.m. appointment.

    The dishwasher repairman whose repair doesn't hold.

    The money-back guarantee that isn't a guarantee.

    The promise that turns out to be a lie.

    Always tell kids just starting out in this business that it really doesn't take a lot to stand out in this business.

    Start with being on time and you're already ahead of many in this business.

    Another thing I tell them is to be reliable.

    That anything you're given to do, do it. And do it well.

    People start relying on you, showing confidence in you.

    "Liking" you.

    That's crucial.

    And I like to think, that's contagious.

    For leaders, that should be their very Constitution.

    Not to intimidate. But to inspire.

    To make good on a promise.

    To make good on an assignment.

    To make good on a commitment to a spouse, or family member or relative with whom you promised you would stay in touch.

    And do.

    At home, at work, in life dependable.

    That's what defines great people, great countries, gosh even great empires.

    Sweat the little stuff.

    And they lose it all when they forget all this stuff.

    That to make a difference.

    The key, first, is to not be

    Indifferent.