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A Simple Recipe For Success October 16, 2005

Posted by theexpert in Personal.

I went through a recent PowerPoint presentation by Tom Peters (an ugly, Google Cache, HTML-ified version is here) and came across this story:

A man approached JP Morgan, held up an envelope, and said, “Sir, in my hand I hold a guaranteed formula for success, which I will gladly sell you for $25,000.?

“Sir,? JP Morgan replied, “I do not know what is in the envelope, however if you show me, and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask.?

The man agreed to the terms, and handed over the envelope. JP Morgan opened it, and extracted a single sheet of paper. He gave it one look, a mere glance, then handed the piece of paper back to the gent.

And paid him the agreed-upon $25,000.

[On the paper was written:]

1. Every morning, write a list of the things that need to be done that day.

2. Do them.

I love it, partly because it’s so simple and partly because it screams ‘personal accountability.’ It’s clearly a no-brainer, but I bet a significant amount of failure, both personal and professional, can be attributed to not doing what we know needs to be done. I know that I’m not as productive as I want to be because I don’t always complete those two steps.

There are lots of good quotes in the slides. If you’ve got some time (it’s a hefty 200+ slide deck) and are interested in the subjects of leadership and business, then you might want to look through it.



1. Richard Gibson - January 3, 2006

I have heard a similar story elsewhere. Nevertheless it’s a very effective story and demonstration of what one needs to get done.

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