Day 123. Enthusiasm is not only contagious… it produces results.

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 123. Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I was on my way to a 2 hour seminar at a community college this morning.

I followed the MapQuest directions—and I estimated I was going to arrive a half hour early. It’s great being prepared.

Except as I made my final turn—I discovered I was turning in to a residential area. I realized the college was nowhere in sight. Was MapQuest wrong?

I double checked the address. I missed a detail. “Preston Park” was the street name. Not “Preston Road”. Who knew there were two streets with the name “Preston” in them? I continued on my journey and probably made more U-turns in one morning than most people do in a week. I was stressed because now my half hour of being early was turning into 15 minutes and I felt the minutes quickly slipping away.

I almost gave up on finding this place and considered going to work. But I told myself I can’t give up. Besides I’ll miss out on learning something new.

Finally… I found my destination. It was an office building. Now where to park? I circled a few times and found the parking garage. I got lost walking in the garage…. and by this time I was 5 minutes late. I considered giving up. But then I thought—no. I’m here… I just have to figure out how to get out of this garage and into the office building.

I composed myself and realized the obvious—take the stairs down. I made it to the office building and found my class on the 4th floor. There were several of us who walked in late so I didn’t feel too horrible.

The class was on email marketing and using social media. My boss has been suggesting I take these courses for awhile now. But until now I had no interest. I do email blasts on a regular basis already. And I have so many tasks on my plate—I really can’t take on too much more without breaking. My workload at times leaves me tired and jaded.

It turned out this 2 hour class, despite being free, was one of the most informative classes I’ve had the opportunity to attend. I left the class with rejuvenated interest and a real enthusiasm to apply the new techniques at work.

Enthusiasm has many uses just like a Swiss Army knife.

When I arrived at work I invited a couple coworkers into my office and I shared what I learned. I was excited and I have a particular enthusiasm that is contagious—I know this because I could see my coworkers around me getting excited and interjecting their ideas. This quiet office was now aflutter with excitement and even more importantly, we were implementing the new ideas now. It wasn’t—“we should”… or “we could” do this… it was let’s do it now!

Before my assistant left for the day she mentioned that she had some additional marketing ideas that she’ll work on this week. This was music to my ears.

The Dale Carnegie principles I used today are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Put enthusiasm into your work.

From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Oftentimes I am so busy with my own work that I don’t do a good enough job motivating those around me at work. Sometimes it’s just easier to stay focused on my own concerns. But today I found that by engaging with my associates—I set the tone for an environment that was more interested and livelier. Individuals wanted to take on new responsibilities and experiment with new ways of marketing—all because I went to a free seminar and came back bubbling with enthusiasm. (good thing I didn’t give up on finding the office building!)

Remember, if you want others to be motivated you have to be motivated yourself. You’ll also find that work is no longer drudgery but a great place to learn, implement new ideas and achieve success as a team.