By Terry L. Brock
Recently we lost one of the greats. Paul Harvey, the well-known broadcaster for many decades left us at the tender age of 90. What he leaves behind will be with us for a long time — and will continue to teach you and me how to work and live.
I have to admit a bit of bias here. I studied Journalism in undergrad school and worked in radio and newspapers startling as a mere lad in high school. So, I have followed the career of Mr. Harvey as he shaped my career from the beginning. I never met the man personally but, like many of us, feel that I knew him from the time we spent together over radio.
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Paul Harvey News and Comments was always intriguing, inspiring and a fun way to get updates on what is happening in the world. He had his unique sayings and pauses that enchanted us as we’d listen to him over breakfast, in the car on the way to work and sales appointments and over those early lunches. No matter what the day’s news contained, he was a rock we could turn to. Now that rock has rolled into the river. But his life leaves a wealth of principles for us to learn and profit from today and tomorrow. Here are some key principles that I see from this great man.
Principles We Can Learn And Apply From Paul Harvey
1. Be Different, But Professional. Mr. Harvey’s style was not conventional. We didn’t learn to make up words or pause in attention-grabbing ways in broadcast or journalism school. Paul Harvey was creative —- but he always remained professional. Too many today have pushed the envelope of creativity but lost sight of the guiding admonition to always remain professional. Be creative in what you do. Don’t follow the norm. At the same time don’t go so far over the top that you lose that all-important trait of being professional —- no matter what.
2. Do Your Homework. Paul Harvey would awake at 3:30 to do his radio show. In the days before the Internet, he would scramble to find news stories from around the world which he conveyed in his own unique style. Research is tough work — even with today’s search engines. You have to do your homework. Sometimes it is too easy to slide something in that we heard through second-hand sources as true. The mark of the true professional (whether in journalism or business) is to check three non-related, autonomous sources before citing as fact. Yes, this is hard. But it pays off for enhanced credibility in the long run. Paul Harvey knew this and you can I can profit from that principle.
3. Be Extraordinarily Creative. This Paul Harvey guy was incredibly brilliant. He could take what others would consider a dull news story and make it compelling and a must-hear story on his radio show. He creatively used words, pauses, delivery and an intriguing style to keep us interested. Figure out ways you can deliver your product or service in an entertaining, enjoyable and problem-solving way. Doing this will be the best way for you to keep those delightful creatures called customers giddy with glee — and for you to stay in business!
4. Sell Only With Integrity And Honesty. This one is so true in an age of questionable morals and chicanery from Wall Street, Washington and other areas. Paul Harvey would only sell products on his program which he used himself or knew to be of sound value. He probably could have made a couple of extra dollars touting products which were good, that he had not tested. Instead, he opted for the way of only promoting those products he knew were good from personal experience. Always deal with integrity with everyone you meet in business. You do it for you and your own well-being more than for them. Even if Paul had succumbed to pressure to shade a bit of the truth, the few silver coins he would have procured wouldn’t be worth losing his reputation. He held true to the end. You and I can do the same.
5. Keep Going Strong To The End. Paul Harvey lived a good life. When he left us with tears welling in our eyes, he was 90. That young man kept going always. This working at what you love thing gives us life and energy —- science now proves it. Find a job you love so much you’ll keep doing it till the day you die. Live life passionately and with vibrancy always —- you’ll live longer and healthier that way. Keep going strong mentally and physically and you’ll not only help others but you’ll do better for yourself.
Yes, we will sorely miss this legend of broadcast. He showed us how to have fun, make a difference and live life to the fullest. Yes, he did very well by any business standard. Most importantly, he lived life to the fullest for himself, his dear wife, Lynn (whom he always referred to as Angel) and he showed all of us how to do business and live life. We’ll miss you, Paul. Thank you for the lessons, sir.
I close this tribute to this giant as Paul Harvey would conclude his broadcasts, Good day!
Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com. Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: TerryBrock.