The "Eight Courtesies"

The toughest part of writing a new book is choosing the epigraph—a dozen words penned by someone else that perfectly encapsulate what one has been up to for the prior five years. Well, I am entirely happy, even ecstatic, about the epigraph to The Little BIG Things*:

Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.—Henry Clay

In fact, I'm now making what I call "The 'Eight Courtesies'" the centerpiece of my presentations. Below you'll find the List of Eight. Also, I have included a fully annotated version of The Eight Courtesies PowerPoint. (And a shorter version, from shorter presentations, The Five Courtesies PowerPoint.)

The "Eight Courtesies"

  1. Stay in touch. (MBWA.)
  2. Invest in relationships. (Make friends. Obsess.)
  3. Listen. (Respect. Learn. Student. PROFESSIONAL. Sustainable Competitive Advantage #1)
  4. Ask. (Engage. Inspire. Consult. React.)
  5. Thank. (Appreciate. Acknowledge.)
  6. Network. ("Suck down." C(I)>C(E).)
  7. Apologize. (Unequivocal. Rectify. Over-react. Forgive.)
  8. Practice thoughtfulness. (Kindness is free. This is ... STRATEGIC.)

The "Five Courtesies"

  1. Listen. (Respect. Learn. Student. PROFESSIONAL. Sustainable Competitive Advantage #1.)
  2. Ask. (Engage. Inspire. Consult. React.)
  3. Thank. (Appreciate. Acknowledge.)
  4. Apologize. (Unequivocal. Rectify. Over-react. Forgive.)
  5. Practice thoughtfulness. (Kindness is free. This is ... STRATEGIC.)

[*Tom's new book, The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence, is to appear in early 2010.—CM]