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The Mary Kay Way. Timeless Principles from America's Greatest Woman Entrepreneur

  • ID: 2325556
  • Book
  • August 2008
  • Region: Global
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Praise for The Mary Kay Way

"One of the most inspiring entrepreneurial leaders, Mary Kay always understood the importance of people and the value they can bring to an organization."
J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

"Mary Kay knew that when you put people first and then surround them with processes and disciplines that recognize their efforts, performance will soar."
David C. Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands, Inc. (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver′s, A&W)

Mary Kay Ash built a global independent sales force that today numbers 1.8 million women, and is respected by business and academic leaders. How? The secret is in this book.

For forty–five years, the principles in The Mary Kay Way have helped the company succeed through changing economic times and explosive global growth. It has been said that no company wholeheartedly embodies the values and reflects the beliefs of its founder more than Mary Kay Inc. Now you can put the same inspiring principles to work for you.

Recognized today as America′s greatest woman entrepreneur, Mary Kay Ash stepped out in 1963 in a man′s world to blaze a new path for women. She grew her business based not on the rules of competition, but on The Golden Rule. By "praising people to success" and "sandwiching every bit of criticism between two heavy layers of praise," this energetic Texas titan opened new opportunities for women around the world and built a multibillion–dollar corporation.

Mary Kay′s unconventional business philosophy was first published in 1984. Now revised and updated for the first time, with examples from her company′s top independent salespeople, The Mary Kay Way is perhaps her most important legacy.

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Foreword (Ryan Rogers).

Editor′s Preface.


1. Golden Rule Leadership.

The Golden Rule is one of the world′s oldest and best–known philosophies, yet it is frequently overlooked in business circles. Mary Kay demonstrates that this  rule is still Powerful in today s complicated world.

2. You Build with People.

Leaders are dependent upon the performance of their people, and so is a company′s success. Good people are a company′s most important asset. People are more important than the plan.

3. The Invisible Sign.

Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from his or her neck saying, "MAKE ME FEEL IMPORTANT!" Never forget this message when working with people.

4. Praise People to Success.

Each of us craves to be recognized. Let people know that you appreciate their performance and they will respond by doing even better. Recognition is the most powerful of all motivating techniques.

5. The Art of Listening.

Good leaders are good listeners. God gave us two ears and only one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak. When you listen, the benefit is twofold: You receive necessary information, and you make the other person feel important.

6. Sandwich Every Bit of Criticism between Two Heavy Layers of Praise.

Sometimes it′s necessary to let somebody know that you′re unhappy with his or her performance. But be certain to direct your criticism at the act, not the person. It is important to criticize effectively in a positive way so that you don′t destroy morale.

7. Be a Follow–Through Person.

Be the kind of person who can always be counted on to do what you say you′ll do. Only a small percentage of people possess follow–through ability, and they are held in high esteem by all. It′s particularly important for your team members or your employees to know that you possess this rare quality and for them to think of you as a totally reliable person.

8. Enthusiasm Moves Mountains!

Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm. Leaders are enthusiastic, and enthusiasm is contagious.  Interestingly, the word enthusiasm has a Greek origin meaning God within.

9. The Speed of the Leader Is the Speed of the Gang.

You must set the pace for your people. Real leaders aren′t afraid to get their hands dirty, and they set examples for others by demonstrating good work habits, displaying positive attitudes, and possessing a team spirit. True leaders establish success patterns that make everyone think success.

10. People Will Support That Which They Help to Create.

An effective leader invites people to participate in new projects that are still in the thinking stage. By confiding in associates and seeking their opinions, they generate support at the initial stage of each new venture. It′s a fact that people often resist change when they don′t participate in the decision–making process. Some of the best leaders plant the seed that permits others to propose the idea and take credit for it!

11. An Open–Door Philosophy.

At Mary Kay corporate headquarters, there are no titles on executives′ doors, and there is ready access to all management levels. Everyone within the company from mailroom clerk to chairman of the board is a human being and is treated accordingly.

12. Help Other People Get What They Want and You′ll Get What You Want.

As the parable of the talents (Matthew 25: 14 30) tells us, we are meant to use and increase whatever God has given us. And when we do, we shall be given more.

13. Stick to Your Principles.

Everything is subject to change except one′s principles. Never, absolutely never, compromise your principles.

14. A Matter of Pride.

Everyone within an organization should have a sense of pride in his or her work. They should also feel proud to be associated with the company. It′s a manager′s job to instill this feeling and to promote this attitude among his or her people.

15. You Can′t Rest on Your Laurels.

Nothing wilts faster than a laurel rested upon. Every person should have a lifetime self–improvement program. In today′s fast–paced world you can′t stand still. You either go forward or backward.

16. Be a Risk–Taker.

You must encourage people to take risks; let them know that nobody wins em all. If you come down on them too hard for losing, they′ll stop sticking their necks out.

17. Work and Enjoy It.

It′s okay to have fun while you work; good managers encourage a sense of humor. In fact, the more enjoyment people derive from their work, the better they will produce.

18. Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something!

Every organization has something to sell, and every person in the company must realize that nothing happens until somebody sells something. And accordingly, they should be fully supportive of the selling effort.

19. Never Hide behind Policy or Pomposity.

Never say, That′s against company policy unless you have a good explanation to back up the policy. It infuriates people. It′s as if you were saying, We do it this way because it′s the way we′ve always done it. By the same token, pomposity can also be a transparent cover–up for incompetence.

20. Be a Problem–Solver.

The best leaders recognize when a real problem exists and know how to take action to solve it.  You must develop the ability to know the difference between a real problem and an imaginary one.

21. Less Stress.

Stress stifles productivity. Leaders strive to create a stress–free working atmosphere for their workers by using both physical and psychological approaches.

22. Develop People from Within.

The best–run companies develop their own managers from within rarely do they seek outsiders. In fact, it′s a sign of weakness when a company goes outside too often for management personnel. The morale of the company is likely to suffer; people may begin to feel threatened and think, No matter how well I perform, an outsider will probably get the position I want.

23. Live by the Golden Rule On and Off the Job.

Don′t be a hypocrite live every day of the week as if it were Sunday. There′s no place for two sets of moral codes. Conduct yourself in business with the same scruples you would want your children to observe in their lives.

Afterword. Leaders Creating Leaders.

What do independent sales force leaders who′ve been the most successful following Mary Kay′s principles have to say about them today? Nearly 25 years after she originally put them down on paper, Mary Kay′s thoughts and ideas are as timeless as ever according to the 500 women worldwide at the top of the independent sales force. They are her living legacy.


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Mary Kay Ash
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