You wanna be rich?

Chapter 1

From The Richest Man in Town
by V.J. Smith


It’s amazing what can happen just by paying attention. Besides, I never thought I would have a life-changing experience at Wal-Mart.

I don’t remember the exact date I met Marty for the first time. Up to that moment, nothing that day seemed particularly important—certainly not what brought me to the store in the first place. Like a lot of people who want to get through a checkout line, my thoughts were on speed, nothing more. The line I was standing in wasn’t moving as quickly as I wanted, and I glanced toward the cashier.

There stood an affable-looking man in his seventies. Slightly stooped and average build, he wore glasses and a nice smile. I thought, well, he’s an old guy and it probably takes him a little longer to get the chores done.

For the next few minutes I watched him. He greeted every customer before he began scanning the items they were purchasing. Sure, his words were the usual, “How’s it going?” But he did something different—he actually listened to people. Then he would respond to what they had said and engage them in a brief conversation.

I thought it was odd, but I guess I had grown accustomed to people asking me how I was doing simply out of robotic conversational habit. After awhile, you don’t give any thought to the question and just mumble something back. I could say, “I just found out I have six months to live,” and someone would reply, “Have a great day!”

This old cashier had my attention. He seemed genuine about wanting to know how people were feeling. Meanwhile, the high-tech cash register rang up their purchases and he announced what they owed. Customers handed money to him, he punched the appropriate keys, the cash drawer popped open, and he counted out their change.

Then magic happened.

He placed the change in his left hand, walked around the counter to the customer, and extended his right hand in an act of friendship.

As their hands met, the old cashier looked the customers in the eyes.

“I sure want to thank you for shopping here today,” he told them. “You have a great day. Bye-bye.”

The looks on the faces of the customers were priceless. There were smiles and some sheepish grins. All had been touched by his simple gesture—and in a place they never expected.

Some customers would walk away, pause for a moment, and look back at the old cashier, now busy with the next customer. It was obvious they couldn’t quite comprehend what had just happened. They would gather their things and walk out the door, smiling.

Now it was my turn. As expected, he asked me how I was doing. I told him I was having a good day.

“That’s good,” he said. “I’m having a good day, too.” I glanced down at the name tag on his red vest, the kind experienced Wal-Mart cashiers wore. It read, “Marty.”

I said, “It looks like you enjoy your job, Marty.”

He replied, “I love my job.”

Marty told me how much I owed and I handed him some money. The next thing I knew he was standing beside me, offering his right hand and holding my change in his left hand. His kind eyes locked onto mine. Smiling, and with a firm handshake, he said, “I sure want to thank you for shopping here today. Have a great day. Bye-bye.”

At that moment I wanted to take him home and feed him cookies. It was as if Sam Walton had come back from the dead and invaded this old guy’s body.

I left the store, walked through the parking lot and got into my car. On the drive home, I couldn’t shake what had just happened. I had been in that store a hundred times and had never walked away feeling like that.

Who was that guy?

Marty Martinson is a man who can teach all of us about what’s really important in life, and how in giving a little, you get a lot.

As Marty said, “When you are nice to people you get it all back and then some.”


Trust Building

Three Ways to Build Trust
from The Little Book with 50 Big Ideas on Leadership
by Glenn Furuya

The Three “RITY”

Three words that end in the letters “rity” form the basis for trust.

People will trust you when they “feel” your selfless, giving ways. With charity, they trust your “heart.”

People trust leaders who provide a clear vision, relevant instruction and good information. With clarity, they trust your “head.”

People trust leaders who walk their talk, live their beliefs and keep their promises. With integrity, they trust your “character” and your “word.”


Push or be pushed.

An excerpt from The Push by David McNally and Mac Anderson

The Push

The eagle gently coaxed her offspring
toward the edge of the nest. Her heart quivered
with conflicting emotions as she felt their resistance
to her persistent nudging.

“Why does the thrill of soaring have to begin
with the fear of falling?” she thought. This ageless
question was still unanswered for her.

As in the tradition of the species, her nest was
located high upon the shelf of a sheer rock face.
Below there was nothing but air to support
the wings of each child.

“Is it possible that this time it will
not work?” she thought. Despite her fears
the eagle knew it was time. Her parental
mission was all but complete.

There remained one final task…the push.
The eagle drew courage from an innate wisdom.
Until her children discovered their wings, there was
no purpose for their lives.

Until they learned how to soar, they would fail
to understand the privilege it was to have been born an
eagle. The push was the greatest gift she had to
offer. It was her supreme act of love.

And so, one by one, she pushed them and…