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How to Eliminate Fifty Percent of Your Business Worries


If you are a business man, you are probably saying to yourself right now:”The title of this chapter is ridiculous. I have been running my business for nineteen years; and I certainly know the answers if anybody does. The idea of anybody trying to tell me how I can eliminate fifty percent of my business worries – it’s absurd I.”


Furthermore,I am not going to tell you this story about a “Mr.Jones” or a “Mr. X” or “a man I know in Ohio”--- vague stories that you can’t check up on. It concerns a very real person – Leon Shimkin, a partner and general manager of one of theforemost publishing houses in the United States: Simon and Schuster,Rockefeller Centre, New York 20, New York.


Here if Leon Shimkin’s experience in his own words:


For fifteen years I spent almost half of every business day holding conferences,discussing problems. Should we do this or that – do nothing at all? We would get sense; twist in our chairs; walk the floor; argue and go around in circles.When night came, I would be utterly exhausted. I fully expected to go on doingthis sort of thing for the rest of my life. I had been doing it for fifteen years,and it never occurred to me that there was a better way of doing it. If anyone had told me that I could eliminate three-fourths of my nervous strain – I would have thought he was a wild eyed, slap-happy, armchair optimist. Yet I devised aplan that did just that. I have been using this plan for eight years. It has performed wonders for my efficiency, my health, and my happiness.


Here is the secret: First, I immediately stopped the procedure I had been using inmy conferences for fifteen years – a procedure that began with my troubled associates reciting all the details of what had gone wrong, and ending up byasking: ‘What shall we do?’ Second, I made a new rule – a rule that everyonewho wishes to present a problem to me must first prepare and submit a memorandum answering these for questions:


Question1: What is the problem?

第一, 究竟出了什么問題?

(“I used to go into a conference with a manwho had spent hours worrying about a solution and going around in circles without ever once thinking through all possible solutions and then writing down:’This is the solution I recommend.’)


My associates rarely come to me now with their problems. Why? Because they have discovered that in order to answer thesefour questions they have to get all the facts and think their problems through.And after they have done that they find, in three-fourths of the cases, theydon’t have to consult me at all, because the proper solution has popped outlike a piece of bread popping out from an electric toaster. Even in those caseswhere consultation is necessary, the discussion takes about one – third thetime formerly required, because it proceeds along an orderly, logical path to a reasoned conclusion.


Can you apply these questions to yourbusiness problems? To repeat my challenge- they can reduce your worries byfifty percent. Here they are again:


1. What is the problem?
2. What is the cause of theproblem?
3. What are all possible solutionsto the problem?
4. What solution do you suggest?

1. 究竟哪里出了問題?
2. 造成問題的根源是什么?
3. 有什么解決問題的方案?
4. 你采用哪種方案解決問題?