ColumnistsGolden Years

Positive Mental Attitude: The Prime Factor for Success

Book by Syracuse native Tom Markert unveils it all

By Harold Miller

Thomas MarkertMy nephew, Thomas Markert, was born and raised in Syracuse, and educated at St. Lawrence University, where he received a basketball scholarship. Today his workshop is the worldwide arena of business where he has quarterbacked some of the most successful company’s in the world.

Tom is a highly accomplished businessman, entrepreneur, and public board director. He has held senior positions with some of the world’s top corporations including Proctor & Gamble, Citi, Ipsos, ACNeilson and Office Depot. He is currently the CEO of ORC International, a large global research agency that is in the business of solving complicated questions for some of the world’s largest corporations. Tom is also a former owner and board director of the Sidney Kings, which competes in the National Basketball League of Australia. He also served as the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Sidney, Australia.

In his spare time my well-traveled nephew has written three business books published globally by HarperCollins. The thread of wisdom that runs through all three books (the latest is yet to be published) is “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

I have dipped into the manuscript of his new book to generate some pointers. Here they are:
• Business, sports and life are all about people and successfully dealing with them. Being a positive person makes this much easier.
• Positive people always see a glass of water as half full. Negative people see the glass as half empty.
• Negative people and whiners seem to drain the energy out of everyone and everything. In business you cannot afford to be around these people. If you are a manager, you have to remove them from your team.
• Of course, people are not always naturally positive or negative. Most people are in the middle. If you are naturally positive, thank your lucky stars. If you are in the middle, work for being positive and “up.” Look for the good in things and people. Do not participate in conversations about how bad things are. Support new things and changes.
• Every day we have on this earth is a gift. It can be easy to let a day turn negative. Don’t let that happen.

Tom even offers some positive thoughts in his book for those of us who sometimes have negative thoughts before we arise for the day:
• Today I can grumble about my health or I can be happy that I am alive.
• Today I can lament about all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
• Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job.
• Today stretches ahead of me waiting to be shaped and I am the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

For most of my career I have been both a student and the teacher of positive mental attitude (PMA). The philosophical secret of success (PMA) has appeared many times in this column. Therefore I whole-heartedly put a stamp of approval on Tom’s good works and his enlightening words. He stands as an admired and integral part of our close-knit family. We are all proud of his accomplishments.