I was in a department store shopping for a dress shirt some time ago and happened to see a book that caught my eye. How to Be a Gentleman is a short, simple book that teaches us what we already know, but forgot. Dress well. Practice manners. Listen twice as much as you speak. Say “please” and “thank you.”

Often times we are so busy with the daily grind that we forget the basics. We forget how to be gentlemen. All it requires is a friendly reminder (the book above is an excellent refresher).

Getting Back to the Basics

Sometimes we get off-course in business, too. In our haste, we sometimes forget how to act. I have always thought of businessmen in very much the same way I think of gentlemen. Handshakes. Principles. Honesty.

Yes, business is about making profits, but it’s much more important to do something you love. To make a difference. To do something your children will be proud of.

Businessmen don’t abdicate responsibility by saying “I just work here” – they take responsibility and show initiative. They choose not to complain, because complaining doesn’t do anyone any good. Real businessmen take pride in their work, and make sure it’s done right. They truly enjoy what they do.

I think it’s about time we got back to the basics of business. I think it’s about time we acted like businessmen (and women).

There isn’t a book titled “How to Be a Businessman,” but maybe there should be.