Do you know the title of one of the best-selling business books of this year—and of the past 70 years? Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People was a hit when it was first published in 1936 and 15 million copies later, it’s still just as popular and as helpful today. That’s because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated: Talk about what people want and help them get it. Never neglect a kindness. Start out by emphasizing areas of agreement. Let people come to your conclusions. Praise the good; minimize the bad.Could anyone possibly go wrong following these principles? And could any businessperson fail to benefit from them? The workplace has been completely transformed since his book emerged and the rate of change is only picking up speed with time, but the basics of success, in work as in life, have not changed in the slightest.
Oddly enough, the other “granddaddy” of motivational writings was published one year later when Napoleon Hill released his book Think and Grow Rich in 1937. It too has been a perennial multi-million-copy best-seller, thanks to such basic truths as: Courage must be a part of every person who succeeds. Imagination is an absolute necessity. The way you speak and your tone of voice should be pleasing. Health is of upmost importance.
Hard work is the only thing that turns training and ability into success.
There is nothing unusual or even unique about any of Dale Carnegie’s or Napoleon Hill’s insights, although their ability to focus on the essentials is exceptional. But most businesspeople fail to make use of their principles. And when we lived in a flourishing economy, it was easy to believe that people could succeed without adopting old-fashioned principles like respect and hard work. But in this current economic climate, those who return to the basic truths will not only survive. They’ll thrive.
EXERCISE OF THE WEEK
Pick one “cliché” that you’ve heard over the years about the importance of hard work or the value of kindness or the power of positive thinking. For one entire day, act as if you truly believed in it. See what happens.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.” Dale Carnegie
© 2008 – 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.