Urgent Reading!

NPR was kind enough in late 1999 to name In Search of Excellence one of the Top 3 business books of the century then drawing to a close. One of the others was Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I’m loath to admit it, but to this day I haven’t read it. But, courtesy Amazon.com, it’s on the way to Vermont as I write.

The trigger was coming across the following Carnegie quote: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

“Obvious.” Profound. Enduring. In practical terms, “a/the key factor to success”—in any endeavor. And …

And … ignored in 99 cases of 100, at least by most men. I want to read more! A lot more! Now! (And then perhaps use it as my Desktop background.)

Running into Carnegie’s gem brought to mind another profound winner from Harvard professor Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, in her book Respect: “It was much later that I realized Dad’s secret. He gained respect by giving it. He talked and listened to the fourth-grade kids in Spring Valley who shined shoes the same way he talked and listened to a bishop or a college president. He was seriously interested in who you were and what you had to say.”

I’ll finally be reading Carnegie by the time you read this. I suggest that you do the same—urgently. We all need this … all the time.

(NB: How to Win … was ranked #88 on Amazon yesterday. That’s many a rung above In Search of Excellence!)

(NB: All this recalls a little story I once heard. Excuse me for butchering it, but it goes something like this: Following a formal dinner party in which the famous Lady X had been seated between the equally famous Lord Y and Sir Z, she was heard to say, “By the end of the meal, Lord Y had made me aware of just how important he is. But Sir Z had made me understand how important I was.” Or some such. You get the drift, eh?)

(Attached you’ll find a brief Special Presentation, “Dale Carnegie,” that includes the PPT slides associated with this Post.)