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of Your Life

Ewing T. Webb

New York 1932

Making the Most

John J. B. Morgan

Ray Long 6* Richard R. Smith, Inc.

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"All successful employers are stalling men who

will do the unusual, men who thin\, men who at-

tract attention by performing more than is expected

of them. These men have no difficulty in making

their worth felt. They stand out above their fellows

until their superiors cannot fail to see them."

Charles M. Schwab.

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How to Enjoy the Game of Living



Do You Know What You Want? . .



Outwitting Your Handicaps

. . 19


Seizing Your Opportunities ....

. . 30


Using Criticism as a Stepladder

. . 40


Developing the Habit of Success

. . 5i


Are You Boss of Your Emotions? .

. . 60


Insist on Knowing Why

. . 73


Use Your Brain

. . 81


Making Correct Decisions ....

. . 94


How to Concentrate . . .

. 106


Making Your Work Count ....

. . 114


Rest and Relaxation

. . 128


What and How to Remember

. . 141


Value and Use of Humor ....

. . 153


When to Take Risks

. . 165


How to Get Trustworthy Advice .

. . 171


Getting Others to Work for You .

. . 182


Reading with Pleasure and Profit .

. . 197


It Pays to Be Modest

. . 204


Getting Over Self-Consciousness .

. 216



. 226


Personal Charm

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How to Enjoy the Game of Living



Do You Know What You Want? . .



Outwitting Your Handicaps

. . 19


Seizing Your Opportunities ....

. . 30


Using Criticism as a Stepladder

. . 40


Developing the Habit of Success

. . 5i


Are You Boss of Your Emotions? .

. . 60


Insist on Knowing Why

. . 73


Use Your Brain

. . 81


Making Correct Decisions ....

. . 94


How to Concentrate . . .

. 106


Making Your Work Count ....

. . 114


Rest and Relaxation

. . 128


What and How to Remember

. . 141


Value and Use of Humor ....

. . 153


When to Take Risks

. . 165


How to Get Trustworthy Advice .

. . 171


Getting Others to Work for You .

. . 182


Reading with Pleasure and Profit .

. . 197


It Pays to Be Modest

. . 204


Getting Over Self-Consciousness .

. 216



. 226


Personal Charm

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Theodore Roosevelt reading in his library .... frontispiece

facing pace

Calvin Coolidge with Mrs. Coolidge in the gardens at

Swampscott 12

Charles Gates Dawes, former vice-president, with his famous

underslung pipe 13

Thomas Alva Edison, the one-time candy butcher who became

the world's most famous inventor 24

Alfred E. Smith, Democratic leader 25

Charles Schwab, builder of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation 36

John J. Raskob, the stenographer who made millions as a du

Pont executive 37

John D. Rockefeller with his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 56

Alfred P. Sloan, president of General Motors .... 57

William McKinley, president of the United States during the

Spanish-American war 78

Marshall Field, who made himself the merchant prince of

Chicago 79

Herbert Hoover, thirty-first president of the United States 102

Andrew Carnegie, the Scotch immigrant boy who built an

empire of steel 103

Walter S. Gifford, head of the American Telephone and Tele-

graph Company 132

Edward H. Harriman, the "Colossus of Roads," builder of

the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific systems . . -133

Henry Ford at his fireside 168

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David Lloyd George, prime minister of Great Britain during

the World War 169

Melvin A. Traylor, president of the First National Bank of

Chicago 192

Cyrus Curtis, one-time dry goods clerk; publisher of the Satur-

day Evening Post and Ladies' Home Journal . . . 193

J. P. Morgan with his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr 242

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How to Enjoy the Game of Living

How Walgreen Played the Druggist Game

How to Turn Drudgery to Fun

Working with Enthusiasm

For years the owner of a small drug store looked around for an

opportunity to do big things. He hated his drug store and

spent his mornings looking for a "better opening" and his after-

noons at the ball parks, leaving his drug store to shift for itself.

This is exactly what a lot of us do. We look with envy at the

other fellow, think he has an enjoyable job, and decide that ours

is hopeless. We think he has all the luck and vainly wish that

some would come our way.

We can learn from this druggist how to overcome such an

attitude. The way he did it was very simple. It involved nothing

beyond the reach of any person no matter what his position in

life may be. One day he asked himself:

"Why try to get into some other business about which I know

nothing? Why try to get into another game? Why not play the

drug game?"

He decided to do it. He "began to develop the business as if

it were the greatest sport going," and he tells with great glee

what fun he had building up his drug chain by giving his

customers the very best of service.

"When someone who lived very near would call up and I

answered the telephone, I would hold up my hand to attract my

clerk's attention and repeat loudly: 'Yes, Mrs. Hasbrook. Two


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bars of So-and-so's soap. All right. A three-ounce bottle of spirits

of camphor. One-half pound of chocolate chips. That's all?

Nice day, isn't it, Mrs. Hasbrook? By the way . . .' And I'd go

on talking with her about anything I could think of.

"But the minute I held up my hand and began to repeat the

customer's order my clerk would be scurrying around the store

putting up the order. And the porter, with a grin all the way

across his friendly face, would be scrambling into his coat.

Within a few seconds after the customer had repeated her order,

the porter would be on the run up the street with the goods.

And I, for my part, would keep her at the telephone until she

would say:

"'Oh, wait a minute, Mr. Walgreen, there's the doorbell.'

"Then I'd chuckle and hold the line. In a minute she would

come back.

"'Why, Mr. Walgreen, that was the order I just gave you. I

don't know how you manage to do it, but I think that's just

wonderful service. It can't have been over half a minute since

I called you up. I'll have to tell Mr. Hasbrook about that to-

night I'

"Folks began trading with us from right under the noses of

other druggists several blocks away. And pretty soon druggists

from other parts of town were coming in to find out how I was

building up my business so well."1

That is the way in which Charles R. Walgreen branched out

from his one store to become the most remarkable promoter of

the drug chain business that this country has ever seen. Today

he controls the second largest chain of drug stores in the coun-

try; a chain which is continuing to grow most remarkably.

He learned a little secret, namely: Opportunity lies right at

your door if you will simply loo\ at your own occupation as an

interesting game and play it with zeal.

Walgreen's opportunity depended more upon his attitude

toward his work than upon the work itself. As soon as he looked


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upon his work as a challenge to a game the tide turned in his

favor. He accepted the challenge, studied the rules of the game,

and then played it with all his might. It was easy. It was fun.

Why not try it yourself?

How to Turn Drudgery to Fun

Bolts! Bolts! Bolts! A whole wagon load of them to be fin-

ished! To Samuel Vauclain, who had just been given the job

of lathe-hand, it looked as though the rest of his life would be

consumed in turning out bolts. He groaned. How could a fellow

get anywhere turning out bolts? Suppose he did finish this big

mountain of themthere would probably be another mountain

dumped on the same spot. Horrors!

The fellow on the next lathe heard him groan and gave him a

sickly, disconsolate grin in return. He was as disgusted as was


What was there to do? Should he explain to the boss that he

had considerable intelligence and deserved a better job? He

could see in his imagination the sneer that would greet such

a plea.

Should he quit and hunt another job? He had had a difficult

enough time getting this job. No, he could not quit.

Wasn't there some way to make the job less distasteful? This

seemed to promise something. Young Samuel Vauclain, who

was later to become the president of the Baldwin Locomotive

Works, put his wits to work and soon had evolved a clever way

of getting pleasure from the monotonous job of turning out

bolts. He made'a game of it. Turning to his partner, he said:

"Let's race, Howard. You rough themturn off the rough sur-

faceon your machine. I'll turn them down to their proper

diameter on mine. We will see who can do his part the faster.

If you get tired of roughing bolts you can switch with me and

do the finishing." 2


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Howard fell in with the scheme. They began the race and

turned out bolts so rapidly that the foreman soon gave them

better jobs.

Vauclain did not grit his teeth, become a martyr, and force

himself to do something he hated. He changed the job into a

game so that it would be fun to do it. Later in his life Vauclain


"If you don't get a kick out of the job you're doing you'd better

hunt another one."

This is good advice but the trick is in the method of hunting

it. You do not find it by complaining and getting soured, but by

playing your way to a better one.

"'If a man does not find romance in business,' declares An-

drew Carnegie, 'it is not the fault of the business, but the fault

of the man.' "8

Andrew Carnegie achieved what he did because he enjoyed

living and put this joy into his work. He was happy when he

was a little boy starting life; if he had not been he would not

have succeeded so well. He found joy in business not because

he succeeded; the romance was there from the very beginning.

It was his happy outlook that made his life what it was.

It is not the job so much as it is your attitude toward it which

determines whether it will be a pleasure or a daily torture.

Make it a pleasure if you would lay the first stone in the founda-

tion of a valuable life.

Your birth means that you have been selected as a player in

the greatest game ever devisedthe game of living. What a

game it is! What thrills you will experience if you will let your-

self enter into it! Each dawn is a new challenge to enter a new

contest. What if you did lose yesterday? Today is another chance

to make good. Look upon life, each day of your life, as an

opportunity to overcome challenging obstacles. Each day you

will have a better chance to win than you had the day before.

Each morning, when you open your eyes, you are opening them


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on new opportunities, new chances to win, new prizes to gain,

new rules to learn, and new competitors to play with.

You may choose between enjoying life or enduring life as a


Decide to enjoy the things you have to do and you will get

along faster. You will win by playing to your utmost capacity

in your present position, taking advantage of every opportunity

as it comes, and playing your way into better positions as they


Working with Enthusiasm

Says Charles M. Schwab, head of the Bethlehem Steel Cor-

poration: "A man will succeed in anything about which he has

real enthusiasm, in which he is genuinely interested, provided

he will take more pains, more thought about his job than the

men working with him. The fellow who sits still and does what

he is told will never be told to do big things."4

The man who starts a job with the attitude: "I am afraid I

cannot do this," will not get very far. He will be able to see

nothing but barriers. On the other hand, the man who starts out

with enthusiasm will encounter difficulties; but he will meet

them with such energy that they are likely to vanish before his


It is just as easy to enjoy your work and life as it is to hate it

and be miserable. The man who hates his work does so not

because the work is necessarily hateful but because he has failed

to learn a few simple devices which will change his attitude.

This book is designed to tell you how you can make life a

game. It will tell you some of the rules of the game, it will

illustrate from the lives of great men how losses may be turned

into victories, how to make apparent failure a stepping stone to

success, and how to get a thrill from it all.

hoo\ upon life as a challenge to engage in an extremely

fascinating game.


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Try to learn the rules of the game. Keep in practice by playing

the game.

It takes enthusiasm to win any game, and especially the game

of living. Keep enthusiastic always.

Keep your eyes open and you will discover opportunities

something to play forright where you are.

Your attitude toward your wor\ is the important thing. You

can be a drudge and hate your wor\ or you can make a game

of it.

Do not be satisfied with what you have and are. Study your

situation critically so that you can discover how to better your-


References for Chapter I

1. Arthur Van Vlissingen, Jr., American Magazine (Oct. 1926),

p. 149.

2. Earl Chapin May, Sat. Eve. Post (March 9, 1929), p. 141.

3. Enoch B. Gowin, Developing Executive Ability, Ronald Press,

P- 325-

4. Charles M. Schwab, Succeeding with What You Have, Century,

p. 20.


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Do You Know What You Want?

Lord Northcliffe Looks for Dissatisfied Men

Carnegie Learns to See Ahead

Coulby Hunts a Longer Ladder

How Bell Discovered the Telephone

he world makes %vay for the man who is going somewhere.

1 If a man has a goal, an objective, a vision of where he may be

in the future, he is sure to achieve more than if he is a mere

drifter, not knowing where he is going.

Without an objective a man will not get far. Percy H. Johnston,

senior vice-president of the Chemical National Bank of New

York, says: "You are not likely to get anywhere in particular if

you don't know where you want to go."1

The man who knows what he wants, who can see just what he

must do to get from where he is to where he wants to be, and

who does not become self-satisfied too quickly will accomplish


How can a man find out what he wants? The ambitions which

fired great men did not come to them ready-made. They learned

from their own experiences and in a way that few people suspect.

They learned them by being dissatisfied.

Ambition is based on discontent. A man can never desire any-

thing unless he is dissatisfied with what he has; but here is the

great difference between the great man and the weakling.

The weakling sits idly, groans, and whines about his troubles.

The great man sets about to change things.


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Lord Northcliffe Looks for Dissatisfied Men

Lord Northcliffe, "The Napoleon of Journalism," and owner

of The London Times, was not satisfied with the twenty dollars

a week with which he started. Nor was he satisfied later with

the ownership of The London Evening News or The Daily

Mail. He was not satisfied until he secured possession of The

London Times, the paper which Lincoln declared to be the

"most powerful thing in the world excepting the Mississippi."

Nor did he rest then, but used the power which ownership of

The London Times gave him and "exposed abuses, smashed

cabinets, unmade and made prime ministers (Asquith and

Lloyd George) and relentlessly pursued and attacked the na-

tional tolerance of muddling . . . and by his fearless efforts in

promoting national efficiency, he revolutionized the whole sys-

tem of government in Great Britain." 2

He had no time for people who were satisfied.

"Once he stopped at the desk of a junior sub-editor, whom he

had not seen before, and said, 'How long have you been with


"'About three months,' was the reply.

"'How are you getting on? Do you like the work? Do you

find it easy to get into our ways?'

"'I like it very much.'

"'How much money are you getting?'

"'Five pounds a week.'

"'Are you perfectly satisfied?'

"'Perfectly satisfied, thank you.'

"'Well, you must remember this, that I want no one on my

staff who is a perfectly satisfied man with a salary of five pounds

a week.'"8

How many men get nowhere because they are too easily satis-

fied! Safely established in a job where they may expect to get

the same salary the rest of their lives, and to do the same job


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day after day until they die, they think they have achieved all

that they have a right to demand of life.

Discontent is painful and in order to avoid a slight degree of

discontent many people hunt for a pleasant berth in life where

they will not have a single worry or responsibility.

Contentment may be the goal of animals but it should not be

permitted to narrow the vision of a human being. Cows and pigs,

when well cared for, and when they have plenty to eat, are con-

tented; but the objective of a man is to achieve thingsnot to

become food for others to consume.

There is another way that some people use to run away from

discontent and that is to blame their troubles on other people or

on unfortunate circumstances. It is silly to complain that we are

being held down by things outside ourselves. Discontent should

lead us to see that the fault lies in us and that we need to

change ourselves in some respect in order that we can accomplish


Great men have not been afraid of admitting that they were

imperfect. They have not been observed idly contemplating their

good points and looking for compliments from their friends

simply because such compliments made them feel contented.

Instead of seeking flattery, great men have looked at them-

selves critically and compared their present position with the

one they would like to have.

"Give the man you'd like to be a look at the man you are,"

is the way Edgar Guest states it. Edgar Guest became one of the

most popular and most widely read newspaper poets in the

world. He succeeded largely because he continually kept in

view the kind of man he wanted to be instead of being satisfied

with the man he was.

He adds: "That is what I did on my vacation last summer,

and I discovered that the man I'd like to be is a wiser fellow than

I am. In my cottage, far from the hurry and noise of city life,

I made a list of the things I don't want and a list of the things


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I do want. . . . They have helped me to live a richer, happier


The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you

are not going to stay where you are. Dissatisfaction is the thing

that helps you make this first decision.

On the other hand, it is not enough merely to be dissatisfied.

There is no use in moving unless you are going somewhere.

You must decide where you are going. How can this be done?

Carnegie Learns to See Ahead

If, when you are discontented, you look up, around and away

from yourself, you will see some of the possibilities in life. These

possibilities appear at first only as vague visions, largely the play

of your imagination. Consequently, if you wish to learn to de-

velop an ambition you must learn to use your imagination.

It is valuable to build ambitious dreams even if they do not

come true, for such imaginary play teaches the one who engages

in it to look for possibilities in life that others do not see.

The early lives of great men are filled with incidents of child-

ish dreams. Andrew Carnegie, the great steel magnate, when

only fifteen years of age, was in the habit of talking over with

his brother Tom, then a boy of nine, his hopes and ambitions.

He explained how, when they were older, they would organize

the firm of "Carnegie Brothers" and would make enough money

to enable their mother and father to ride in their own carriage.5

Gordon Selfridge, who for many years was general manager

of Marshall Field and Company and who founded and operates

London's largest store, was accustomed to play a game of make-

believe with his mother when he was a little boy. His mother

would say to him,

"Suppose, when you grow older, and have a little position,

you come home some night and say, 'Mother, they have ad-

vanced my pay a dollar a week. Now we can save something.'


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"Suppose a year or two later you say, 'Mother, I have saved

enough to start business for myself.'

"Suppose a little later you come home and say, 'Mother, I have

bought a horse and buggy.'" 6

This game, which was played day after day, made it inevitable

that Selfridge should become ambitious. The game of "suppos-

ings" taught him to imagine success, and led him to work for it;

and, when opportunities came along, to grasp them in reality as

he had learned to grasp them in his imagination.

"Do you suppose I am going to be satisfied with remaining

a conductor? I mean to be president of a railroad." The young

fellow who made this remark was not even a conductor. After

two years of railroading he was merely a brakeman on a third-

class train making but forty dollars a month. His remark was

stimulated by the jibe of an old railroad man who said to him:

"Well, I suppose you think your fortune is made, now you

have become a brakeman, but let me tell you what will happen.

You will be a brakeman about four or five years, and then

they will make you conductor, at about one hundred dollars a

month, and there you'll stick all your life, if you don't get

discharged." 7

Herbert H. Vreeland was the young man who received this

assurance that he had a life-long job and he did not like the

prospect. He made good his promise to become "president of a

railroad" by working his way to the presidency of the Metro-

politan Street Railway Company. It was his refusal to be con-

tent with a safe and sure job which gave him his incentive to

start working for something better.

Ambition grows out of discontent. From this beginning comes

a dream of something different which then must be followed

by a display of courage to bridge the gap between the present

position and the dream.

Great men have not been mere dreamers. They have not sub-

stituted visions of the future for hard cold facts. They have used


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the visions of objectives to make them more dissatisfied with the

present and have been stimulated by this resulting dissatisfaction

to fight the harder for success.

Coulby Hunts a Longer Ladder

Some persons do not raise their eyes enough to see that the

road is blocked immediately ahead of them. When they find

they are making no progress they seem surprised, whereas they

should have been able to see that there was no future unless

they themselves underwent a radical change.

"From my place on the lowest rung of the ladder, I looked

up to see how far the ladder reached." Harry Coulby, who later

became the czar of transportation on the Great Lakes, made

this comment about his position when he began his career.

How could he expect his ladder to reach high when he had

nothing upon which to base his hopes! He was so poor that he

actually walked from New York to Cleveland and took a job

as secretary to the president of the Lake Shore and Michigan

Southern Railroad.

Nevertheless, he did look and after working a short time he

decided that the ladder was too short. It did not reach any

farther than he could see. He had no future in this job except

one of faithful drudgery and he did not like the prospect.

He decided that a short ladder did not mean security. One

is more likely to fall off if he is sitting on the top of a short

ladder than he is if he is busy climbing up a ladder so tall that

the top is not even visible.

He gave up this job and took one with Colonel John Hay who

afterwards became Secretary of State and Ambassador to Great

Britain. Coulby had imagination enough to see that with the

one man he would get nowhere, while with the other he would

be presented with great possibilities.

It takes vision to progress, but it takes a continual change


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of vision. "I had come to Cleveland," says Coulby, "intending

to ship as a common sailora boy's idea of romance and

adventure. Instead of this, I found myself in daily and hourly

association with the most perfect type of American gentleman

(Colonel John Hay) it has ever been my good fortune to meet;

a man who quickly became my ideal of everything that was


Coulby was wise enough to see that if he worked for a small

man, he could not get far. He picked the big man and thereby

created for himself a vision of what he wanted to become. In

selecting Hay for a boss he was setting for himself an ideal

he was getting a vision of the sort of man he wanted to be.

If you are not dissatisfied you will not have a desire to change

your position and are not likely to build visions of a brighter

future. On the other hand, you should not be satisfied with

visions, or the imagination of your ideals, as a substitute for your

disappointments in real life. The value of a vision lies in the

fact that it offers a contrast between things as they are and as

they might be.

If you are satisfied with the thought of your imaginary achieve-

ments they actually hinder you in your progress. The contem-

plation of ideals must be accompanied by a desire to change

from the present unsatisfactory position to one more in line

with the ideals or ambitions.

Ideals act as incentives because they make clear the contrast

between what you are and what you might be. Ideals should

act as a challenge to a man to do something that will better his

position in life. He will not be improved if he idly wishes he

were a great man or imagines that he already is one. What

must he do?

The wise man bridges the gap by laying out the path by

means of which he can get from where he is to where he wants

to go. He establishes intermediate goals, giving his immediate

attention to a very specific goal which is near at hand and can


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be achieved in a relatively short time. When he reaches this

point he gains a glow of satisfaction from having made progress,

rests a bit, gets his bearings again, sets up the next objective,

and starts out to reach it.

The ultimate goal should be so far away that it can be seen

but vaguely. The highest goals are naturally vague because they

are more distant than lower ones. As Napoleon is supposed to

have said: "He who knows just where he is going will not get


Life is somewhat like mountain climbing. You first must

want to get to the top of the mountain or you will never get

there. But you cannot get to the top merely by wantingby

merely being dissatisfied with being in the valley. You cannot

get to the top by gazing idly at it and imagining you are

already there. You must get up and work for it.

Nor do you get there by fixing your gaze on the peak and

stumbling ahead without any consideration of the immediate

terrain. You must watch your step. Your goal is the peak, which

at times becomes fairly clear and then again fades totally out of

sight, but it furnishes you with an ultimate objective whether it

is always visible or not. The thing you must continually watch

is the immediate prospecthow to get over this rock, how to

cross this stream, how to get around this foothill, and how to

keep from slipping over this precipice.

The ultimate goal keeps you from getting lost. It is your

compass. But you have to do the climbing.

How Bell Discovered the Telephone

Great feats are achieved by solving thoroughly the immediate

problem. How often thoroughness in attempting to solve one

problem leads to some unexpected results!

Did Alexander Graham Bell, that wizard whose achievements'

are the envy of every growing boy, set out with the objective of


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inventing a telephone? He did not. If he had waited for such

a vision he never would have accomplished what he did. He dis-

covered the telephone by aiming at an immediate and very

different goal.

"He had been a teacher in a school for the deaf and there 5

married one of his pupils. Some years later he began a series of

experiments to devise an electrical instrument by which his wife

might perhaps hear. In the course of his investigations he acci-

dentally invented the telephone."9

Was it an accident? It was due to the fact that Bell solved

completely any problem at which he set himself. You do not see

him sitting and idly dreaming about being a great inventor. You

may observe him working intently because he has an immediate

problem which he must solve before he will be content to rest.

When one looks too intently at his objective without seeing

himself as he actually is, he is likely to assume that he is nearer [

his goal than is the fact. This leads to conceit and a neglect of

the task at hand.

Everett Lord, Dean of the Business School of Boston Uni-

versity, gave this warning to his graduates: "There is one danger

to which college men seem to be particularly exposedthat is

the custom of giving attention to the next job at the expense

of their present job. Scores of failures are due to the assumption

by the young worker that his duties are so simple as to be

hardly worth his serious attention."10

A high goal should not blind one to immediate needs. It is

important to know where one is going; it is important also to

see where one is in relation to this objective; but it is most im-

portant to have a plan by means of which progress may be made

from the present position toward that goal.

The rate of progress is not so essential as many young people

assume. The question is: Am I doing the sort of thing which

will bring ultimate progress? Great men have changed from one

job to another but not as a butterfly flits from one flower to


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another. They have changed when they were convinced that

they were in a blind alley. Vision, such as great men have

demonstrated, involves insight into the possibilities and also the

limitations of any position.

Andrew Carnegie might have remained in railroad service all

his life had he not seen a vision of greater things. He refused

a promotion to the position of Assistant General Superintendent

of the Pennsylvania Railroad in order to carry out a program of

independent work. This was no idle change. He was determined

to make a fortune and saw no means of doing this in the

employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad.11

You may have to try several paths before you discover the

one which will take you where you want to go. It may be neces-

sary to change jobs, to turn back temporarily, but such changes

should be made intelligently and as the result of experience.

Do not change merely to be changing or to avoid the necessity

of mastering your present job.

Joseph R. Kraus, a prominent Cleveland banker, for years had

a vision of directing one "big bank" but he spent years doing

various types of work, trying one path and then another before

he found himself near to his goal.

He worked in a brokerage office, in a lumber yard, as a

bookkeeper, collection clerk, discount clerk, general bookkeeper,

teller, and cashier. But through these changes he kept his vision

and utilized all these experiences to broaden his knowledge of


Whereas a weaker man might have become disgruntled by

the experiences of this young man he continually used all these

jobs to help him toward his ultimate goal.

He says: "A man may get to where he is going in different

ways. Sometimes it is undoubtedly best to get all of his training

and experience with a single concern. Sometimes it is better to

change around . . . but only, I believe, if a man knows exactly

what he is doing and why.


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"If I had changed merely for the sake of more money, a few

dollars more in the weekly pay envelope, I probably would have

been sacrificing the future to the present and it would have

done me little good. ... I changed only after I had exhausted

my resources trying to get the kind of experience I needed where

I already was."12

An objective should serve as a guide to enable you to deter-

mine whether to make a change, where to place the energies

which you have to expend, and how to decide other issues as

they arise. An objective is a guide, not something to be reached

as a final goal.

Are you looking forward to the time when you will have

reached your objective so that you can retire? If you are you are

not a very big man. Men who have done this will tell you that

life has lost its glow. The fun in life comes in doing things and

in making progress. It is a mistake to sit idly contemplating

what you have done and waiting for death. Big men work

until their strength actually gives out, regardless of what they

have already accomplished.

Charles M. Schwab, the "largely self-educated country boy

who became the adviser of presidents and the companion of

kings," understood that activity is the end and aim of life. He ,

said: "I was once asked if a big business man ever reached his

objective. I replied that if a man ever reached his objective he

was not a big business man. It is ever onward, with successful

men, until life flows out of their bodies."18

The ambitions of men begin with dissatisfaction.

Dissatisfaction is a signal that you want something better.

Attend to this signal. It will start you toward something better.

Do not submit to discontent by complaining, or by blaming

your misfortunes on other people or outside conditions. Let dis-

content incite you to ta\e a broader view of life.

Ambitions are no mysterious gift. You must learn to develop


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them by teaching your imagination to play with future pos-


Do not be a mere dreamer. Learn how to ma\e progress from

where you are to where you would li\e to be.

Evaluate yourself honestly. "Give the man you would li{e to

be a loo\ at the man you are."

Goals should be incentives to do the immediate job well. It is

only by solving the present problem that one ma\es progress

toward his objective.

Let the objective be a guide to decide issues as you progress.

Do not aim for satisfaction or the time when you will have

reached your goal. The achievement of one ambition should be

the incentive to try for another.

References for Chapter II

1. B. C. Forbes, American Magazine (Oct. 1919), p. 16.

2. Herbert N. Casson, Types of Leadership, Forbes, pp. 11-12.

3. Frank Dilnot, Lloyd George, Harpers, p. 136.

4. Edgar Guest, American Magazine (July, 1925), p. 42.

5. Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, p. 56.

6. Samuel Crowther, American Magazine (April, 1924), p. 16.

7. Orison Swett Marden, How They Succeeded, Lathrop, Lee &

Shepard, 1901, p. 345.

8. Keene Sumner, American Magazine (May, 1923), p. 174.

9. Ernest E. Calkins, London Please, Atlantic Monthly Press,

1924, p. 184.

10. Bruce Barton, American Magazine (Aug. 1925), p. 112.

11. Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, pp. 140-


12. Neil M. Clark, American Magazine (June, 1922), p. 46.

13. Charles M. Schwab, Sat. Eve. Post (Jan. 26, 1929), p. 89.


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Outwitting Your Handicaps

Roosevelt Sets His Jaw

Dawes Annexes a Pipe

Pitt Walked on Impossibilities

Napoleon Made Poverty a Stepping Stone

Demosthenes Learns to Speak

Seated at his desk in school is a frail, fearful boy of eight with

a face which bespeaks hidden panic. When he breathes he

wheezes. When called upon to recite he rises with shaking knees

and quivering lips, mumbles incoherently, and collapses into

his seat. If he only had handsome features it would help a little;

but no, his teeth rush out at you when you look at him.

How he must be tempted to become self-conscious, to avoid

active life, to shrink from his comrades in dismay, to grow up

pitying himself! Not so with this boy. With all his handicaps

he had a fighting spiritthe fighting spirit that anyone can

possess. Indeed, his very handicaps increased his zeal to fight.

He would not be downed by the defects which opened him to

the ridicule of his comrades. He turned his wheezes into hisses

of determination. His quivering lips stiffened as he set his jaw

with a resolve to overcome his fears. This boy was Theodore


Roosevelt Sets His Jaw

He did not let his defects get him down. Instead, he used

them, capitalized them, made them the very rungs of the ladder


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on which he climbed to fame. He mastered his handicaps with

devices that any one can use and did it so effectively that, in his

later life, few people recognized that he had any serious defects.

People loved him, peculiarities and all. He became one of the

most popular presidents this country has ever had.

What a man he became! And what poor material he was

given to make into a man! He did not wait for luck, he went

after it.

How easy it would have been for him to have given up! But

he did not. If there was any pitying done he left it for his

friends. He never fell into that trapself pitywhich proves to

be the downfall of so many persons with milder defects than he

had. One can scarcely imagine the beloved "Teddy" feeling

sorry for himself.

How far would he have gone if he had humored himself?

He would probably have spent years visiting "hot springs,"

drinking "health waters," taking "rest cures," and spending time

taking ocean voyages and sitting in deck chairs trying to gain

his health. His main conversation would have centered around

his "last operation."

Instead of babying himself he turned himself into a real man.

He noticed that strong boys played active games, swam, rode

horses, and did hard physical work. He became active, rode,

played, and worked with a vengeance and became a model of

physical endurance. He observed that other boys met fearful

situations with grit to overcome the cause of the fear. He found

that he became bold when he faced terrifying cattle in the

roundup in the spirit of true adventure. When he mixed with

people he found he liked them and did not want to slink away

from them. His interest in people made self-consciousness im-

possible. He found that when he greeted people with his ex-

clamation of "dee-lighted" it was impossible to be afraid of them.

"Before he reached college he had built up his health and

strength by constant effort on his own part, systematic exercise


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and living, and we know of him as the powerful man who took

his holidays rounding up cattle in Arizona, hunting bears in

the Rockies and lions in Africa. Who would have doubted the

strength of Colonel Roosevelt, the leader of the 'Rough Riders'

in the Spanish War, or who would ever have questioned his

courage? Yet Roosevelt the boy had contended with fear as

well as ill health."1

How simple is the formula that Roosevelt himself gives for

his success and yet how effective! It is within the grasp of


He captured health by acting as though he were healthy. He

overcame his fear by acting as though he were not afraid. He

outshone his physical appearance by acting as though he were

just as attractive as anyone else.

No one knew better than Roosevelt himself that he had

handicaps. He never duped himself into believing that he was

courageous, strong, or handsome. His success in acting as though

he did not have handicaps depended upon clearly recognizing

his defects; but he never nursed them.

He overcame the flaws which he could overcome and those

that he could not get rid of he used. He "learned how to make

the most telling use of the falsetto in his voice, of his well-\nown

teeth, and of his pile-driver manner. . . . He violated all the

canons of oratory, but was successful in spite of his voice and

manner. . . . Not endowed with a golden voice or graceful

manner, or master of marvelous rhetoric as some have been, he

was nevertheless one of the most effective speakers of his


Recognizing your faults and then acting as though you did

not have them is a sure way to build up self-confidence. If you

try to act as though you did not have them, without yourself

admitting them, you only succeed in making yourself ridiculous.

"A man must have faith in himself," says Arthur Reynolds,

president of the Continental and Commerciii Bank of Chicago,


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"and that means being honest with himself about his limitations

as well as about his abilities. In fact, I think that the first step

toward getting rid of one's limitations is to recognize that they


If you look at a handicap carefully you may discover that it

pays to use it instead of attempting to get rid of it. After all,

a handicap is only one way of being different from other people;

and it is just being exceptional in some manner that marks us

off from the common herd. How could Roosevelt have been

cartooned without his teeth and big glasses? People loved those

cartoons, loved to see those teeth beaming at them and re-

inforcing his customary greeting of "dee-lighted."

Dawes Annexes a Pipe

It may even pay to develop a peculiarity if you do not have

one. Witness the underslung pipe of Charles Dawes; the long,

lanky figure of Abraham Lincoln; the colloquial brogue of

Alfred Smith; the pompous pose of Napoleon Bonaparte; the

silence of Calvin Coolidge; or the hatchet of Carrie Nation.

The very thing you may be secretly ashamed of, and may be

trying to get rid of, may be the best means of distinction if it is

rightly used. Whether to use it or to overcome it can be decided

only by being honest about its presence.

Now here is the secret behind the successful use of a handicap.

People liked Roosevelt's teeth because they suggested geniality;

they liked Dawes' pipe because it suggested unassuming, whole-

some sociability; they liked Lincoln's lanky ugliness because

it spelled a rough bulwark of strength and absolute dependabil-

ity; they liked the brogue of Alfred Smith because it placed him

on a level with the common people; they liked the pompous

display of Napoleon when they felt that they were a part of the

splendor which he represented; they liked the silence of Calvin

Coolidge because it stood for the trustworthy ability to keep


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confidences; and they liked the hatchet of Carrie Nation because

it suggested absolute fearlessness.

Make your handicap suggest to people something they like and

they will like the handicap and will like you the better for

having it. If a handicap, on the other hand, suggests to people

something they would not like in themselves, if it makes them

afraid of you, or makes them sorry for you, they will not like

the handicap and you had better get rid of it.

General Dawes, that outspoken vice-president of the United

States, developed his "trade-mark" from an incident which, at

first, looked like a misfortune. Dawes was told by his physician

that he could not smoke his customary twenty cigars a day and

retain his health. Instead of giving up a few cigars with the air

of making a great sacrifice, he gleefully changed to a pipe and

made the underslung pipe his constant companion. His pipe is

an emblem of the genial acceptance of an inevitable privation.

No wonder it made a good trade-mark.

Pitt Walked on Impossibilities

When William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham, was secretary of

state of Great Britain, an admiral came to him with the com-

plaint that he had been given an impossible task. In reply Pitt

picked up his two gouty crutches, shook them at the admiral

and shouted with scorn, "Impossible? Sir, I walk on impos-/

sibilities." *

If Pitt with his swollen, painful joints could hobble around

on crutches and do his work, what right had a robust admiral

to complain about a few difficulties? How often it is the strong

man who hunts for an excuse while the handicapped man makes

a heroic struggle and accomplishes the seemingly impossible.

A handicap can be used as an excuse for laziness or cowardice

or it can be used to make you buckle down to the hard work

that is necessary to overcome it.


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Napoleon Made Poverty a Stepping Stone

Napoleon Bonaparte once tried to get away from the very

situation which was the foundation of his success. His father, a

proud, but impoverished Corsican nobleman, sent him to the

Nobles' School at Brienne where he had to associate with boys

who paraded their wealth before him and ridiculed him because

of his poverty. Roused to wrath by their jibes he found himself

"kept in" by the authorities.

Thoroughly discouraged, he wrote to his father: "I am tired

of explaining my poverty; of having to endure the mockery of

these foreign boys, whose only superiority is in respect of money,

for in nobility of feeling they are far beneath me. Must I really

humble myself before these purse-proud fellows?"

"We have no money. You must stay where you are,"8 replied

his father, and thus sentenced him to five years of torture. But

with every jibe, every slight, every look of disdain from his

fellows he increased his determination to show these tormenters

that he was indeed superior to them.

How did he do it? It was not easy. No idle threats or boasts

passed his lips. He kept his own counsel but determined to use

these empty-headed and pretentious creatures as stepping stones

to power, wealth, and fame.

As a sub-lieutenant of sixteen, he received another blow in the

death of his father and felt impelled to save from his scant earn-

ings to help his mother. When given his first military assign-

ment, this little fellow actually had to walk a large part of the

way to join his regiment at Valence. How could he have had a

worse start?

Having arrived at his post he found his comrades spending

their spare time in the pursuit of women and gambling. His

unprepossessing physique disqualified him for the former occu-

pation and his poverty for the latter. Instead of trying to com-

pete with them, he buried himself in his books. Reading was as


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free as breathing, as he could borrow books from the library

without expense, but it brought him big returns.

He did not read poor literature, nor did he read merely to

bury his troubles, but rather to prepare himself for the future

which he pictured for himself. He was determined to show the

world what he had in him and he used this determination as a

guiding principle in his selection of books. He lived in a tiny,

stuffy room and therepale, lonely, and hothe studied inces-


The notes Napoleon made from his readings during these

years of study filled, when printed, four hundred pages. He

imagined himself as a commander and drew maps of the island

of Corsica showing where he would place various defenses,

making all his calculations with mathematical precision. The

skill in mathematics, thus developed, gave him his first oppor-

tunity to show what he could do.

His general, seeing that he was well-informed, gave him the

task of executing some works on the parade ground which re-

quired intricate calculations. He accomplished this work so

cleverly that he was given other opportunities and before he or

the world knew what it was all about Napoleon was on his way

to power.

The tables were turned. Those who mocked at his poverty

now crowded to his court to partake of his bounty. Those who

despised him were glad to be included in the circle of his

friends. He was looked up to by those who formerly had de-

spised the little, insignificant, hard-working boy. They had all

become his loyal supporters.

Was it genius that accomplished this marvelous change, or

did he succeed because of his incessant work? He was bright

and he did work hard but there was a driving force more sig-

nificant than either intelligence or work. It was his ambition to

rise above those who had teased him.

What if the boys at school had not teased him about his


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poverty! Suppose his father had taken him out of school so that

his feelings would not be hurt! Suppose he had not had to

surfer the privations he did! There never would have been the

Napoleon Bonaparte that we know. It was the very misfortunes

which made him what he was. He learned to be victorious by

conquering his own handicaps.

The great man never accepts life as he finds it. He is not

satisfiedbut his dissatisfactions do not make him morbid and

unhappy. They fill him with a zeal to do something about it

and it is this doing something which brings results.

We honor Napoleon because he did things and wish we could

do something. As an excuse for our failure to accomplish any-

thing worthwhile we parade our handicaps. They should be an

incentive and not an excuse. A handicap is a signal that some-

thing should be done about it.

It is of less importance what you do than that you do some-

thing. The fatal blunder is to do nothingto hide behind the

handicap. The easy acceptance of a handicap leads to an in-

feriority feeling which kills initiative. When should one accept

an inferiority and when should one fight against it?

If you have but one leg do not try to be a sprinter. If you

have distorted features do not try to win a beauty contest.

Under such circumstances it is better to forget all considerations

of excellence in a trait in which one is definitely lacking.

How silly the spectacle of a tiny man attempting to be physi-

cally pompous! How absurd when a large woman attempts to

act coyly! Don't try to do what it should be obvious to you and

is apparent to all your friends that you cannot do.

But such defects do not need to bar one from accomplishing

worthy ends. A lack of physical strength and the absence of an

aggressive personality did not prevent Colonel Edward M. House

from being one of the most influential men during the World

War. How did he achieve his influence in the face of these



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Early in his life he decided that his small physique was a

permanent and incurable handicap which would make it im-

possible to get political office.6 Such offices depend too much on

the first impression one makes on the populace.

Instead of depending upon such superficial impressions he

learned how to make lasting friends. Collecting real friends

became his hobby.

He became Woodrow Wilson's most influential adviser and

yet he never had any strings on Wilson other than friendship.

Likewise one of the reasons why Benjamin Franklin became

the influential man he did, was because he admitted his weak-

ness in public speaking. He confessed: "I was a bad speaker,

never eloquent, subject to much hesitation in my choice of words,

hardly correct in language and yet I generally carried my point." T

He compensated for this defect in speaking by using other

methods to win people to his side. He proposed things indirectly \

or mildly, was modest in his statement of opinion, and was

willing to admit his mistakes. His defect taught him an impor-

tant lessonnamely, that we never win a point by argument.

Had he been a wonderful speaker he might never have learned

this valuable lesson.

If you decide that you can overcome a handicap it implies

your willingness to work incessantly to accomplish this end.

Demosthenes Learns to Speak

What a demonstration of dogged persistence was given the

world by that great statesman of Greece who lived three hun-

dred years before Christ.

Demosthenes was weak-voiced, lisping, and short of breath;

the letter R was especially troublesome to him; and he enun-

ciated very poorly.

"We are told that he overcame these physical disadvantages

by practising with pebbles in his mouth, . . . trying to shout


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down the breakers on the shore at Phalerum, . . . reciting while

running up hill, learning to deliver many lines in one breath,

and speaking before a mirror to correct his gestures. More

than once he failed when he rose to address the people. At his

first attempt his periods fell into confusion, and he was met

with shouts of laughter. He built, we are told, an underground

chamber where he daily practised his voice and delivery, some-

times for two or three months at a time, shaving one side of his

head in order that he might resist the temptation to go out into

the streets."8

His persistence brought results and Demosthenes became one

of the greatest orators the world has ever known.

A handicap may be the greatest incentive you can possibly

have or it may be the cause of discouragement. Ma\e your handi-

caps incentives.

Know what your handicaps are. Be honest with yourself.

Decide definitely whether a handicap is best overcome, hidden,

used, or ignored.

The best way to overcome a handicap is to act as though it

did not exist. When you have learned to act as though it did not

exist you will have overcome it.

The best way to use a handicap is to ma\e it suggest some

desirable trait and people will li\e it and will li\e you because

you have it.

References for Chapter III

1. Mary H. Wade, Real Americans, Little, Brown & Co., 1922, p. 30.

2. Charles E. Merriam, Four American Party Leaders, Macmillan,

1926, p. 38.

3. Arthur Reynolds, American Magazine (July 1921), p. 108.

4. Basil Williams, The Life of William Pitt, Longmans Green,

1913, Vol. I, p. 330.

5. Emil Ludwig, Napoleon, Garden City Pub. Co., 1926, p. 7.

6. Arthur D. H. Smith, Sat. Eve. Post (Aug. 28, 1926), p. 69.


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7. Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, 1886,

p. 113.

8. A. W. Packard, Demosthenes, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1914, pp.



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Seizing Your Opportunities

Lady Luck Bows to Edison

Schwab Sings Himself into the Steel Business

Bok Sees Opportunity in a Dirty Window

Stern Turns Disaster into Luck

^ A good deal happens in a man's life that he isn't respon-

* sible for. Fortunate openings occur; but it is safe to

remember that such 'breaks' are occurring all the time, and

other things beings equal, the advantage goes to the man who

is ready."1

The number of opportunities that come to a man is not so

important as the number he grasps when they come near him.

Watch how Thomas A. Edison, that great electrical wizard,

when still a young man, took his first step toward success by

taking advantage of a mere chancea lucky "break." How dif-

ferent his life might have been if he had not acted as he did on

that occasion! No one can tell how much it meant to him. He

did not know what it meant at the time, but he did not let his

chance slip even if he could not see what it meant.

He happened to stroll into the office of the Law Gold Re-

corder just at a time when the recorder had broken down and

the office was in an uproar as a result. That was luck but what

Edison did was not luck. He cleverly took advantage of the

"break" which chance offered to him. After looking intently over

the shoulders of the expert workmen who were trying to fix

the machine, Edison said,


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"'I don't see any particular trouble there. ... I think I can

fix it up right away.'

"'Jump in and see what you can do,' was Law's immediate


"Edison walked forward with one hand in his pocket, the other

holding a small pair of tweezers. Without even troubling to take

his left hand out of his pocket, he removed a loose contact

spring which had become displaced and which had fallen be-

tween the wheels. Instantly the instruments worked as readily

as before."

Law was interested and started to draw Edison into conversa-

tion in order to learn more about him.

"'Clever machine, that.'

"'Ye-es,' drawled Edison with a question mark in his voice.

"'Can you improve on it?'

"'I haven't thought about it at all but there is nearly always

a way to better every machine.'"

Law asked him a few more questions and in a short time

Edison had slowly pointed out to him all the disadvantages and

advantages of the principles used in the system. His knowledge

amazed Law.

"'When did you examine the instruments?' asked Law.

"'I haven't had a chance to examine them yet. I could see that

much while the other chaps were trying to fix it.'" 2

Edison was not bluffing. Law could see that he knew what he

was talking about and offered him a job keeping the system in

order. This was an opportunity for Edisonyes; but it would

not have been if he had not known electricity. In this new posi-

tion he worked out the great invention which gave him his real

startthe stock ticker.

There was no blazoned placard over the Law Gold Recorder

office that morning saying: "Opportunity." No one said to

Edison: "Now is your chance. Show them what you can do."

Edison himself probably did not recognize it as an oppor-


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tunity. He merely saw a chance to do something he could do

and he did it. It is only when we look back that we recognize

the little things that we have done as the significant turning

points in our careers. By doing the little things as they come

along we unwittingly entertain our opportunities.

Schwab Sings Himself into the Steel Business

As he busies himself grooming the horses, cleaning the har-

ness, and doing other odd jobs around the stable, Charlie, the

stable boy, sings lustily. His job does not amount to much but

he is happy nevertheless. His song reaches the ear of Andrew

Carnegie, the steel magnate, who is seated on a near-by veranda.

Carnegie recognizes the song as one of his favorites and he likes

the voice of the boy who is singing it.

He has the singer brought to the house so that he can enjoy

the music at close range.-He finds that he likes not only the

songs but the personality of the singer and the career of Charles

M. Schwab, who later became the president of the Bethlehem

Steel Corporation, is begun.

What luck! Schwab did not sing because he foresaw where

the singing would take him. It was simply a stroke of good for-

tune that Carnegie heard him. He could not have counted on

any such stroke of luck. Imagine a stable boy singing lustily in

the hope that his boss would hear him, like his voice, and give

him a good job!

Lucky "breaks" are the things that come unexpectedly and the

lucky person is the one who is flexible enough to act on them

when they do come. What if they do not fit into an organized

program! Act on them anyway. In fact, a program organized

too rigidly may act as an interference. Julius Rosenwald, the

man who built the Sears Roebuck organization said, "If I had

had a program and had followed it I would still be in the

clothing business."8 He started in the clothing business but


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when he saw the chance in the mail order business he changed

his program.

The small man wastes his time looking for big opportunities;

the great man uses his time taking advantage of the little ones

as they come. Often these little ones turn out to be the big ones

when measured by the returns they yield.

Many of us are like the immigrant who refused to pick up

a dime because he was looking for gold dollars. He had been

told that America was the land of opportunitythat you could

pick up gold coins on the sidewalks. He had just landed in

New York and was strolling up the street taking in the sights

and wondering where his opportunity was to be found. His

comrade noticed a dime on the sidewalk and remarked,

"See, they were right. You can find money lying around on

the streets."

"Huh! Why waste time picking up tiny pieces like that? I

am going to wait for the gold before I waste my time stooping

to pick them up."

This man's name does not grace the list of successful Ameri-


A distant goal is desirable and necessary, but always looking

at a distant goal may make a young man so far-sighted that he

cannot see the opportunities lying close at hand. He becomes

like the old prospector of whom Albert Brunker, the president

of the Liquid Carbonic Company, tells. This old prospector

became so used to snakes that he could not see them under his

very nose. As Brunker started on a trip with this prospector he

inquired whether there were any rattlesnakes in that part of the


"'No, you never see any snakes around here. 'Tain't a snake


"We hadn't gone very far when I heard a rattlesnake right in

the path. My friend and he had stepped over it without even

seeing it. I called his attention to it and we killed it. A little


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later we found a second snake. We killed that one too. Then we

saw a third and killed it. We put eight or ten of them out of

the way before we stopped for lunch. At our noon camp I was

bending over a brook with my hands and face in the water

taking a good long drink when in the bushes behind me I

heard a terrible rumpus. My friend was in combat with another

snake which he put out of the way without any assistance.

"When we got back to his cabin after dark I went out to a

little spring house where he kept a couple bowls of milk. Just

as I stuck my head inside the door, I heard the sing-song buzz

of another rattler, a sound that had become thoroughly familiar

to me that day! It was feeding on our milk! We killed it and

called it a day as far as snakes were concerned. The fact was,

he was so used to having rattlers around that he hardly noticed

them at all.

"To some young fellows, when you talk about opportunity

they are sure, 'It ain't an opportunity country.' If they had

their eyes and minds open, they would probably find they

were stepping over an opportunity every time they lifted a


"One never knows, when he enters an elevator or tears open

an envelope or picks up the telephone, what new trick of

fortune may be about to be played. Every day is a new series

of adventures; around the next corner may lie the event that

will change a whole career."5 But, where one man sees an

opportunity, a dozen others in exactly the same situation fail

to see anything."

Bok. Sees Opportunity in a Dirty Window

The display window of a baker's shop is dirty. Hundreds

of people pass that window and do not even notice the dirt,

but to one progressive boy it spells good fortune.

This little boy is Edward Bok, who later became editor of


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the Ladies' Home Journal, and he is looking for a job. As

he walks down the street rather aimlessly, hoping that some-

thing may turn up, he stops before the baker's window and

looks at the goods displayed behind the dirty glass. As he looks

the owner comes outside to view the assortment of pastries he

has just placed there.

"'Look pretty good, don't they?' he said.

"'They would, if your windows were clean.'

"'That's so,' replied the baker, 'perhaps you will clean them.'

"This he did so well that the baker agreed to have him clean

the window each Tuesday and Friday afternoon after school

for fifty cents a week.

"This opportunity led to another, for one day he ventured

to wait on a customer when the baker was busy. He did it so

well that he was engaged to come each afternoon to sell goods." 6

Taking a "break" when it comes to you does something to

you. That is the important part of it. It teaches you to see

chances when they come and to take advantage of them. Each

time you act on a streak of good luck it encourages you to

expect something to happen and when you expect things to

happenstrangely enoughthey do happen.

You cannot go through life half asleep and expect "oppor-

tunity" to come along with a big club and hit you over the head

to awaken you to its presence, but if you act on chances as

they come you become so sensitive to other lucky turns that

they cannot possibly sneak past you. If a lucky "break" has come

your way and seems to be slipping away from you, chase it

anyway for it may be possible to catch up with it. This is what

Felix Fuld did. He was a partner of Louis Bamberger in the

founding of Newark's great department store. His slogan is:

"Do the wise thing if you know what it isbut anyway do


Here is an instance where this slogan proved effective. Out

of work, he had applied to Mr. Bamberger for a job. One day


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Mr. Bamberger called at the home of Mr. Fuld to get him to

help arrange for a big sale. Fuld was not home and so Mr.

Bamberger left with the maid his card bearing the message:

"See me at 147 Market Street, Newark."

"But," says Mr. Fuld, "the maid never gave me the card, and

although it came on Friday it was Sunday before I found it

on the table in the hall. I didn't know what was going on at

147 Market Street, Newark, or why Mr. Bamberger wanted me

there. From Friday to Sunday was a long step but somebody

might be over there Sunday so I took the first train to Newark

and found Mr. Bamberger in his shirt sleeves marking stock

and joined him.

"You cannot grasp an opportunity too quickly; the seizing

of it the very minute it presents itself is often the hair line be-

tween success and failure."7 Grasping this opportunity was

Fuld's first step toward the vice-presidency of Bamberger and


Luck does not appear with a label. In fact it may bear a false

I label. What appears to be a blow of misfortune may be a hidden

f opportunity. It is not the situation itself but what you do about

it which decides whether it will be a disaster or a piece of

good luck.

Stern Turns Disaster into Luck

The owner of a small grocery store is in a predicament. He

has built up a group of customers with great pains but he is

about to lose them. A competitor is offering sugargreat quan-

tities of it he has for saleat a price below what the small

grocer can buy it for. His customers will go to this rival to

buy sugar and thenof coursebuy other things as well.

He can see his grocery business fading awayhis customers

going to his competitor. He can see no way out but he believes

there must be something to do. In desperation he goes to a

friend for advice. This friend, Charles F. Stern, is president


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of the Los Angeles Trust and Savings Bank, a man who has

risen to his position by turning misfortunes into opportunities.

"'I'll tell you what to do,' says Stern. 'Go right back to your

store, make all your regular callsbut don't mention sugar at

first. Get all the orders you can for other things; then, just

before you leave, say, "By the way, Mrs. , it's berrying

time, and you probably want some sugar. Blank's have got a

lot of it they're selling real cheapcheaper than I can sell it.

If you want me to, I'll have them send some out to you."'

"In three or four days the merchant reported, all smiles: 'By

gollies, Frank, I sold nearly all of their sugar! And they

didn't get any of my customers, because I saved them the trouble

of going down-town to the store. And, do you know, some of

them thanked me for the favor.'" 8

How often luck comes to one marked with the big label

DISASTER! The successful man changes the label to OPPOR-

TUNITY and makes it a chance to profit.

James Stillman, the president of the National City Bank,

when asked what interested him most in life, replied: "It is to

plan some piece of work that everybody says cannot possibly

be done and then jump in with both feet and do it." 9

But sometimes it is lucky to fail. Sometimes it takes a jolt

to wake us up to the fact that we should look in a different

direction. We may be determined to do the thing which we are

not fitted to do. A complete failure may be a stroke of good


A man who was later to become one of the world's greatest

scientists was a student at the Naval Academy at Annapolis and

was making a sorry spectacle as a student. He did not fit into

the scheme of things and was picked as an object of ridicule by

his comrades. He spent his time "playing" with his experiments

in physics and, as a result, failed his examinations. He was

especially bad in gunnery and after completely failing in this

examination was told: "Young man, you had better pay atten-


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don to your profession instead of meddling with this blankety-

blank science."10

It was lucky for this man that he did not pass his examina-

tions. If he had he probably would always have been an inferior

naval officer. As it turned out, he was literally forced out of the

navy and was enabled to carry on his work in physics.

This man was Albert Michelson, who computed the speed of

light and laid the foundation for the Einstein theory of rela-

tivity. What a lucky day for him when he failed his examination

in gunnery!

Failure may be the necessary experience to show us that we

are headed in the wrong direction, that we are in the wrong

work, in a blind alley, or under a boss who will give us no

opportunity for advancement. We must be going in the right

direction if we are to be lucky. If we are headed in the wrong

direction we are lucky when we get a jolt strong enough to

make us change.

Thomas R. Preston, one of Chattanooga's most prominent

bankers, when a young man, found himself in a blind alley job.

"Tm worth more than twenty-five dollars a month,' he told

his boss. 'I think I'm worth thirty-five.'

"'Perhaps you are, but clerks in this town are to be had for

twenty-five dollars, just as socks are to be had for twenty-five

cents. You wouldn't think of paying more than the market value

for socks, or for a hat or a pair of shoes. The bank can't afford

to pay more than the market value for its clerks.'

"'But I must earn more,' Preston argued.

"'Then get out of the clerk class,' replied his boss."11

Was Preston getting a raw deal? No, he was getting a lucky

break. He was getting a jolt which gave him spunk enough

to quit being a clerk. But it would not have been lucky if he

had nursed his hurt feelings and felt himself abused. Instead

of pouting he did something. He got into a job which offered



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Luck is not what happens to you but what you do about the -

things that do happen. You can develop the habit of being

unlucky by doing the wrong thingby admitting that you are

unlucky, by submitting to seeming misfortune, by continuing

to butt your head against a stone wall, and by looking for sym-

pathy for your misfortunes. Or, you can develop the habit of

being lucky by expecting "the breaks," by keeping your eyes

open in all directions to see them when they come, and by

acting on them when they do come.

Luc\ is not an accidentit is a habit. It is the habit of turning

every incident into something which is for your own good.

Every man encounters a number of opportunities but only

the ones he grasps amount to anything.

Grasping opportunities consists largely in doing the little

things as they come along.

Seeing opportunities can be cultivated. Such vision is developed

through expecting "the brea\s."

It does not pay to be discouraged by bad luc\. It may be

good luc\ in disguise.

References to Chapter IV

1. Lawrence Downs, American Magazine (July 1927), p. 166.

2. Francis Robert Wheeler, Thomas A. Edison, Macmillan, 1920,

pp. 71-72.

3. Julius Rosenwald, Chicago Evening American (June 22, 1929).

4. Albert Brunker, American Magazine (Dec. 1923), pp. 90-92.

5. Bruce Barton, American Magazine (April 1928), p. 156.

6. Annie E. S. Beard, Our Foreign Born Citizens, Thomas N.

Crowell Co., 1922, p. 59.

7. Helen Christine Bennett, American Magazine (June 1923),

p. 72.

8. David Chalmers, American Magazine (Aug. 1926), p. 150.

9. Anna Robeson Burr, World's Wor\ (Oct. 1927), p. 68.

10. Associated Press, Chicago Daily News, May 12, 1931.

11. Sherman Gwinn, American Magazine (Dec. 1926), p. 194.


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Using Criticism As a Stepladder

Joe Cannon Turns a Razzing into Applause

Lincoln Rebounds from a Snubbing

Staley Gains by Losing His Job

Red Oil Cures McCulloh's Gullibility

Uncle Joe Cannon is being razzed. As he makes his first

speech before the House of Representatives he is interrupted

by William Phelps, a smooth politician from New Jersey, who

bellows: "The gentleman from Illinois must have oats in his


A laugh from the House greets this sally and a thin-skinned

man would have wilted in dismay. Not so Joe Cannon. Beneath

his crude exterior he has enough good-humored common sense

to see that the remark is justified.

"I not only have oats in my pocket but hayseed in my hair.

Western people are generally affected that way, and we expect

the seed, being good, will yield a good crop."1

This retort won Cannon nationwide publicity and he became

affectionately known as the "Hayseed Member from Illinois."

He was able to turn ridicule into applause and approval because

he had learned a very important principle of self-exploitation

a principle which we can all easily learn.

He knew better than to run from criticism. A criticism is

like a dog. If a dog sees you are afraid of him he will chase

you and torment you incessantly. If a criticism frightens you

it will come to torment you at all times of the day and night.


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Turn around and face the dog and he will stop his barking,

wag his tail, and come up to be petted. Look at a criticism

squarely and it will often become your friend and ally. We

fear criticism because it might be true. The nearer it comes to

being true the more we shy away from it. Yet it is because a'

criticism usually contains at least a grain of truth that it is


Joe Cannon did not run from the accusation that he was

"seedy" in his appearance. He took a look at himself and

admitted that he was even worse than his assailant painted

him. But he could do his best to show that underneath the

crude exterior he was genuine.

If we are busy improving the important aspects of our per-

sonality we will have little time to be sensitive about trivial


Cannon's opponent had tried to discourage him, to make him

feel that he was inferior. He was able to admit that he had

faults without, at the same time, admitting that he was a com-

plete failure.

Every sensible man knows that he is not perfect. He knows,

indeed, that he has many faults. A criticism is a good way to

discover such defective spots and should be welcomed. It is

important to learn not to be thin-skinned. It is foolish to be so

sensitive to the slightest unpleasant comment that we become

completely crushed. It is important, at the same time, not to

become so hardened to any criticism that we do not even know

that others dislike the things we do or say.

To attain this balanceto be neither thin-skinned nor too

hardenedis the first essential step in utilizing criticism to our

own advantage. What if our critic is an enemy, or is trying to

compensate for his own inferiority by humiliating us? We can

use criticism as a guide toward self-improvement, no matter

what the motive of our critic may be. In fact, the criticism of

an enemy may be more valuable than that of a friend.


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Your critic may have a vicious motive but he may be telling

the truth nevertheless. He may be trying to harm you but if

he can point out the way to improvement he is, in reality,

doing you a favor. He can only harm you if he breaks your

spirit. This he cannot do if you follow one little rulealways

step up from criticismnever down. The harder a criticism

hits you the higher you should step. The more it hurts the

more effort should be applied to improvement.

Most of us are spoiled. We expect people to appreciate us

and to tell us how good we are when we have done something.

Few of us can stand to be told our faults without either becom-

ing hurt or angry. Our friends know that they dare not tell

us about our weaknesses and are very likely either to compliment

us or, if they find nothing to praise in us, to keep silent.

Negative criticism usually comes from those who dislike us

or who are actively trying to injure us. For this reason we may

be justified in discounting criticisms which are inspired by the

dislike or hate of our enemies. If we are wise, on the other hand,

it will pay us to take advantage of such criticisms and use them

to our profit.

An inferior clerk, bullying policeman, or officious errand boy

may enjoy humiliating us because he has an exalted opinion of

his position. The man who has learned the first lesson in meeting

criticisms will neither be hurt by such officious behavior nor

will he lower himself by fighting back. Even persons in higher

positions may act like office boys in snubbing those whom they

do not think their equals. The reaction to such snubbing pro-

vides the true measure of the man.

Lincoln Rebounds from a Snubbing

Even Lincoln was snubbed. When he was a young lawyer

he was retained in a very important case which called him to

Chicago. The dignity of the older and more distinguished lawyers


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with whom he was associated in this case was hurt by having

an outsider imported. They had an exalted notion of their own

importance and could see no good in any one besides them-

selves. They snubbed Lincoln completelydid not invite him

to accompany them anywhere or even to take a meal with


What did Lincoln do? Turn his nose even higher than his

critics held theirs and attempt to retaliate? No. When he re-

turned to Springfield he remarked, "Well, I have found out

in Chicago just how little I actually know and how much I

have yet to learn." 2 This snubbing was an incentive to personal

improvement. He rose to great heights while those who snubbed

him remained where they were. He became President of the

United Statesthey remained obscure lawyers. Their criticism

provided just one more rung in the ladder on which Lincoln

climbed to fame.

Snubbingwhere the motive is to humiliate the other fellow

should not be confused with good-natured banter between

friends. But even banter may show us our imperfections. Theo-

dore Roosevelt knew how to take banter. He roughed it in the

West to build up his physical strength but he never labored

under the delusion that he could outdo the natives of this

country. He was able to accept good-naturedly the fact that they

could outstrip him.

One evening after a hard day's work in cutting trees in the

Bad Lands to make a clearing for a new house, he heard the

ranch foreman ask what the day's cutting had been. The reply

given by one of the men with whom he had worked was: "Well,

Bill cut down 53, I cut 49, Roosevelt beavered down 17."

Roosevelt, remembering how much the stumps he had left

looked like those chewed by beavers, grinned in his characteristic

fashion.8 He was willing to accept good-naturedly the fact that

these men could outstrip him in cutting trees.

On another occasion, "while ranching in the Bad Lands,


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Roosevelt wanted to hunt white goats. He had heard of a

hunter, John Willes, who had had success at Coeur d' Alenes

in Northern Idaho. Roosevelt wrote to him, telling him that

he had heard of his success in this capacity and asking him if

he would guide him in a hunting expedition.

"'If I come out,' he concluded, 'do you think it will be

possible for me to get a goat?'

"The answer he received was written on the back of his

own letter, 'If you can't shoot any better than you can write,

I don't think it will be.'

"Roosevelt's reply came by wire, 'Consider yourself en-


Roosevelt knew that he would learn more that would be to

his advantage from a man who could be brutally frank than he

could from one who did nothing but flatter. He had his fill

of flatterers. Even if criticism gets to the point where it becomes

sheer brutality it may be used to advantage.

Staley Gains by Losing His Job

Sixteen-year-old Gene Staley had secured a job in a hardware

storeexactly the chance he had hoped for. Opportunity seemed

to loom big ahead of him. He worked hard, tried to learn the

business, and had visions of himself as a successful salesman of

hardware. He thought he was succeeding but his boss had

different ideas about it.

"'You are fired. You'll never make a business man. Go to

Seargent's Foundry and get a job where they can use your brute

strength. You'll never be any good at anything else.'"

Could any one contrive a more brutal way of treating a young

man? What a jolt! Fired! And he thought he had been doing

so well! Should he go to the foundry? Was his skull filled with

wind and water instead of brains? He had received a knockout


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blow. He was down. He had lost his first fight but he came

out of it with a renewed determination to make good.

"'You can fire me, but you can't kill my ambition,' he told

his cruel boss. 'Some day, if I live, I will be the head of a

business as big as this.'"5

No mere idle boast. This boy used his first defeat as a goad

to spur him on to unceasing effort until he became one of the

largest manufacturers of cornstarch in the country. Without

this experience, Staley might have always been an ordinary sales-

man. He thought, before that episode, that he was pretty good

a self-satisfaction which might easily have resulted in dulling

his incentive for improvement. The blow he received at the

hands of his tactless employer was the jolt he needed to force

him to exert himself. His story might have been quite different

without it. Sometimes a crude blow is the only means possible

to get us over an unwarranted self-satisfaction.

William H. Woodin, president of the American Car and

Foundry Company, once had the conceit knocked out of him

in a very thorough fashion. He thought he was quite an orator

and why should he not think so? He had been persuaded to be

a candidate for Congress and his speeches had been generously


One evening he was to make a speech to a group of partly

foreign and illiterate coal miners. The house was packed with

men who seemed deeply interested in what he had to say. He

had a speech of which he was very proudhe had worked it

out very carefully. As he gave it the crowd applauded. Louder

and louder grew their acclaimhe was certainly making a hit.

Finally, as he closed, the excitement became almost wild and

he finally received an ovation which lasted fifteen minutes.

As he sat down, thoroughly pleased with himself, he turned to

a reporter sitting next to him and said,

"'They seemed to like my speech.'

"The reporter grinned at him and replied, 'Don't you know


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that only three or four of those guys can speak any English?'

"'Then how do you account for the applause?' queried


"'Oh,' he said, 'you watch and you will see that the one

who speaks English is signalling when he thinks the applause

is due.'"

Woodin finishes the story in his own words: "'I watched

the next speaker, and saw that it was so; and, moreover, the

cheer leader didn't seem to understand English very well, for the

applause all came in the wrong place. Then I realized that I

had been so busy thinking about myself and my speech that 1

had never a thought about my audience at all.'" 6

Woodin had learned that success cannot be measured by our

own feelings of self-satisfaction. We can be so pleased with our

own estimate of success that we fail to see that others do not

agree with us.

Red Oil Cures McCulloh's Gullibility

It took a practical joke to wake James S. McCulloh, who later

became president of the New York Telephone Company. What

a green urchin he was! His gullibility was so apparent that all

his fellow workmen could see it. He had learned to depend

upon others and to trust them so thoroughly that he did not

think for himself. He was only a boy working in the railroad

yards doing all sorts of odd jobs.

"One blazing afternoon in July when the West Shore yards,

lying in a pocket of heat between the cliffs and the river, were

like a hot cauldron, Bill Collins, the yard foreman, called out

the kid and told him to fetch some 'red oil' for the signal

lamps. It was kept in the roundhouse a mile down the tracks,

he said. McCulloh listened respectfully to his instructions and

then trotted confidently off to execute his commission briskly.

At the roundhouse he gravely inquired for the red oil.


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"'Red oil?' queried the supply clerk, 'what for?'

"'For the lanterns,' explained McCulloh.

"'Oh, I see!' said the clerk understandingly. 'Well, the red

oil is in a tank down at the other roundhouse.'

"Off went McCulloh over the burning cinders for another

mile. No, the red oil wasn't kept there, he was informed. As

a matter of fact, the man said, he wasn't sure just where it

was kept. Better inquire at the yardmaster's office. McCulloh

sped off again. During the whole of the broiling afternoon he

raced back and forth, shunted from one grinning employee to

another in his quest for red oil. In desperation he asked an

engineer, and that gray-haired fatherly soul looked compassion-

ately upon the boy and said to him: 'Son, don't you know that

red lights are made by red lenses? Now, go back and tell that

foreman what you think of him!'

"That foreman didn't know he had played a silly trick upon

the future president of the New York Telephone Company, nor

that this youngster in front of him would one day have a corps

of sixty thousand employees under his command. . . . He

pointed out that any boy who would allow himself to be made

the victim of such a piece of skullduggery must be something

of a fool. He would do well to keep his eyes and ears open in

the future and use his head for something else besides a place

to park his hat."7

McCulloh learned not to be too trustingan important lesson

to learn. But he did not go to the opposite extreme of suspect-

ing the motives of everybody. This is the great pitfall that may

trap those who are criticised.

No matter how vicious the motives of some of our critics may

be, it is fatal to become suspicious of everybody and to believe

that all men are our enemies.

"Great men must expect unjust criticism, unwarranted abuse,

and unmitigated calumny. . . . Thomas Jefferson, the beloved

idol and oracle of Democracy, was unmercifully pelted with


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mud balls and stale eggs. . . . The fact is, that a public man

who fails to incur the contumely and jealous hate of his con-

temporaries may be counted as a political pigmy."8

All men have enemies. The great man may have more than

his weaker brother but the number of enemies is not the sig-

nificant thing. The. great man frequently uses his enemies to

climb to fame, not by fighting back or by complaining because

he is persecuted, but by using their attacks to get a better vision

of himself.

The enemy is often right in his criticisms. The small man

thinks he must defend his position regardless of whether he is

right or wrong and consequently comes to develop the silly

notion that he is always right. "The bull-headed man is almost

always the fellow of limited intellect with few ideas." 9

Charles Piez, vice-president of the Link-Belt Company and

general manager of the U. S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet

Corporation, once had to discharge an extremely promising

young executive because the young man could not stand criti-

cism. This young man began his career as an office boy. He

developed rapidly because of his ability and winning personality

until he became head of the firm's bureau of estimate which

figured the cost of all engineering jobs.

"One day a stenographer happened to find a $2,000 blunder

in this man's figures! It was reported to his chief and later

came to the president's attention.

"When confronted with the error the young man was furious.

'That stenographer had no business to question my figures!' he

stormed. 'He should have said nothing about it.'

"'But you admit, don't you, that there was an error?' the

president asked.

"'Yes,' the young man admitted.

"'And still you think the stenographer should have said noth-

ing and that the firm should have pocketed the loss rather than

that your dignity should be offended?'


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"The young man thought that was right.

"The president talked to him, explaining how he was jeopard-

izing his chances of becoming a big executive by acting that

way, and gradually the matter was forgotten. About a year later,

however, this man turned in an estimate of $20,000 on a certain

job in the Middle West. One of his superiors checked up and

found that the job should be estimated at about twice that

figure. The matter was placed before the president and he called

the young man in. Imagine his astonishment when the young

man said:

"'I know what you didyou wanted to get me in bad on

this job. You've got a grudge against me and you fixed the

engineers to make my figures out wrong. The figures I gave

them were correct and I'm getting a raw deal.'

"'Very well,' replied the president, 'go out and pick your

own engineers; get them to estimate that job and see what

you find.'

"He finally came in with the admission that he was wrong,

whereupon he was told:

"'I am very sorry, but we have come to the parting of the

ways. You lack courage to take a just criticism.'"10

The attitude of this young man should be avoided as one

would avoid a plague. Blaming others for all our faults, thinking

that they are bent on our downfall, is merely another way of

saying that we are perfect. If we are perfect we are beyond

all improvement. Once we get the notion that we are a model

of perfection we will find that there is no place for us in this


Criticisms are extremely valuable in showing you your posi-

tion, but they should not be permitted to ma\e you stay there.

When criticised accept the criticism as a guide to achievement

and not as an excuse for failure.

Learn to evaluate criticisms objectively. Do not measure them


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by the degree to which they may hurt you nor by the motives

of the one who criticises you.

Use criticism to get a clearer view of your conduct. Let it

help you decide whether you are right or wrong. If you are

wrong, ma\e the necessary changes. If you are right, do not

worry about the fact that you are criticised.

Avoid the danger of developing a feeling of persecution when

you are criticised. Your worst enemy is doing you a favor when

he points out for you the way to overcome your conceit and

to better yourself.

References for Chapter V

1. L. White Busbey, Uncle Joe Cannon, Henry Holt, 1927, p. 133.

2. Interview with Elmer Jackson.

3. Hermann Hagedorn, Roosevelt in the Bad Lands, Houghton

Mifflin, 1921, p. 178.

4. Ibid., p. 419.

5. John Kidder Rhodes, American Magazine (Feb. 1926), p. 42.

6. Harry A. Stewart, American Magazine (Sept. 1924), p. 28.

7. John M. Saunders, American Magazine (April 1925), p. 118.

8. Thomas C. Platt, Autobiography, B. W. Dodge, 1910, p. 114.

9. Herbert A. Gibbons, John Wanama\er, Harpers, 1926, p. 15.

10. Charles Piez, American Magazine (Feb. 1919), pp. 104-105.


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Developing the Habit of Success

Mark Hanna Makes Short Speeches

Beginner's Luck Starts the Habit of Success

Gladstone Calls an Editor's Bluff

Roosevelt Profited by a Mistake

Mark Hanna, late Republican leader and political overlord

of the United States, could not make a speech when he

started out on his political creer. What chance is there for a

political leader who cannot make a speech? Yet here is a young

man who has political aspirations who cannot face an audience.

His first public appearance was an ordeal which he dreaded

but which he could not escape. As he faced the audience he

turned pale, his knees hammered together, and his wifewho

was watching him with sympathetic interestthought that he

would faint, so great was his obvious distress.

Did he allow this stage fright to grow and conquer him?

Did he permit himself to fail and fail and fail? Not the wily

Mark Hanna! He might easily have done so and thus have

developed a habit of failure; but, instead, he used a very clever

method to become a highly successful speaker. He knew that

he could not overcome his fear by gritting his teeth and attempt-

ing to force himself through a long speech. He had to develop

self-confidence and he set about doing it. How?

At the beginning of his first stumping tour he made only

the briefest sort of little speeches in which he could not easily

fail. These little successes gave him confidence until "by the


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end of the campaign he could run on for half an hour without

effort or loss of energy."

The time came when public speaking was to Hanna a matter

of pride, a source of relaxation. "After a long period of confine-

ment in his office nothing amused or rested him so much as a

week on the stump."1

By doing the easy things first, Hanna acquired the habit of


"Have confidence that if you have done a little thing well,

you can do a bigger thing well too; and remember that the

little thing must always precede the bigger,"2 said William B.

Storey, who began as a stake driver and became the president

of the Santa Fe Railroad.

One of the great incentives to action is a sense of achievement.

The man who has done something, no matter how small, who

has tasted the joy of accomplishment, longs for further glowing

feelings of success.

Says Walter Dill Scott, president of Northwestern University:

"A man will develop a love of the game in any business in

which he is led to assume responsibility, to take personal initia-

tive, to feel that he is creating something and that he is express-

ing himself in his work." 3

Sam Harris, the messenger boy who has made himself one

of the most successful theatrical producers in the country, re-

cently told an interesting story of how he used this method to

make "Terrible Terry" McGovern the champion lightweight of

the world.

It was all a matter of "matching him very carefully," he said.

"That's the way to make anybody a success in any line. I

matched McGovern with one fighter, then with another, and

so on. I picked opponents who were not too far beyond him

in ability for him to beat them. But I kept raising the standard,

making each new fight a little harder than the one before,

always planning a match from which he would learn something.


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"I made him go forward slowlybut I never let him stand

still. I kept him from being overconfident by matching him

against men who were not easy for him. But I kept him from

losing confidence, because I did not put him up against a man

who was sure to lick him.

"You make a big business man, a successful doctor or lawyer,

a great actor, or an artist just the way you make a champion

prize-fighter. The great danger is in trying to go too fast. You

can't jump from the little things into the great big ones, and

not get licked. Match yourself against a little harder job, and

then a little harder one, and keep learning all the time! That's

the way to make yourself a champion. The trouble with most

men is that they want a big matchthat is, a big jobtoo soon;

and they don't learn enough from the smaller jobs."4

Does your boss give you easy jobs of selling, easy letters to

write, easy problems to solve? Do them well and you will be

developing the habit of success and will be ready for the hard

job when it comes.

Beginner's Luck Starts the Habit of Success

Henry Clay Frick, the great coke magnate, developed an

interest in golf because he was lucky enough to make a good

shot in his first game. His friends had not been able to interest

him in golf. He claimed it was "too slow," "very tedious," and

too "namby-pamby" for live men. They finally induced him to

try a few shots. He missed a few but succeeded in making a

long putt. "That settled it. From the moment the ball struck

the tin he was a golfer and his interest never flagged."5

It is important that the first trials be successful if one is to

gain the habit of success. Such early victories whet the appetite

for more as nothing else can do.

That remarkable lawyer, Joseph Choate, who won many a

legal victory, regarded one of his early casesthe Fitz vs. John


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Porter caseas the most important in his career. Outside judges

would not consider this case so important but it demonstrated

to Choate his ability to win a legal victory and the memory of

it stimulated him in many of his later battles.6

An early victory of this sort breeds a self-confidence that

nothing else can stimulate. A man with a series of victories to

his crediteven if they are victories of a very minor sortwill

go out for bigger things. He cannot help himself.

"If you believe in anything very stronglyincluding yourself

and if you go after that thing alone, you end up ... in

Heaven, in the headlines, or in the largest house in the block,

according to what you started after. If you don't believe in

anything very stronglyincluding yourselfyou go along and

enough money is made out of you to buy an automobile for

some other fellow's son . . . and finally you get tired and


- This complete faith in themselves which all great men possess

is the result of continued victoriesit is the habit of success

and can only come from numerous experiences. Such faith

must not be confused with the false bluster and bluff which

some individuals, who are really afraid at heart, manifest. The

man who has always failed and who tries to bolster up his

courage by sham is deceiving no one but himself.

A boaster always makes claims which are beyond his ability.

If he is called upon to live up to these idle exaggerations he is

doomed to failure. He cannot do what he said he could. He

failsbrags the moreand fails more pitifully. If you want a

sure way to put the skids under yourselfstart boasting.

It is better to understate your claims and win than to over-

state them and loseespecially in the early stages of your career.

The only man who can afford to boast is the man who has a

well-developed habit of success. Such a man, however, is seldom

heard to boast. All the boasting comes from the upstart who

can least afford to set such a pitfall for himself.


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Gladstone Calls an Editor's Bluff

A bumptious editor once got himself into such a trap by

attempting to brag to William E. Gladstone, England's great

Prime Minister. This young upstart, whose feeling of success

far outran his actual achievements, was privileged to speak to

Gladstone just as they were sitting down at a formal dinner

party. Mr. Gladstone, who was as genial as he was great, greeted

the editor cordially.

"'I received a note from you a few days ago,' he said pleasantly.

"'From me? Not from me. I am sure you didn't! You may

have had one from my secretary, but not from me!'

"Mr. Gladstone, though clearly hurt, nodded his head gently

in acquiescence, and as the dinner progressed became, as was

natural, the 'predominant partner' in the conversation. All the

guests turned to him and all listened, and to all of them he

spoke in turnall except Mr. Editor, who strove in vain to

get a word in edgewise for the rest of the evening."8

By trying to "show off" the editor made a failure of his

contact with Gladstone. An idle bluff is a sure way to develop

the habit of failure. You cannot jump a high hurdle until you

have practiced jumping lower ones and you do not increase

your ability by bragging how high you can jump, but by being

content with jumping low ones for the time being.

It is much better to admit a loss than to attempt to cover

it by boasting.

The lives of successful men show that the game of life is

not all one-sided. No man wins all the time. Every one is sure

to make mistakes. The question is whether a mistake is going

to keep you down or whether you will turn it into a stepping-

stone to victory.

"'Life itself is a process of trial and error,' says Alfred P.

Sloan, president of General Motors, 'and those people who

make no mistakes are those who make nothing.'" 9


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"'The man who has not made mistakes is either a fool or a

coward,' said James J. Hill, the man who built that great

railroad across the northwest to the Pacific, in an interview with

Isaac F. Marcosson. 'I have made many mistakes and shall

probably make a good many more; but I shall always learn

something from them.'"10

Mistakes do have an educational value. One can learn from

them. A small mistake may teach you how to avoid much more

serious ones later. The bullheaded man who refuses to admit

that he makes mistakes loses the value of these lessons and

continues to make the same errors. Then he sits back and

groans about his hard luck.

Excuses are silly ways of attempting to cover mistakes. "1

should much prefer to have a man make mistakes, as long as

he isn't a repeaterthan to make excuses," says Thomas E.

Wilson, Chicago meat packer. "A little excuse is a dangerous

thing. It is a habit that grows on one. . . . The fellow who

never has an excuse, even for poor work, shows that he is at

least trying to do his best."11

Roosevelt Profited by a Mistake

Men like Roosevelt are not afraid to admit their mistakes.

Early in his career when he was a captain in the Eighth Regi-

ment of the New York National Guard he demonstrated this


"'While Roosevelt was drilling us,' says a former lieutenant

in that regiment, 'he would sometimes burst out with the

exclamation, "Hold on there a minute I"

"'Pulling his book of tactics out of his hip pocket and flying

through the leaves, while the entire company stood and waited

and watched, he would look up the points and then say, "I

made a mistake; this is the way to do it." We simply could not

laugh at a man who was as honest as that with us.'"12


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This same trait showed itself in a more important situation

when he was governor of New York. After he had driven a

bill through the legislature he was man enough to acknowledge

his error in doing so.

"'I have to say with shame,' he announced in an astonishing

confession before the legislature, 'that when I voted for this bill

I did not act as I think I ought to have acted. ... I have to

confess that I weakly yielded, partly in a vindictive spirit . . .

and partly to the popular voice of New York.'"18

He made no excuse; merely a straightforward acknowledg-

ment of a mistake in an attempt to correct it. We are forced

to admire a man who plays the game in such a manly fashion.

One man, known to the authors, keeps the model of a

braying jackass on his desk "to remind me," he says, "of the

time I acted like a jackass so that I won't be such a dolt again."

If accompanied by the humor which this man displayed while

making this speech such a method may be effective. But we

should not remind ourselves of mistakes with too much serious-

ness or we will develop an attitude of failure rather than of


Silas Strawn, prominent Chicago attorney, keeps alive in

himself the glow of achievement by having hung on the wall

of his office a framed letter from Coolidge appointing him to

office in China and a letter thanking him for fine service. Such

mementos are valuable incentives for further achievements but

become harmful if used to condone us for present failure.

A graphic record of accomplishment is extremely valuable

in this connection for it offers a continual challenge. It shows

us how we stand now in relation to what we have done. It

provides competition with one's selfwhich is the best sort of


Setting out to beat the record of another likewise provides a

valuable stimulus. John J. Raskob has told us that one of his

first real achievements hinged upon his personally arranging


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just such competition for himself. When, as a young man, he

was learning stenography at the Clark Business School in

Lockport, Ohio, it was by deliberately setting out to outstrip

a fellow student who had forged a bit ahead of him, that he

wakened in himself that keen interest in his work which made

him an expertable soon to become stenographer to Pierre S.

du Pont.

The glow which comes with successive victories, the challenge

to undertake still harder tasks, and the invigoration of the sense

of power make the whole process of developing the habit of

success a most enjoyable undertaking. To the outsider it may

appear to be hard workto the insider it is a fascinating game.

The attitude which grows in this fashion can spread to all

phases of life and make a person interested in anything which

offers a challenge.

For example: "A boy went on, a clod, grudgingly doing his

work, without a real interest and without ambition till he was

nineteen. He gave little promise. Then it happened that he too\

to tennis. He found something that interested him. He played

well. He enjoyed himself. He became ambitious. He won

game after game, prize after prize, championship after cham-

pionship. Then, when he came back to his studies and his other

duties, he had set a pace for himselfa standard. The Holy

Ghost had descended on him in the shape of a tennis racket.

He was a new boy. He had found himself!"14

Win something. It ma\es little difference whatbut win.

The habit of success has its beginning in small victories. Learn

to win in minor affairs and you will thus learn how to win in

greater situations.

Take jew chances of losing at first. As you develop the habit

of success you will gain in courage and a minor setbac\ will

not be so important.

You cannot win all the time. When a loss does come turn it

into a success by utilizing it to avoid future slips.


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Do not cover failures or mistakes by silly boasting. If you do

you will have to live up to your boast and thus increase your

chances of failure.

Use any device you can to emphasize your successes. A graphic

record of your progress is excellent.

Do not rest on past laurels.

References for Chapter VI

1. Herbert Croly, Marcus Alonzo Hanna, Macmillan, 1919, p.


2. Neil M. Clark, American Magazine (May 1923), p. 180.

3. Walter Dill Scott, Increasing Human Efficiency, Macmillan,

1923, p. 192.

4. Sam Harris, American Magazine (May 1922), p. 149.

5. George Harvey, Henry Clay Fric\, Scribners, 1928, p. 360.

6. Theron G. Strong, Joseph H. Choate, Dodd Mead, 1917, p. 156.

7. Scott Fitzgerald, American Magazine (Sept. 1922), p. 138.

8. William H. Rideing, Many Celebrities and a Few Others,

Doubleday Page, 1912, p. 326.

9. French Strother, World's Wor\, Vol. 52, p. 696.

10. Isaac F. Marcosson, American Magazine (May 1922), p. 159.

11. Thomas E. Wilson, American Magazine (Dec. 1917), p. 64.

12. James Morgan, Theodore Roosevelt, Macmillan, p. 98.

13. Robert McElroy, Grover Cleveland, Harpers, p. 53.

14. Burton J. Hendrick, The Training of An American; The

Earlier Life and Letters of Walter Hines Page, Houghton

Mifflin, 1928, p. 380.


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Are You Boss of Your Emotions?

McKinley Cools a Congressman

Rockefeller Makes an Attorney Angry

Anger Makes Frew a Bank President

A Mob Substitutes Hisses for Murder

Say It with Red Ink

President William McKinley proved himself master of a

very difficult situation by controlling his anger when he

would have been thoroughly justified in tearing loose. He was

able to control himself because he knew a very clever but very

simple method of disarming an angry critic.

"A delegation called to protest against the appointment of a

certain internal revenue agent. The leader was a Congressman,

six feet two inches tall and pugnacious in disposition. He chas-

tised the President in angry tones, using language that was

almost insulting. The latter remained silent and let him spend

his force. Then the President calmly remarked, 'Now you feel

lots better, don't you?' He added, 'In view of the language you

have used you are not entitled to know why I made that

appointment, but I'm going to tell you.'

"The Congressman's face flushed and he began to apologize,

but the President interrupted and said, with a quiet smile of

irony, 'Any man has a right to get mad when he doesn't know

the facts,' and continued his explanation.

"As a matter of fact, this cool, ironical reply of the President

was all that was needed to convince the Congressman that he


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had been in the wrong to be so abusive and that the President

was probably right in his appointment. He had been totally

disarmed by the President's clever retort.

"When the Congressman went back to report the result of

his interview all he could say was, 'I don't know a damned

word he said but it is all right, boys.'" 1

Getting angry is often a confession that you are in the wrong.

Demonstrate that you are right by refraining from getting angry

and you disarm your opponent. Act in a cool manner and you

cool off the other fellow. His game is to get you angry so that

you will do something which you will later regret. It is foolish

to fall into such a trap. It is literally impossible to rant at a

man who will not react to your tirades. Nothing is so disarming

to an angry opponent as composure.

That great lawyer, Joseph Choate, used this nonchalance very

effectively. "When in the trial of a case, if not on his feet, he

would be seated with his chair tilted back, his hands clasped

behind his head, or else with his legs stretched out, and his

hands in his pockets. He was never excitable; never ill-tempered;

never appeared to be keyed up to make an effort. Quite likely

he would create an impression that he regarded the case as a

huge joke; that instead of having any merit, it was a 'make-

believe,' and his own fun-making power would, more often than

not, laugh the case out of court. To storm or rant was im-

possible." 2

This device of keeping cool is still more effective when it

results in making the other fellow lose his temper. Where

the other fellow counts upon winning because of your irritability

it is very easy to turn the tables on him.

Rockefeller Makes an Attorney Angry

John D. Rockefeller's quiet manner, his expressionless answers

to irritating questions, won him a victory when he was testifying


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in an important lawsuit. That the cross-examining attorney held

personal malice was evident in his entire manner. Certainly

Rockefeller would have been justified in becoming angry, but

he was far too clever for that.

"'Mr. Rockefeller, I call for the production of a letter which

I wrote you on such a date,' demanded the attorney in a rasping


"The letter in question was full of inquiries relative to

Standard Oil affairs which he had no legal right to know. It

was produced and read with great gusto and emphasis.

"'Mr. Rockefeller, you received that letter?'

"'I think I did, Judge.*

"'Did you answer that letter?'

"'I think not, Judge.'

"Other letters were produced and read in the same fashion.

"'You say you received all those letters, Mr. Rockefeller?'

"'I think I did, Judge.'

"'You say you did not answer any of those letters?'

"'I don't think I did, Judge.'

"'Why didn't you answer those letters? You knew me, didn't


"'Oh, yes! I knew you!"'

The emphasis made the remark so significant that the attor-

ney was "almost apoplectic with rage. The room became still

as death. Meanwhile Mr. Rockefeller had not so much as

moved a muscle, and sat there as though he did not know what

it was all about."8

It is foolish to get angry because the other fellow is angry.

That is just the time to keep cool.

"When the other fellow gets angry," said Mr. Frank O. Wet-

more, Chairman of the Board of the First National Bank of

Chicago, "I always feel that he has greatly helped me in my

own position."4

When tempted to get angry ask yourself what the effects of


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such an outburst would be. If your interests will be injured

by a display of anger it is well to control yourself no matter

what such restraint may cost you.

Does this mean that a person should never get angry? By

no means. It is just at this point that so many persons make a

mistake. They cite instances where it is poor policy to get angry

and then conclude that one should never get angry. This is


Because anger can be misused does not mean that it should

never be used. Its abuses should make us careful to use it

properly. Anger has a high value in life and it can be properly


"Almost all genius, every man without exception who has

dominated other men and mastered opposing circumstances and

forces, has been both helped and hindered by a capacity for

mighty wrath. It is part of the equipment of success. Passion

goes with power.

"Mr. James J. Hill," (the great railroad magnate) "was no

exception to this rule; and when his anger broke restraints

men ran to cover. . . . He was impatient with incompetence.

The mediocre must stand aside. . . . His wrath broke on in-

competence repeatedly; on the slack, on the unintelligent, above

all on the unfaithful. These cowered quickly away from the

destroying blast that stripped them. . . . He was troubled by

them no more. But he was gentleness and kindness itself to

men who did their best.. . . They never had to meet the whirl-

wind of his anger, and never heard addressed to them a single

unkind word from his lips."5

Men who do things must react violently. Anger is merely the

drive to violent conduct. It is a signal that something must

be done.

When angry follow this simple rule: Try to do something. \

Do not try to restrain all activity. That will simply accentuate


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the tension. Do something but attempt to do something that

will be worthwhile.

Controlled anger does not mean repressed anger; it means

anger directed into activity that will further our own interests.

Anger Makes Frew a Bank President

Walter E. Frew, president of the Corn Exchange Bank of

New York, developed a wonderful bank as an outlet for his

anger. He was having an up-hill job putting the Queens County

Bank of Long Island on its feet and thought he was doing

pretty well until the president of a large bank paid him a visit

and made an insulting remark to him.

As this visitor, who had exalted notions of his own greatness,

was leaving, he remarked caustically, "Well, if you live long

enough, you'll have a bank here."

"That speech made me mad clear through," said Frew. "'If

you live long enough' sounds as if you sat idle and waited

for what the years might bring you. It was the kind of a joke

that I couldn't take without doing something about it. ... I

determined to beat him and I did. In four years we had double

the amount in our bank that he had in his!"6

Frew did not subdue his anger, he directed it into the struggle

to make his bank bigger than the bank of the man who had

made the insulting remark.

Anger may be the drive behind very efficient conduct. An

engine that is in perfect condition will operate without a sound

or jar; but it may have behind it a tremendous- volume of

power. A weak, little, rackety, bumping, knocking machine

gives the impression of great force behind the noise; but such

a machine is so lacking in harmonious operation that a powerful

force behind it would tear it to pieces.

When you get all knocky, bump, and irritable as soon as a

difficulty arises you may have to shut off steam for a little while


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(you may have to refrain from doing anything), but if you

stay permanently inert you are in the same class as a worn out

and discarded automobileheaded for the automobile "bone


Anger is simply the steam to make you do something. Don't

turn it off, direct it properly. Build up a machine which can use

it and use it quietly and efficiently. Sometimes, however, in

spite of everything there may happen something to produce

so much steam that it is utterly impossible to use it as fast as

it is made. You then need a safety valvesome way of blowing

off steam.

Silly, violent explosions occur because people have been so

concerned with keeping down their anger that they have not

thought about a safety valve. Yelling, tearing one's hair, throw-

ing dishes, banging doors, and the like are not the best safety

valves because they call the attention of others to our predicament

and make us ludicrous, or leave in their wake a trail of havoc

which it is humiliating for us to repair.

President William McKinley, who was so poised and self-

controlled in the presence of his tormenters, had a harmless

safety valve.

A double-dealing, boot-licking senator had made some par-

ticularly irritating statements to President McKinley. This

senator orated about his fidelity, his unselfish service, his loyalty;

but the President was thoroughly aware that he had acted in

exactly the opposite manner. He bit his tongue in order to

restrain himself until the senator had departed and then he let

loose. "He denounced the senator savagely for the lies he had

been telling and pounded the table with his fist so fiercely that

the only witness of this performance, and a very close friend

of the President, jumped out of his chair startled. He seemed

like a lion roused to fury."7

The poised man is not the one who never gets angry but

the one who uses anger in a useful manner and who, at the


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same time, has some safety valve which he can call into service

when things become too maddening.

"'Beware of the fury of a patient man,' wrote Dryden more

than two hundred years ago, paraphrasing a Latin proverb two

thousand years old. Emotions too long and too sternly repressed

cause the most violent disturbances when once let loose.

"'I never let anybody know it when I get angry,' the head

of a great business once said. 'I get away as speedily as possible

and go up to the gymnasium on the top floor of the building

where I have my offices. There I put on the boxing-gloves and

fight it out with the trainer, or with a punching-bag if the

trainer isn't handy.' " 8

This man had the right idea. When he was provoked he did

not attempt to sit quietly and repress his feelings. He did so

until he could get to a place where an explosion was in order

and then fought with a professional fighter or with a harmless

punching-bag. If, with every blow, he imagined the bag to be

the head of the man who had incited him to anger, so much

the better.

A Mob Substitutes Hisses for Murder

Joseph P. Day, the greatest real estate salesman in the world,

tells how he saved himself from possible physical violence by

applying this principle to handling a mob.

A great crowd of people was enraged. They were out to get

him and probably would have done so if he had not been clever

enough to understand them and to give them an outlet for

their anger.

Did he make a speech telling them to control their emotions

to count ten before they lynched him? He knew better. He

did something much more clever than that.

He had been employed by the Government to sell at auction

eighteen hundred and ninety-eight houses at Fairview, near

Camden, New Jersey. This was one of the towns which had


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been built for the workers in the shipyards during the war.

"The tenants raised a great hue and cry, claiming that the

Government had got them to move there and now was throwing

them out." An investigation showed that only three of the total of

eighteen hundred and ninety-eight families had moved there dur-

ing the war. All the rest had come of their own accord. What an

opportunity to argue with them and to show them that they

were wrong! But argument, even if you are in the right, does

not dispel anger.

Day started the auction an hour early so that their anger did

not get an opportunity to reach its full height. Furthermore,

he selected a house to be the first to be put up for sale which

he knew the occupant wanted to buy.

"I figured," said Day, "that he would immediately respond

with a bid, and would get the house. That would please him,

and it would also please the crowd. It would take the wind out

of their sails; because the thing they had been saying was that

we were going to turn them out of their homes.

"Everything went just as I expected. The man got his house,

the crowd cheered, and I helped them! That let off a little of

their steam. But the minute the cheering was over I followed

it up by shouting: 'Now everybody hiss the auctioneer!' And

I led the hissing!

"For a moment it sounded as if a dozen locomotives were

blowing off steam. But those thousands of human beings really

were blowing off steam; and as the hissing died away, there

came a roar of laughter that almost raised the roof. They and

I laughed togetherand I knew then that if I were carried off

that platform, it would be on the shoulders of the very men who

had threatened to kill me." 8

The crowd had been violently angry, had planned on physical

violence to Day as an outlet for their anger. Day was clever

enough to provide them with a substitute form of activity, a

different outlet. He provided cheering, hissing, and finally


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laughter; all of them fine substitutes, saved himself some pos-

sible broken bones, and sold his houses in record time.

The main thing is to make sure that the substitute outlet is

a harmless one.

Say It with Red Ink

Daniel E. Woodhull, president of the American Bank Note

Company, happened to devise a very satisfactory method for

blowing off.

When still a young man and occupying an inferior position in

his company he became thoroughly disgruntled because he felt

he was not being given adequate recognition nor being pro-

moted fast enough. Many young men come to feel this way but

if they show it too plainly it often arouses the antagonism of

their superiors. What did Woodhull do about it?

"At one time," he says, "these things pyramided until they

rose mountain high, and I made up my mind to quit. But

before I wrote my resignation I went for a pen and red ink

black ink wasn't fiery enough for what I intended to doand

I sat down to deliberately write my opinion of every officer and

manager in the company. I did a good job of it, too, and spared

no adjectives. Then I hid the list and told my troubles to an

old friend of mine."

At the advice of this friend, Woodhull took black ink and

made a list of the capabilities of these men and also the things

that he could do well. From this he tried to figure out how he

could improve his position in the next ten years. He then com-

pared the two lists, the red and the black one, and found that his

venom had left his system. He looked at things coolly and decided

to stick to the job.

"Thereafter, when things got too much for me," stated Wood-

hull, "I sat down and wrote out all the things I wanted to say

and knew I couldn't. It was a perfectly good safety valve. I eased

up all over after the writing. I never showed my work but put


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it all carefully away, and as year after year passed I found myself

getting a reputation for control of myself. ... I recommend a

red list for any young manor older onewho has to learn to

control himself in order to manage other men." 10

"Writing angry letters may be a good thing sometimes," says

Charles L. Eidlitz, "Czar" of the electrical business in New York.

. . . "They give your feelings a much-needed relief. But they

should be held over until the next morning. . . . The main

thing is to give yourself time to ask that important question:

'Where is this thing I am proposing to do going to get me?'"11

Minor explosions over unessential events may be a good way

to build up the ability to exercise composure in a crisis where

restraint becomes a vital necessity.

Albert Merritt Billings, who for thirty years was head of the

People's Gas Light and Coke Company, "had the peculiarity of

being greatly agitated by trifles, but was apparently quite un-

disturbed by serious troubles. . . . One day he left in his buggy

a box of cigars he had just purchased. Discovering the oversight

a few minutes later he went out to recover the cigars only to

find that they were gone."

He was greatly incensed and made such an uproar over this

loss that all his auditors thought that they must be very precious

and unusual cigars. As a matter of fact, they were five cent

cigars and his loss netted him just $2.50.

Contrast this explosion of anger with his reaction to a very

serious loss. "A financial panic was on. Mr. Billings had been

confined to his house for a few days by illness. Meanwhile there

had been several failures among the bank borrowers involving

some $30,000 of loans not well secured." Upon being informed of

this loss, "Mr. Billings ran his fingers through his hair, con-

sidered a few minutes and then said quietly: 'Oh well, we can't

have an omelette without breaking a few eggs.'"12

When irritated by minor incidents get an outlet for your

anger in some manner; then relax and conserve your energy for


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the major emergencies which will demand all the control you

can summon. A succession of irritations over trifles, if not re-

leased, may build up a condition of chronic irritability which

will make it absolutely impossible to exercise control in an


It is important to remember that the release of anger should

be followed by relaxation if the release is to be effective. If the

tension oyer, trifles is continued and fed needlessly it may lead to

a hangover which may last for days or weeks. Such a condition

of irritability makes a person unfit to live with.

John M. Bowman, late president of the Bowman Biltmore

Hotels Corporation of New York, tells how one of his em-

ployees made a fool of himself by failing to follow this simple


"At his farm one day Bowman overheard a valued employee

profanely abusing his job, and complaining so bitterly about

the ruthless manner in which he was overworked and un-

appreciated by his employer that Bowman was on the point of

going to him at once and discharging him. But he waited

waited until he was over feeling angry. Then he strolled up to

the man and remarked: 'George, you've been having a pretty

tough time of it lately, haven't you?'

"'Oh, I don't know,' the man replied. 'I think I have it

pretty easy.'

"'I got the impression from something I overheard you say,'

went on Bowman pleasantly, 'that you were overworked and

that you were pretty much disgusted with your job.'

"Then the man looked shamefaced and confessed that the sole

reason why he had imagined he was abused and that the world

was against him was because of some trouble he had had the

night before, changing an autorrlobile tire on a muddy road."13

If the petty irritations of fife get you into such a condition

that you cannot control your anger it is often a good plan to

take a rest, to travel, take a walk into the country, or at least


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attempt to discover what the cause of the chronic irritability

may be, and to remove it or adjust yourself to it.

James Stillman, the great banker, once cruelly berated one of

the bank's officials. As this poor man came before Stillman he

found "his chief seated at his desk, wearing his immovable ex-

pression and sliding a pencil up and down in his fingers, so that

it made a steady tapping on the wood. Then and there, without

moving or raising his quiet voice or intermitting the drum tap

of the pencil, he berated the offender in terms so harsh, with an

irony so coldly insulting, and concluded in such a savage inten-

sity of speech, that the unfortunate man trembled and the sweat

stood out on his forehead."

This scene was enacted in the presence of a visitor who was

so horrified that he could not restrain himself and said: "'Still-

man, I never in all my life heard anything so outrageous! That

man holds an important position in the bank and you have

insulted him before a stranger. WhyI wouldn't be surprised

if he put a knife in you! A man has no right to treat another so,

nor to let himself go like that. The most charitable thing I can

think is that you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown and

that you have no business to be in your office!'

"James Stillman heard this outburst in a white silence, his

powerful face a very mask of rage, and still the pencil went

tap-tap-tap upon the desk." The visitor waited a few moments

and then left.14

Stillman, however, was wise enough to see that his outburst

had been the result of an irritability which had accumulated

through a period of time and that he had reached the breaking

point. He took a vacation, relaxed from his worries, and came

back a different man.

Anger indicates that we are in a situation which demands

action. Any man of vitality responds to such a situation by an

increase in activity of some sort.

If it is not clear what should be done, or if the act which


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seems appropriate would result in embarrassment, it is well to

remain inert for the time being.

Keep cool in an emergency until it is very clear just what

should be done.

Keeping cool is a very effective way to deal with the angry

acts of others. If you let anger drive you to do foolish things it is

a sign of weakness.

Keeping cool when the occasion demands does not mean that

anger must be repressed. We all need some way to get an outlet

for anger after temporary restraint. Develop some method of

getting an outlet.

References for Chapter VII

1. Charles S. Olcott, The Life of William McKinley, Houghton

Mifflin, 1916, p. 342.

2. Theron G. Stronc, Joseph H. Choate, Dodd Mead, 1917, p. 197.

3. George D. Rogers, Sat. Eve. Post (Dec. 10, 1921), p. 11.

4. Interview.

5. Joseph G. Pyle, James /. Hill, Doubleday Page, 1917, p. 375.

6. Helen Christine Bennett, American Magazine (Sept. 1923),

p. 148.

7. Charles S. Olcott, The Life of William McKinley, Houghton

Mifflin, 1916, p. 343.

8. Frank P. Stockbridge, Red Boo\ Magazine (July 1928), p. 85.

9. Keene Sumner, American Magazine (August 1924), p. 78.

10. Helen Christine Bennett, American Magazine (April 1923),

p. 154.

11. Frank B. Copley, American Magazine (July 1924), p. 100.

12. Thomas W. Goodspf.ed, U. of C. Biographical S\etches, Vol. II,

pp. 215-216.

13. Fred C. Kelly, American Magazine (Nov. 1919), pp. 95-96.

14. Anna Robeson Burr, World's Wori( (Nov. 1927), p. 105.


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Insist on Knowing Why

Galileo Gets Curious About the Cathedral Lamps

McLain Asks Questions of the Wrong Man

Marshall Field Learns from the Door Man

//js your mind a warehouse or a factory?" asks Eugene M.

1 Stevens, president of the Continental Illinois Bank and

Trust Company of Chicago. "Are your senses the doors through

which facts enter the mind for storage only ... or do they take

in the raw material to set your mind to work and turn out a

product?" 1

How did it come about that Galileo was able to discover the

principle which made possible the development of the pendulum

clock? How did Faraday find the principle of electro-magnetic

induction and thus make possible the electric motor and the

transmission of the electric current over our present day power

lines? Did Bell stumble upon the telephone? Did Marconi

merely happen to find the wireless? Their eyes and ears took

in the same things that thousands of other men had observed.

They probably had no greater storehouse of facts than other

men possessed but who accomplished less than they did. How

did they do it?

The secret behind their achievement is rather simple. They

posted a sentinel at each of the doorways of their minds, their

eyes and ears particularly, whose task it was to examine every

applicant for entrance and to ask continually such questions as:

"Who are you? Why do you want admittance? How are you


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related to others who have entered here? Why do you look as

you do? Why do you sound differently from the sound I just

heard? What good are you? Why should you be permitted to

enter? Why? Why? Why?"

These men knew how to ask questions; they continually

asked questions; and they would not permit their parents,

teachers, relatives, or friends to discourage them in asking


You cannot solve a problem if you do not even know that

a problem exists and you will not know a problem exists if

you do not keep alive the faculty of asking questions. If you

take in things just as they come and store them away in your

mind, it becomes a mere warehouse. You will have to keep a

card index of what is there and dispense it when the demand

arises. A lot of it will never be used if your mind is simply a

place for storage.

On the other hand, the task of this sentinel is not to keep

things out. It is to examine them as they come in. He welcomes

foreigners, persons in strange garbs. He merely stops them long

enough to learn enough about them to decide what they can

contribute to the new community they are enteringthe mind.

Teach the sentinel of your senses to be inquisitive but never to

be haughty or insolent. Sometimes the most important visitors

come in modest clothes, unannounced, and with no pretense of


The observation which led Galileo to his great discovery was

nothing spectacular. It was a simple little thing that many others

had observed but which had been taken for granted with no

questions asked. Galileo asked questions of himself which led

to his great discovery.

"One day when seventeen years old he wandered into the

cathedral of his native town. In the midst of his reverie he

looked up at the lamps hanging by long chains from the high

ceiling of the church. Then something very difficult to explain


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occurred. He found himself no longer thinking of the building,

worshipers, or the services. ... As he watched the swinging

lamps he was suddenly wondering if mayhap their oscillations,

whether long or short, did not occupy the same time. Then he

tested this hypothesis by counting his pulse, for that was the

only timepiece he had with him. . . . The highly accurate pen-

dulum clock was one of the later results of Galileo's discovery." 2

He learned that if a pendulum is of a definite length, the time

of its swing, no matter what its extent, will be the same.

It pays to ask questions. What if some of them lead nowhere?

If you ask them continually and ask enough of them, eventually

you may ask one that will lead to some highly important prob-

lem. If you never ask them you will not see problems and if you

never see them you certainly cannot answer them. Every discov-

ery is an answer to some question.

Charles Steinmetz, that great wizard of the General Electric

Company, once said, "There are no foolish questions and no man

becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions."8

When people tell us that our questions are foolish it often is

because they cannot answer them. The parent will answer his

child's questions until he gets in over his depth and then he

tells the child to stop asking them. The boss who does not know

much is annoyed by the workman who asks too many ques-

tions because they show up his ignorance. On the other hand,

one should not ask questions at inopportune times, or in an

annoying manner, or to expose the ignorance of another person.

There is an art in asking questions.

McLain Asks Questions of the Wrong Man

David McLain, one of the foremost foundry experts in the

world, lost twenty jobs because he asked questions. His usual

procedure for getting discharged was like this. "In one foundry

we made fifty castings. Twenty cracked. I had carefully checked


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over the work and had put all the data down on paper. In each

case we had used the same casts, the same metal, and the condi-

tions had been identical. Yet almost half the castings were

worthless. I ventured to suggest to the foreman that there might

be some element in the metal responsible for this variation in


"'Ain't it the same metal in the good castings as in the bad?'

he demanded.

"'It's the same metal,' I argued, 'but it doesn't always act the

same. If we can find out why the results vary, we can cut out

all this waste in spoiled castings.'

"The foreman promptly fired me for 'meddling' in his job."4

The questioning attitude which McLain used was not the

thing that was in error. He persisted in his questionings and

finally achieved his great success. He made the mistake of ask-

ing the wrong person, one who did not know the answer and

did not care to learn the answer.

When disastrous results come from asking questions it fre-

quently indicates that you asked the wrong person. It does not

mean that you should stop asking questions but that you should

try other ways of getting the answer. If it is best to get the

answer from other persons why not be sure to go to the one

who knows the answer? It is foolish to continue asking those

who obviously do not know. This only irritates them. Ask the

right person.

Better still, find out the answer to your questions yourself.

Men who discover things do not take the ignorance of others

as the final word in any problem. They may not be able to solve

every problem but they do not become convinced that it cannot

ever be solved because other persons say that it cannot.

From the time Thomas A. Edison was a small boy until his

death he was continually asking, "Why?" He did not learn the

answers to all the questions he asked but he was able to do so


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in a surprising number of instances. One day, for example, he

met a friend on the street and noted a swelling of his finger


"'What's the trouble?' asked Edison.

"'I don't know exactly.'

"'Why don't you know? Don't the doctors know?'

"'They don't agree, but most of them seem to think it's


"'Well, what's gout?' persisted Edison.

"'A deposit of uric acid in the joints, I'm told.'

"'Why don't they take it out of your joints, then?'

"'They don't know how,' answered the sick man.

"This was like a red rag to a bull. 'Why don't they know

how?' stormed Edison indignantly.

"'Because uric acid is insoluble.'

"'I don't believe it,' the world-famous experimenter replied.

"On his return to his laboratory, he started immediately to

find out whether it was true or not that uric acid was insoluble.

He set out an array of test tubes, filled them all about a quarter

full of every different chemical he possessed. Into each he

dropped a few uric acid crystals. Two days later he found that

the crystals had dissolved in two of the chemicals. The inventor

was justified, experiment had again blazed the way, and now

one of these very chemicals (hydrate of tetra-ethyl ammonium)

is widely used in the treatment of gout." 5

Whether or not you arrive at the answer is not nearly so

important as maintaining an inquiring attitude. "The only way

to get a real education," said William A. Wood, the man who

organized the American Woolen Company, "is by asking ques-

tions. We learn only what we want to know. If you ask a ques-

tion it is because you want to know the answer; and, since you

wanted to know it, you will remember it. So an inquiring mind

is a great possession." 6


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Marshall Field Learns from the Door Man

The inquiring mind gains information from many sources

and in a quiet way. It is needless to annoy people by asking

questions they cannot answer but, on the other hand, if you

are looking for information or answers you can get them from

very humble and unexpected sources. Lincoln used "the art of

getting from 'question-asking conversation' most of the infor-

mation he desired on any subject that was interesting to him."7

Marshall Field used to get valuable information from a door

man. This door man knew all the prominent customers, how

many children they had, how old they were. He also knew all

the store managers and had a wide knowledge of the store as a

whole. When Marshall Field was taking a vacation at Hot

Springs he would send for Eddie Anderson to come down for

a few days and would spend the entire time asking him ques-

tions^pumping him dry.8

Many people hate to ask questions, hate to admit that others

know more than they do. This is a silly sort of pride and, in the

end, is extremely expensive. If you ask questions in such a

manner as to convince the other person that you know the

answer already you had better not ask them. No matter how

humble the source, the questioning must be done with sincerity,

with a real desire to learn something. The key to getting in-

formation out of others lies in making them feel that you admit

and admire their superior information. This genuine esteem

opens the flood gates of the other person's mind and you reap

the benefits.

In the last analysis, the questioning attitude means that you

continually admit to yourself that there are many things you do

not know. Admit that there are many things for you to learn.

Admit that even the scrub woman may know more about scrub-

bing than you do and that you might learn something from

her. Admit that there is more that you don't know than you do


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know and you are on the fair way to learning. If, on the other

hand, you are convinced that you know more than those around

you, if you listen to their conversation in order to prove to your-

self that they are dumber than you, you have failed to take the

first essential step toward becoming a successful thinker.

Dr. Frank Crane gives some questions that you can ask your-

self to determine whether you are making full use of your oppor-

tunities to be curious:

"Are you sufficiently curious to be justified in calling yourself


"Are you curious enough to want to know all about your

business and everything that pertains to it?

"Does a book on science, economics, art, morals, or history

ever challenge your curiosity? Fiction has its educational value.

But does this sort of reading exhaust all your curious impulses?

If so, you are apt to become sloppy-minded and vacuous.

"If you are a clerk in a drygoods store, have you ever won-

dered about the different goods you sell, the silk, the wool, and

the cotton, where they all come from?

"If you are a school teacher, are you curious enough to find

out the various theories of education and to examine and test

them in your classroom? Did you ever wonder why some pupils

are quick and some are slow?

"If you are a mechanic, are you satisfied with just doing the

duties that fall to you, or are you inquisitive upon the whole


"If you are a parent, are you studying your children as inter-

esting problems, making notes of their peculiarities and trying

to find out why they exist and how to handle them? Do you

know that there is such a science as child training and a lot of

books published upon the subject?

"Curiosity may result in making us simply busybodies. When

we run to the window to see who is calling at our neighbor's

across the street, when we open and read another person's letter,


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when we listen in at a telephone conversation, or peep through

keyholesthat is just curiosity run waste. Is your curiosity

trained so that you are curious about the right things in the

right way?"9

Adopt a questioning attitude toward the things and events

that surround you.

Loo\ for problems. As\ questions. Look^ for difficulties and


Admit that there are many things for you to learn and that

others, even those in humbler positions than you, may supply

valuable information which you can use.

Enjoy the challenge of problems. If you enjoy them, you will

see\ them and thus learn to thin\. If they irritate you, you will

avoid them and never learn to thin\.

References for Chapter VIII

1. Eugene M. Stevens, Columns of the III. Trust and Savings Ban\,

April 1919.

2. James Harvey Robinson, The Mind in the Maying, Harpers,

1921, pp. 52-53.

3. Frank Crane, American Magazine (May 1927), p. 41.

4. William S. Dutton, American Magazine (April 1926), p. 150.

5. Francis Robert Wheeler, Thomas A. Edison, Macmillan, p. 14.

6. Keene Sumner, American Magazine (June 1923), p. 203.

7. Henry B. Rankin, Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln,

Putnams, 1916, p. 131.

8. Interview with Waldo Warren, June 5, 1929.

9. Frank Crane, American Magazine (May 1927), pp. 134-135.


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Use Your Brain

Heinz Used Trunk Checks as Bait

Edison Transforms a Locomotive Whistle Into a Telegraph


Westinghouse Revolutionizes Railroading with the Airbrake

Gifford Points the Way to the "Night Letter"

Henry J. Heinz, the famous food packer and founder of the

company with "fifty-seven varieties," saved himself in the

face of a predicament which, at first, looked impossible. He had

planned for weeks and had spent a considerable sum of money

for an exhibit of his food products in the Chicago World's Fair.

To his utter chagrin he learned that he, with the others exhibiting

food products, had been assigned to a station in the gallery.

"As soon as the Exposition opened, it became sadly evident

that of the army of visitors, only melancholy driblets would climb

there. Everybody, including the managers of the Exposition,

bowed to what seemed beyond remedy. Mr. Heinz spent an eve-

ning pondering. Next week visitors walking through the grounds

were startled by spying brass trunk checks here and there. They

picked them up and saw the apparent checks bore an announce-

ment that the finder would receive a souvenir at the Heinz booth.

"There were thousands of checks. The rush to the food-

products exhibit became so great that in the end it was necessary

to strengthen the supports of the gallery. Once the tide had

turned, it kept flowing. The exhibit was amply interesting, even

without souvenirs, and through the whole period of the Exposi-


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tion, the food-product gallery remained one of the popular attrac-

tions. One of Mr. Heinz' prized possessions was a loving cup

that the other food-product men gave him in recognition of the

success that he had snatched out of failure for them all."1

There is always a solution to every problem. It was because

Heinz believed this and worked on this principle that he was

able to turn what looked like failure into a real success. His

friends bowed submissively to what seemed inevitable. What

made them give in stimulated him to put his brain to work and

find a solution.

Heinz was not willing to say he had done all that could be

done. Such an excuse is merely an indication of mental laziness.

He was sure that there was a solution and he set out to find it.

He asked himself, "How can I get the people to come to the

food-product gallery?" He admitted that he was forced to stay in

the gallery, and could not change that, but he did not admit that

he could not make people come up to the gallery.

When in a predicament it pays to remember that there is some

way to get out of it. Keep hunting for that way out. If you

believe sincerely that there is a solution and if you keep hunting

for it, you will be surprised at your own success.

Edison Transforms a Locomotive Whistle Into a Telegraph


The telegraph cable between Port Huron and Sarnia, separated

by a distance of more than half a mile, has been broken by huge

cakes of ice. There are urgent messages which should be trans-

mitted. It appears as though there would be an inevitable delay

until the cable can be repaired. All those concerned must bow

to this unavoidable delay.

It happened that Thomas A. Edison was at Port Huron at this

time, the winter of 1863-64. He was too ingenious to concede

that nothing could be done. The problem was: "How can I get


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a message across that expanse of half a mile with the cable

broken?" He could not yell, he could not swim it and no boat

could traverse it except with great danger and delay. He spied a

locomotive and climbing into the cab "began to blow the whistle

at longer and shorter intervals, imitating the established alphabet

of the Morse Code. His message was understood and he received

a reply by the same method. In this way messages were ex-

changed without waiting for the cable to be repaired." 2

Was Edison ingenious? Yes, for the simple reason that he

would not give up a problem without trying out all possible

ways of solving it and because he believed that every problem

could be solved.

Ingenuity is putting old things to new uses. When a problem

arises the ingenious man takes an account of stock and asks

himself whether he can use the various possibilities to meet the

present crisis. Locomotive whistles are to warn people to get off

the track, cables are to carry long distance messages. The man

who is not in the habit of using his wits would not see how to

use a whistle as a substitute for a broken cable. Edison did, and

so could anyone in the habit of solving problems instead of

submitting passively to them.

When you first start to solve problems of this sort the time

consumed may be quite long. Heinz had to think a long time,

perhaps Edison did also. However, when we get into the habit

of solving problems we learn to arrive at a solution more quickly.

Put your attention to solving them and the speed will take care

of itself.

Witness how Andrew Carnegie used his brain to outwit a

big bully who was intent on breaking up a meeting which had

been called to settle a labor problem. This fellow had great in-

fluence with the workmen. He secretly owned a drinking saloon

and so had gained the friendship of the drinking men. The sober

men were afraid of him.

Carnegie knew most of the men who were to sit on this con-


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ference and could call them by name. The bully, however, was

their leader and they must follow his dictates. They all sat

around a conference table with the leader at one end and

Carnegie at the other. Carnegie had no sooner laid his proposition

before the meeting than the bully picked up his hat from the

floor and slowly put it on his head, indicating that he was about

to depart. By leaving without any discussion he could avoid any

possibility of a peaceful settlement, which he did not want.

But Carnegie was too much for him. He saw a chance and

took it.

"'Sir,' said Carnegie, 'you are in the presence of gentlemen!

Please be so good as to take off your hat or leave the room!'

"My eyes were kept full upon him," Carnegie relates. "There

was a silence that could be felt. The great bully hesitated, but I

knew whatever he did, he was beaten. If he left it was because

he had treated the meeting discourteously by keeping his hat on,

he was no gentleman; if he remained and took off his hat, he

had been crushed by the rebuke. I didn't care which course he

took. He had only two and either of them was fatal. He had

delivered himself into my hands. He very slowly took off the

hat and put it on the floor. Not a word did he speak thereafter

in that conference. . . . The men rejoiced in the episode and a

settlement was harmoniously effected."8

Was this a stroke of genius on the part of Carnegie? No. It

was simply the result of his habit of analyzing problems care-

fully and solving them. The action of the bully did not frighten

him, it stimulated him to ask himself, "How can I prevent him

from breaking up the meeting?" He could think calmly of a

possible solution because he was accustomed to look for solutions

with confidence that they could be found.

A good plan is to go over a situation after it has passed and

to consider the various things that you might have done to

meet it. But do not let such thinking back result in chagrin or

self-blame because you did not act in a better fashion or because


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you did not act more quickly. Use it as practice in problem

solving and you will do better next time. If you get in the habit

of thinking out what you could do under certain circumstances

you will become more and more expert in putting your solu-

tions into practice.

Successful men are never satisfied. When they become satisfied

they grow stale and their success wanes. Edward W. Decker,

president of the Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis,

states it this way: "A great cause of business failure is what we

call 'dry rot.' Any manager who allows 'dry rot' to creep into

his own thinking and the thinking of his organization is putting

the skids under himself.

"Here is the kind of thing I mean: A business starts out with

young men and sound ideas abreast of the times. It prospers.

The men grow older, and the ideas they started with become

slightly rusty and old-fashioned. But the men do not change

their ideas. That is 'dry rot'; the failure to keep up-to-date."4

Never think that the customary way of doing things is best.

There is always a better way. Look for it.

At the time when Walter Gifford was made president of the

American Telephone and Telegraph Company it took an hour

or more to complete a call between New York and Chicago and

many people were using telegraph because it was quicker than

the telephone. Gifford was not satisfied with this service and

suggested that means be devised to handle long distance calls

in the same manner as local calls. This was such a revolutionary

idea that the old time executives in the telephone business were

literally horrified to hear about GifTord's suggestion. They were

sure there was no way of accomplishing this visionary idea and

believed that Gifford was about to wreck the company with his

radical notions.

In spite of the skepticism of the older men, inside of two years

Gifford had installed the costly equipment and tried his plan

between New York and Philadelphia. His innovation attracted


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so much new business that the equipment was soon overloaded

and new circuits had to be added. In four years after his first

trial of the scheme ninety per cent of all toll calls were handled

in this manner and the toll business had trembled.8

Westtnghouse Revolutionizes Railroading with the Airbrake

George Westinghouse developed the airbrake, the device that

makes possible our rapid travel today, because he was impressed

with the inefficiency of the older braking methods. At that time

it was necessary for the engineer to give a "down brakes" signal,

whereupon the brakemen on the train would apply the brakes

by hand, thus bringing the train to a stop. It took considerable

time to accomplish these steps in the braking process; stopping

was rather slow business.

Westinghouse was on his way from Schenectady to Troy. "His

train coming to a sudden standstill midway between stations, he

got out to ascertain the cause of the delay." Two freight trains

had collided. The day was clear and the track visible for some

distance. It looked like an unnecessary wreck. Westinghouse

inquired of one of the employees how it had happened.

"'The engineers saw each other and both tried their best to

stop, but they couldn't,' said the employee.

"'Why not? Wouldn't the brakes work?'

"'Oh yes, but there wasn't time. You can't stop a train in a


"This remark rang in the young man's ears the rest of the

day. . . . Obviously, the key to the collision lay in the lapse of

time between the 'down-brakes' whistle and the clamping of the

brake shoes on the wheels. The engineers doubtless acted quickly

enough when they apprehended the danger; but, if, instead of

sounding a signal to several other men, the two engineers had

been able to apply the brakes instantly themselves the possibility

of damage would have been reduced." 6


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Thus reasoned Westinghouse and set out to find the solution.

The airbrakes which are used on all trains and make possible

speedy trains of a hundred and fifty cars are the result.

The secret of Westinghouse's success lay in the fact that he

tried to work out a remedy instead of contenting himself with

picking flaws with present conditions. Anyone can complain;

but positive, constructive thinking is much more valuable. To

insist that the trains go more slowly would not have solved the

problem. Instead, Westinghouse worked out a scheme of air-

brakes which would enable the trains to go at a much faster


Make your thinking positive and constructive, not complaining

and destructive.

Nor should it take such a violent thing as a railroad wreck

to stimulate your brain to work. The attempt to solve little

problems often leads to big results. A rasher of bacon proved

the turning point in the career of Bartlett Arkell, the founder

of the famous Beech Nut Brand of prepared foods. He had been

working for a publishing company that failed and he was on

the lookout for something to do.

"One day while in New York Mr. Arkell came across sliced

bacon being sold in two pound paper boxes, and learned the

fact that the public liked their bacon thinly slicedas it brought

out the flavor. . . . The packer had unquestionably hit upon a

very good ideayet it seemed to Mr. Arkell that a two pound

package was too large for the average family. When he returned

home he tried the idea with a one pound package, in which the

carefully prepared bacon, sliced to paper thinness, was sent to

market. It was eagerly bought by the public."7

The difference between a one pound package and a two

pound package may seem like a trivial point but it is just such

little items which often spell the difference between success and

failure. Of course the thinker does not degenerate into silly con-


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Thus reasoned Westinghouse and set out to find the solution.

The airbrakes which are used on all trains and make possible

speedy trains of a hundred and fifty cars are the result.

The secret of Westinghouse's success lay in the fact that he

tried to work out a remedy instead of contenting himself with

picking flaws with present conditions. Anyone can complain;

but positive, constructive thinking is much more valuable. To

insist that the trains go more slowly would not have solved the

problem. Instead, Westinghouse worked out a scheme of air-

brakes which would enable the trains to go at a much faster


Make your thinking positive and constructive, not complaining

and destructive.

Nor should it take such a violent thing as a railroad wreck

to stimulate your brain to work. The attempt to solve little

problems often leads to big results. A rasher of bacon proved

the turning point in the career of Bartlett Arkell, the founder

of the famous Beech Nut Brand of prepared foods. He had been

working for a publishing company that failed and he was on

the lookout for something to do.

"One day while in New York Mr. Arkell came across sliced

bacon being sold in two pound paper boxes, and learned the

fact that the public liked their bacon thinly slicedas it brought

out the flavor. . . . The packer had unquestionably hit upon a

very good ideayet it seemed to Mr. Arkell that a two pound

package was too large for the average family. When he returned

home he tried the idea with a one pound package, in which the

carefully prepared bacon, sliced to paper thinness, was sent to

market. It was eagerly bought by the public."7

The difference between a one pound package and a two

pound package may seem like a trivial point but it is just such

little items which often spell the difference between success and

failure. Of course the thinker does not degenerate into silly con-


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cern with insignificant details, but he learns to see the importance

of small things which seem trivial to others.

William Wrigley began to give away chewing gum as an

inducement to his customers to buy his other wares but was

alert enough to see greater possibilities in the gum itself. Many

men, like Arkell and Wrigley, built big businesses by seeing the

importance of little things that other men scorned.

Nor are great men bound by tradition. "It is the custom," was

no satisfactory reply for men like E. H. Harriman, the great

railroad builder. "One day," says Mr. Kruttschnitt, "I was walk-

ing with Mr. Harriman on the road. He noticed a track bolt and

asked me why so much of the bolt should protrude beyond the

nut. I replied, 'It is the size which is generally used.'

"'Why should we use a bolt of such a length that a part of

it is useless?' he asked.

"'Well, when you come right down to it, there is no reason.'

"We walked along and he asked me how many track bolts

there were to a mile of track and I told him.

"Thereupon he remarked, 'Well, in the Union Pacific and

Southern Pacific we have about eighteen thousand miles of

track and there must be some fifty million track bolts in our

system. If you can cut an ounce from every bolt, you will save

fifty million ounces of iron, and that is something worth while.

Change your bolt standard.'" 8

It was just such economies in little items that put the great

western railroad systems controlled by Harriman on a paying

basis. It pays not to accept customary things even in little items.

Gifford Points the Way to the "Night Letter"

As a matter of fact no problem can be solved until it is

reduced to some simple form. The changing of a vague difficulty

into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in



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Walter Gifford, president of the American Telephone and

Telegraph Company, was adept at turning vague problems into

very simple and specific questions. As Mr. Gifford states it, "To

understand facts is the best aid to memoryand it is the only

way to make them useful. A man might remember hundreds of

facts; but how much good would it do him if he didn't under-

stand them?"

Here is the way Gifford did it when he was still a junior

executive. "One morning before breakfast, Mr. Vail (then presi-

dent of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company)

called up Gifford and said, 'I want a report on the use of the

telegraph. Let me have it as soon as you can.' Then he hung

up the receiver.

"Just what did Mr. Vail mean by 'the use of the telegraph'?

Mr. Gifford wonderedbut he didn't ask Mr. Vail. He knew

that it was up to him to get along without further explanation.

"He decided to collect facts which he considered most impor-

tant. So he set his staff to work to determine how many messages

were handled daily by the company's wires. Then he calculated

the number that could be sent over those wires.

"The following morning, when he submitted the report, it

was received with an incredulous shake of the head. Mr. Vail

said there must be some mistake in it. He couldn't believe that

the messages carried by the wires were so far short of the number

that could be carried. . . .

"Gifford carefully checked up the facts . . . and convinced his

chief that something should be done to increase telegraph traffic

during the hours when the wires were practically idle.

"Mr. Vail in turn quickly found a solution of the problem.

He introduced the now familiar 'night letter,' for transmission

at reduced rates during the night."9

Gifford had changed the vague and almost meaningless ques-

tion, "What about the use of the telegraph?" to the highly

specific and meaningful statement, "How can we increase the


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number of messages from to ?" So stated, the solution

was easy. The specific statement of a question is nine-tenths of

its solution.

If you do not know the answer to a question it is very likely

to be because you have not stated it clearly. Play with the ques-

tion, state it in all the different ways you can. In the final form

the answer should be a simple yes or no.

General Gorgas, surgeon general of the Army, was assigned

the task of discovering the cause of malaria. To ask: "What

causes malaria?" is too vague a question to be answered. He set

out to simplify it.

He knew enough about diseases to assume that some micro-

organism was responsible.

"Where did this organism come from?"

This was still too vague. So he asked: "Does it come from

dampness?" "Is it carried by ants?" "Is it carried by bedbugs?"

"Is it carried by mosquitoes?" Each of these questions could be

answered by a simple "yes" or "no" after suitable experiments.

He performed experiments designed to answer each question

and found the answer. Malaria is carried by the mosquito.10

The successful thinker is the one who reduces his thinking to

simple terms. The unsuccessful one is satisfied with vague ques-

tions. Since vague questions cannot be answered such a person

is sure to fail. Reduce your thinking to "yes or no" simplicity

if you would find the solution to any problem.

This test holds whether your problem is a very simple one or a

very complex one. Problems of selling, efficiency, organization,

labor disputes, and scientific research are all the same in this

respect. Answer one "yes or no" question and then ask others

until the major problem is solved.

After you have asked the question find out whether someone

else has answered it. Perhaps someone else has asked the same

question and has discovered the answer. At least it will pay to

find out. You can do this by going to the highest authority


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someone who should know the answer if anyone does. Perhaps

he has written a book or magazine article on the subject.

President Hoover, when still a boy, learned this habit of

hunting correct knowledge from the highest and most reliable

sources. "If he wanted a fact, he would always go to the best

man in the world to know. . . . Some boys, if a meteorite fell

in the back yard, would ask the barber or the milkman about it.

Hoover would seek his information from the astronomer, and

the greatest astronomer he could find. As likely as not he would

consult a number, compare notes, and arrive at an explanation

of his own. . .. This was, and is, Hoover's way of doing things,

and this is why he always 'knew'and knew correctlyall about

the innumerable things he was consulted about."11

How time may be wasted by working on problems which

have been solved by others is illustrated by an incident related

by John L. Harrington, a famous bridge engineer. "The other

day on the train a man . . . showed me the photograph of an

engine his father had designed and which he wanted to put on

the market. He said his father had spent twenty years perfecting

the engine, which, he claimed, because of a special arrangement

of the levers, would consume only about half as much gas as the

best engines already on the market.

"I had to disillusion him. I explained that all possible arrange-

ments of levers in such engines had been tested time and again,

and that the efficiency of each position could be figured out

mathematically and that by no such means as he described could

he accomplish what he claimed.

"That man's father spent twenty years trying to do what a

competent engineer, after four months' work, could have told

him was impossible. . . . Men fail to get the information that

would be of great value to them. Either they do not know

where to go for it, or they do not try to find it."12

Suppose you have reduced your problem to a simple "yes or

no" question and suppose you have found that others do not


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know the answer to it. What to do? Experiment to find the


For example, General Gorgas, when he wanted to find whether

or not the mosquito carried malaria germs, performed a simple

little experiment. He kept some soldiers under screens continually

so that they could not receive mosquito bites. He kept another

group where they could be bitten by mosquitoes. After a time

it was apparent that the mosquito-bitten soldiers developed

malaria while the protected ones did not. This experiment an-

swered his question.

An experiment is a question "put to nature." Learn how to

ask questions from authorities first; if they cannot answer learn

to ask nature for an answer.

Great men are continually looking for answers to simple ques-

tions. It is the way they learn things. "S. P. Langley, Secretary

of the Smithsonian Institute, and Simon Newcomb, the great

astronomer, were guests together one summer, and assisted Alex-

ander Graham Bell in his efforts to discover why a cat always

fell on its feet.... These three dignified and distinguished gentle-

men, one on the verandah and two on the terrace below stood

for hours, dropping puss over the rail onto a pillow, watching

her turn in the air and land on her paws."18

Before you can solve a problem you must believe there is a

solution. Learn to believe that there is a solution to every problem.

You have just as good a chance of finding the answer as anyone

else if you go at it in the right way.

Learn to solve problems even if it ta\es a long time to do so.

Once you learn how to solve them you will attain speed in their

solution. Emphasize accuracy of solution rather than speed.

Speed will take care of itself.

Reduce all problems to such simple terms that the question can

be answered by a simple "yes" or "no."

Avoid "dry rot" in your thinking by never being satisfied with

things as they are. There is always a better way to do things.


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Do not scorn little problems. Sometimes their solution leads

to great results.

See\ the highest authority for answers to problems. It is foolish

to waste time answering a question which others have answered.

When authorities cannot answer your question, put the question

"to nature" in the form of an experiment.

Get the experimental habit. It will answer many questions and

furnish you with much enjoyment.

References for Chapter IX

1. E. D. McCafferty, Henry J. Heinz, Bartlett Orr Press, 1923,

pp. 145-146.

2. F. T. Cooper, Thomas A. Edison, F. A. Stokes Co., 1914, p. 44.

3. Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, 1920,

pp. 248-249.

4. Edward W. Decker, American Magazine (July 1924), p. 172.

5. Interview with O'Connor, Aug. 14, 1930.

6. Francis E. Leupp, George Westinghouse, Little Brown, 1918,

p. 48.

7. Edwin Wildman, Famous Leaders of Industry, Page Company.

1920, p. 17.

8. E. H. Kennan, Edward H. Harriman, Houghton Mifflin, p. 278.

9. Carl W. Ackerman, American Magazine (Feb. 1925), p. 148.

10. Marie D. Gorgas and B. J. Hendrick, William C. Gorgas,

Doubleday Page, 1924.

11. Edwin Wildman, Famous Leaders of Industry, Page Company,

1920, pp. 166-167.

12. Neil M. Clark, American Magazine (Feb. 1925), p. 156.

13. Catherine Mackenzie, Alexander Graham Bell, Houghton

Mifflin, 1928, p. 283.


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Making Correct Decisions

cocksureness is a deadfall

Reasons Are Often Excuses

Be Right Rather Than Consistent

Decide Slowly

Hoover Hunts for a General Policy

Roosevelt Takes Responsibility for His Own Decisions

//t have tried so many things I thought were true, and found

1 I was mistaken, that I have quit being too sure about any-

thing, and am ready to give up a thing as soon as I am convinced

that there is nothing in it."1 This statement by Thomas A.

Edison expresses the position taken by all great thinkers. To be

flexible, to be willing to change a decision, is much more im-

portant than to be consistent.

On the other hand, people like us to be consistent. If they

know where we stand, and know that we will not change our

position, it makes it easy for them to predict what we are going

to do.

Benjamin Franklin had a very good rule which enabled him

to change his mind when he thought it necessary and which, at

the same time, saved him from the reputation of being fickle.

He acquired the habit of "expressing his opinion in such con-

ciliatory forms that no one, perhaps for forty years past, had ever

heard a dogmatic expression escape him." 2

This is an excellent rule to follow: Avoid making cocksure

statements. If you follow this rule you will have less to take back


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if, at some future time, you find you were wrong. It is well to

remember that your opinions or convictions are, after all, only

yours and the other fellow has as good a right to his as you

have to yours.

It is well to remember also that the lesser grounds we have

for our opinions the more we are tempted to be dogmatic and

sure in our expression of them. Our very cocksureness is likely

to be an attempt to cover a hidden doubt as to the truth of our


Suppose, on the other hand, that we have not been as wise as

Franklin was. Suppose we have fallen into the trap of making a

dogmatic statement which we may find necessary, at some later

time, to take back. How can we execute a change of front without

losing our "face"?

William E. Gladstone, one of the greatest statesmen that Eng-

land ever had, found himself in just such a dilemma. In his

youthand youth is likely to be impetuous in its assumptions

he had taken a stand favoring a policy in Ireland in relation to

the church. Some time later when he had become a member of

Peel's cabinet he found himself favoring an opposite policy, one

which Peel favored. If he openly took sides with Peel he would

have to go back on his former stand and would be accused of

changing front for political advantage. He could not retract his

former position unless he could convince people that he was

doing it for principle and not for personal gain. What could he

do to meet both of these requirements?

He resigned from the cabinetcommitted political suicide

and then favored the Government's proposal. He made himself

a martyr to his principles and thus proved that he was sincere

in his change. He demonstrated that he had changed his convic-

tions because of the principles involved and not to gain any

personal advantage. The people could not doubt his sincerity

when his sincerity led to his own disadvantage and flocked to his

support. His action won him a great following.3


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When you have a choice between two alternatives beware of

the temptation to choose the one which will be to your advan-

tage. Personal gain is usually the underlying motive for your

choice unless you carefully guard against it. On the other hand,

we do not like to admit the selfishness of our choice and attempt

to make such selfish decisions appear to be unselfish by finding

reasons for our choice. These apparent reasons are nothing but

excuses, in most cases, trumped up to defend a decision which we

reached because of purely personal and selfish reasons.

Reasons Are Often Excuses

"A subordinate officer once reported to Lord Kitchener a

failure to obey an order; and he gave his reasons for this failure.

Lord Kitchener, after listening to these reasons, said to him:

'Your reasons for not doing it are the best I ever heard.... Now

go and do it.'" 4

Lord Kitchener had no confidence in the reasons given by

the subordinate. He knew that they were merely excuses to cover

the subordinate's guilt. If Gladstone had stayed in office and

had changed his position the populace would never have believed

that he had not retracted his former stand for personal gain.

Everybody would have known that any reasons he gave were

mere excuses. When his convictions resulted in personal loss they

believed his "change of front" was unselfish.

If you can discover a personal motive for a decision, discount

the reasons for that decision. The personal motive is probably

the real cause for the stand that you have taken.

You do not believe the arguments of another person when you

perceive that he will gain by using them. This is the rule to apply

to test the validity of your decisions: // you gain from a decision

discount its validity. It may be valid but your possible personal

gain makes you a prejudiced judge.

Listen to other people justifying themselves for getting drunk,


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for telling lies, for committing petty thefts, for gossiping about

their fellows, for slighting their work, for voting for a certain

candidate, for not paying their bills, for being late, and all the

other thousand and one things they do which they must excuse.

How many of their excuses do you believe?

Then listen to yourself and ask: "What am I trying to cover?"

"Is this a genuinely logical reason or is it an excuse?" "What do

I gain by deciding so?" And apply the rule more rigidly to your-

self than you would to the other fellow, for it is much easier to

fool yourself than it is to be fooled by others.

You must consider your motives if you would evaluate your

own decisions. You cannot judge them solely by any analysis

of the arguments presented for or against them. A decision is

usually a determination to act and determination seldom comes

through rational analyses or from logical deductions. It is rather

an emotional drive. Learn why you have decided as you have

if you would understand a decision.

Be Right Rather Than Consistent

When you attempt to be consistent is it because the facts war-

rant consistency or because consistency gives you emotional satis-

faction? Why should you attempt to be consistent? Is it not

pride? Isn't it because you would be ashamed to admit that you

were wrong? It is easy to be proud and wrong. Your previous

decision may have been wrong and if you stick to it for no other

reason than that you decided that way previously, you may be

paying a big price to "save your face." Only the bullheaded prig

is eternally consistent. Attempt to be right rather than consistent.

"During the presidential primary campaign of 1912 a meeting

was held in a small New Jersey town, at which Mr. Roosevelt

was speaking to an audience of rural 'rough necks.' In the course

of this talk he made certain references to 'votes for women.' A


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taunting voice from the rear of the hall heckled him thus: 'You

didn't think that way five years ago, Colonel!'

"The whole character of the man Roosevelt came out in his

reply, which was instantaneous: 'No, I did not know enough

then. I was wrong. I know better now.' No 'buts' or 'ifs' or other

quibbles, no apologies or regrets. Just the honest, courageous

statement of a strong, intelligent man, who was strong and intel-

ligent enough to progress with the times and honest and cou-

rageous enough to admit that he had grown and progressed." 5

Executives sometimes feel that they must be very dogmatic

because of the effect that their firmness may have on their subor-

dinates. This authoritativeness may be necessary in handling

persons of inferior ability. Such persons want others to do their

thinking for them; but at such times an executive should enter-

tain no delusions as to the validity of his statements if they are

erroneous. He may hide the fact that he is bluffing them into

accepting an error by his dictatorial manners but, if he is wise,

he will not try to fool himself.

Charles A. Dana, owner of the New York Sun, had the custom

of marking certain articles with an emphatic "must" when he

was very anxious to have them included in the paper. The men

in the composing room did not dare to omit an article so

marked. One night, Edward P. Mitchell, then a young editor on

The Sun found a paragraph marked "must" which ran about as


"We are indebted to our esteemed subscriber, Mr. Jabez Light-

waiter of Goshen, for the largest and reddest and most mysterious

apple that ever came to Manhattan. For more than one reason it

is a prodigy of fruition. It looks as good as it is beautiful, but it

would be a pity to cut it for eating; for it displays in perfectly

distinct white letters on its unimpaired natural skin the initials

of the editor of this paper, who is compelled to confess that the

marvel of cultivation or of artifice producing this astonishing

phenomenon is beyond his comprehension."


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Now Mr. Mitchell knew that many boys' books and treatises

on natural magic taught how to perform the "miracle" by pasting

letters cut out of paper on the apple when it is green so that the

portions thus covered remain white while the rest of the apple

is turned red by the sun's rays. He did not want his editor to

confess to the public that this little well-known trick was an

"astonishing phenomenon which was beyond his comprehension."

So Mitchell held out the paragraph.

"When Mr. Dana arrived the next day he demanded at once:

"What became of my "must" paragraph about the apple?' Mr.

Mitchell explained with trepidation why he had held it over,

whereupon Mr. Dana showed his true greatness by replying:

'Don't be afraid to kill my "musts" for any reason as good as

that one. Lynch them without judge or jury.'" 8

How did Mitchell know that he was doing the right thing in

killing the paragraph? By applying our rule he could know for a

certainty. His decision to kill the story meant no direct personal

gain for him. Instead he ran the risk of incurring Dana's dis-

pleasure. He gained in the end, of course, just as Gladstone did

when he made a sacrifice to defend his decision. But his decision

was not motivated by a desire for immediate gain. A less generous

man than Dana might have discharged him on the spot. Be

skeptical of the correctness of decisions whose main support is

the personal gain which would come to you were they put into


Decide Slowly

A second rule to apply in order to insure correct decisions is:

Take plenty of time to decide. If you cannot decide what to do,


But do not spend the waiting period in worry. Instead of worry-

ing hunt for more evidence bearing on the question. The more

facts you get the more easily you can arrive at a decision and the

more certain you are to be right in your final choice.


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If you are thoroughly familiar with the factors involved it is

possible to decide quickly but this comes after long familiarity

with similar situations. The newer the situation the more care

one needs to exercise in arriving at a decision.

Aim at correctness and speed will take care of itself.

Sometimes a delay will change our entire perspective because

emotional bias may be due to some trivial circumstance. For

example, Arthur D. Little, one of America's leading chemists,

very nearly made a terrible mistake and was saved because he

waited before acting. "When I had been an independent chemist

for several years," said Dr. Little, "my income was suddenly

wiped out. Things looked pretty blue, and I decided that it

wasn't in me to make a go of it on my own hook. There were

several salaried jobs I could get, and I made up my mind to take

one of them. It was late in the afternoon when I reached this

conclusion. I was busy packing up some of my stuff, when a

former employer of mine came into the office. I told him the

whole melancholy storyor started to tell it to him.

"'It's getting late,' he broke in, 'let's go to dinner.'

"We went to his club and he ordered a splendid spread. Then

we started telling yarns of one kind and another and I forgot

about my own trouble.

"'By the way, what was that you were telling me about going

out of business?' he finally asked.

"'Forget it,' I answered.

"I went back to my laboratories the next day, and not once

since then have I been tempted to chuck the business. After that

experience I concluded that no man should decide anything

when he is hungry and thoroughly tired out. Either condition

lowers your vitality and your self-confidence, and your judgment

is warped and unreliable. You see the world through blue-tinted

spectacles." 7

A night's sleep, a good meal, a brisk walk in the fresh air, a

little recreation, or a little medicine if you are ill will often change


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the whole aspect of a situation. How foolish to permit some

temporary irritation to settle a question which may involve your

whole career! In most cases there is little to lose by waiting and

there may be much to gain.

Hoover Hunts for a General Policy

A third rule to apply is: Have some general policy to use as a

guiding principle in making decisions. Herbert Hoover is often

able to make decisions easily and quickly largely because of his

use of this principle. An incident related by Vernon Kellog illus-

trates how the principle may be put into effective operation.

"I recall," relates Vernon Kellog, "being asked by Hoover to

come to breakfast one morning at Stanford University, to talk

over the matter of faculty salary standards. Mr. Hoover's . . .

first question was: 'What is the figure below which a professor

of a given grade (assistant professor, associate, or full professor)

cannot maintain himself here on a basis which will not lower his

efficiency in his work or his dignity in the community?' We

finally agreed on a figure. 'Well,' said Hoover, 'that must be the

minimum salary of the grade.'"8

Try to see clearly what is involved in any question. To what

general principle or purpose does it relate? The very hunt for

such a central core will clarify your thinking and at the same

time point a way to a decision. It is a very easy thing to do but

we often forget to do it.

A clear general policy often answers a question before it is

asked. "Shall I rob a bank tonight?" is already answered if my

general life policy is one of honesty. "Shall I take that job as a

hotel clerk?" If I have a fixed ambition in life the answer will

be easy. I merely ask, "Will that job help me to get where I want

to go?" If it will do that I take it, if it will not I reject it. You

cannot make a correct decision if you do not know what general

principle is involved in the answer.


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A fourth rule is to get the opinion of others. Giannini, when

president of the Bank of Italy in California, made this comment:

"While I do most of my own thinking and usually make my

own decisions, whenever anything of a particularly ticklish nature

comes up and I am not positive as to the best course to follow,

I go to some trusted friend and lay the whole matter before him.

Usually, I tell him what I propose to do and then ask him to

knock holes in it." 9

Roosevelt Takes Responsibility for His Own Decisions

Roosevelt believed in asking advice and listened to all of his

counselors; but he well knew that, in the end, each man had to

make his own decisions, regardless of the opinions of others.

He expresses this conviction very clearly in a letter he once wrote

to Taft when asking the latter to accept a position on the bench

of the Supreme Court. He urged Taft to accept but knew that

Taft must make the final decision himself. He wrote:

"My dear Will, it is preeminently a matter in which no other

man can take the responsibility of deciding for you what is best

for you to do. Nobody could decide for me whether I should go

to the war or stay as Assistant Secretary to the Navy. Nobody

could decide for me whether I should accept the vice-presidency

or try to continue as governor. In each case it is the man himself

who is to lead his life after having decided one way or the other.

No other man can lead that life for him, and neither he nor

anyone else can afford to have anyone else make the decision for


Taft listened to Roosevelt, was probably influenced by his

appeal, but he took the full responsibility upon himself when he

finally decided. His choice was probably the wise one; but, even

in the event that it had proved to be unwise, we can hardly

imagine Taft blaming Roosevelt for giving bad advice. Successful

men continually seek advice in order to make correct decisions


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but they are not likely to use such advice as a means of evading

responsibility for their own decisions.

Listen to the opinions of others. Their views will enable you

to decide more clearly. But it is a mistake to try to make the

other fellow take the responsibility for your decisions. It is a

weak, cowardly thing to ask someone to tell you what to do in

order that you can blame him if later events prove him to have

been wrong. Never blame anyone for giving you bad advice.

Yours is the responsibility for taking it. Listen critically and

decide independently. If the advice proves bad, blame yourself

for not being more discreet in your choice of an adviser. If you

are a victim of poor advice let that teach you to hunt someone

who knows. Hunt for more facts from reliable sources instead

of wasting your time attempting to fix the blame on someone


Calvin Coolidge follows the rules we have just outlined. His

"decisions were likely to be based on more factors than the deci-

sions of his contemporaries. He pried deeply into the future."11

Consequently, when he rendered a decision it was likely to be

correct. When he was sure of his ground he did not waste time

arguing or giving reasons, as the following incident shows.

One day, Mr. Prouty, a selectman of Hadley, Massachusetts,

wanted to learn whether he could move the body of a man who

had just been shot to death while rowing on a small lake. He

went to the offices of Hammond and Field, foremost lawyers in

that part of the country, to get the desired information.

He found the office "deserted save by a slender young man at

a small desk, whom he did not know. The young man was study-

ing a law book and replied pleasantly when asked if 'everybody

was out,' that everybody was. Apparently it never occurred to Mr.

Prouty that the young man was anybody.

"Mr. Prouty moved impatiently about the office for several

minutes, hoping one of the partners would come in, and when

neither of them did, decided to explain his mission to the young


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man. He had an important engagement to keep right away, and

the disposition of the body had to be decided at once.

"'You can move the body,' replied young Coolidge, after listen-

ing respectfully to what Mr. Prouty had to say. He didn't seem

especially flattered or flustered over having been consulted on a

case of such importance, and, having delivered his opinion said

no more. His quietness irritated his caller, who demanded to

know if he 'was sure,' but young Coolidge merely replied, 'Yes,

you can move the body.'

"Going downstairs Mr. Prouty met Mr. Hammond, who was

just returning from lunch.

"'Say, who the devil is that young tongue-tied blond you got

upstairs?' demanded Prouty, explaining his predicament.

"'That young fellow,' replied Mr. Hammond with a smile,

'isn't much when it comes to gab, but he's a hog for work. If

he tells you you can move the body, you can bet your life you can.

He's only been in this office a few months, but I've found out that

when he says a thing is so, it is.'"13

When you know the facts involved decisions come quickly,

they are likely to be correct, and no emotional fervor is needed to

defend them. They stand for themselves.

Avoid making coc\sure statements.

Learn the motives for your decisions. If you will secure direct

personal gain from a decision it pays to doubt the correctness of

that decision unless it is supported by other facts.

Beware of the temptation to regard excuses as reasons.

If you learn that you were wrong do not hesitate to change a

decision. It is better to be right than consistent.

Ta\e plenty of time to decide. If you are not sure, wait.

Test your decisions by relating them to some general policy.

Get the opinions of others in order to get a proper view of all

sides of a question. But ta\e the responsibility for your own

decisions. Do not try to blame others if they are wrong.

Correct decisions will stand on their own feet. You need not


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defend them with emotional fervor. A decision which needs a

heated defense should be viewed with scepticism.

References for Chapter X

1. George S. Bryan, Thomas A. Edison, Knopf, 1926, p. 276.

2. William C. Bruce, Benjamin Franklin, Putnam's Sons, 1919,

p. 28.

3. Albert Burdett, William E. Gladstone, Houghton Mifflin,

1928, p. 69.

4. Samuel Crowther, American Magazine (Jan. 1922), p. 16.

5. Frederick S. Wood, Roosevelt As We Knew Him, The John C.

Winston Company, 1927, p. 164.

6. Frank M. O'Brien, Charles A. Dana, Appleton, 1928, p. 133.

7. Samuel Crowther, American Magazine (May 1924), p. 34.

8. Vernon Kellog, Atlantic Monthly (March 1918), p. 381.

9. B. C. Forbes, Men Who Are Making the West, Forbes Publish-

ing Co., 1916, p. 226.

10. Joseph B. Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Scribner's Sons,

1920, Vol. II, p. 100.

11. Horace Green, Calvin Coolidge, Duffield and Company, 1924,

P- 74

12. Ibid., pp. 37-38.


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How to Concentrate

Ritchie Cures a Thoughtless Driver

Hearst Takes Over a Bankrupt Newspaper

Grozier Finds New Use for an Elephant

Edison Forgets His Name

General Joffre Too Absorbed to Defend Himself

7/ /Tf you werent thinking of your driving, what were you

1 thinking of?'"

Mr. Ritchie, president of the Chicago Motor Coach Company,

is questioning a poor, unfortunate driver who had smashed into

an expensive limousine. An investigation of the accident showed

that the misfortune had resulted from nothing but downright

carelessness on the part of the driver. He had been driving along

without having his mind on what he was doing. Instead of clos-

ing the incident by firing the man Mr. Ritchie was curious to

discover what the real cause of the trouble had been. The man

had been a top-notch driver for a period of several years.

"'Now tell me about this accident, Jim,' said Ritchie.

"'There's nothing to tell, Mr. Ritchie,' he said, his voice getting

husky. 'I was to blame. I haven't a leg to stand on. My mind was

wandering and I never saw the blooming machine until I had

crashed into it.'

"'But Jim, if you weren't thinking of your driving, what were

you thinking of?'

"'Well, Mr. Ritchie, if you must know, I was trying to puzzle

out what I could do. You see my wife's sick and ought to be in


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the hospital, and doctor's bills have been heavy, and I haven't

got the money to send her there, and' The tears came into his


"Could you blame that poor chap for letting his mind wander?

And to think that we almost fired him! . . . What did we do?

Why we sent his wife to the hospital and sent him to the country

for a fortnight. She came back well and he came back happy

and remained thereafter one of our best drivers."1

Is it any wonder that this man had an accident? Is it anything

but natural that he should find himself continually thinking

about his wife and his financial troubles instead of his driving?

It is clear that when we are engrossed in thoughts of one sort

we cannot concentrate on something which is foreign to that

subject. We concentrate always on the thing in which we have

the most interest.

Ritchie was perfectly correct when he asked the man, "If you

weren't thinking of your driving, what were you thinking

of?" He knew that the mind is always active and if we are

not thinking of one thing we must be thinking of something

else. Furthermore, if that "something else" crowds out what we

should be thinking of we can be sure that it means more to us

than the thing which it pushes to one side.

If we are interested in a thing it is no task to concentrate on it.

We cannot do anything else. Consequently, if we wish to concen-

trate on a particular subject, we must get interested in it. The

secret of concentration is to become interested in what we are


Hearst Takes Over a Bankrupt Newspaper

William Randolph Hearst made a success in the newspaper

game because he liked it, because he was interested in it. In the

beginning of his career he had opportunities that looked more

promising than the newspaper business but he wisely passed them

by in favor of a career more to his liking.


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It was a momentous choice he made in that interview with his

father, Senator George Hearst, way back in 1887. William was

then a shy, gentle, smiling boy when his father broached the

subject of a career to him.

"'I assume that you are not content to live simply as a rich

man's son, but that you want to get out and do something for

yourself.' ,

"'That's right, Father.'

"'I have great ranch properties which you might develop.'

"The young man shook his head vigorously. No, he did not

want a ranch.


"Another emphatic shake of the head.

"'What do you want?'

"'I want the San Francisco Examiner.'

"'Great God!' cried the Senator, throwing up his hands.

'Haven't I spent money enough on that paper already? I took it

for a bad debt, and it's a sure loser. But, if you are set, Will, and

want it, go ahead.'

"So Will Hearst of Harvard, gay and successful manager of a

college paper, at twenty-three years and ten months, became

proprietor and sole owner of a daily newspaper. Undoubtedly

to his adventurous nature the newspaper world was an enchanted

playground in which giants and dragons were to be slain simply

for the fun of the thing; a never-never land with pirates and

Indians and fairies; a wonderful, wonderful rainbow, with un-

counted gold at the other end of the arch."

This spirit of adventure, this tremendous interest in the under-

taking made him devote himself to the task with a zeal which

no amount of prodding or sense of duty could ever inspire. He

did not have to force himself to concentrate on his job, he could

not help devoting himself to a task he loved so dearly. "Within

two years he . . . had converted the Examiner into the greatest

feature newspaper in the Westand within five or six years the


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paper had become by far the greatest money-maker on the

coast." 2

Get interesting work and the rest is easy.

If you are doing work you cannot possibly like, get out of it.

But, the strange part of it is, if you work at a job you will usually

find that you will learn to like it. The reason Hearst liked the

newspaper business was that he worked at it in college and

through this work developed the interest which later made him

so successful. It pays not to be too sure that you cannot like a

thing until you have given yourself a chance to like it by work-

ing at it.

Grozier Finds New Use for an Elephant

Edwin A. Grozier, the man who made The Boston Post, once

enlisted the interest of a great number of children in the buying

of three elephants by getting them to work. His paper decided

to buy the elephants and present them to the zoo.

"Now we were perfectly willing to pay for the elephants our-

selves," he relates; "but we did not do that. We asked the chil-

dren in and around Boston if they wouldn't like to be partners

in owning those elephants. We asked them to send in their con-

tributions, even if they could only give a penny apiece. And we

said we would print in the Post the names of every single


"The Post did pay several thousand dollars of the purchase

price, which was some ten or fifteen thousand dollars. I don't

recall the exact figure. But most of it came from the children.

We printed columns of names every day. Thousands of children

gave only a penny each. It cost us then about thirty cents a line,

on an advertising basis, to print those acknowledgments of

penny gifts. But every child who had given one cent, wanted to

see his name in the paper and was thrilled by the thought that

he owned part of an elephant." 8

Do something and you will develop an interest in the thing


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you do. Most complaints about the distasteful nature of a task

come from persons who have not given it a fair trial. Work

breeds interest. Develop an interest and you will concentrate

without effort.

We all concentrate. It is merely a question of what it is we

concentrate upon. If our dominant interest is not in harmony

with our business, the business will suffer. If we concentrate

continually on trivial incidents in life, if we "butterfly around,"

as Edison so aptly put it, we will be the useless woolgathering

type of person.

Edison Forgets His Name

Daily events are trivial things to a person engrossed in a real

problem. For example, when Thomas Edison was working on

the quadruplex telegraph he could think of little else. One day

he was waiting his turn in line to pay his taxes but his mind was

intent upon the telegraph he was perfecting. Suddenly he heard

the man at the window say, "What name?" Brought thus sud-

denly to earth he could not remember his own name and the

impatient clerk ordered him to the end of the line while he

thought of it.4

It is impossible to force yourself to concentrate on a problem;

you must become so interested in it that it dominates all your

thinking and such interest is the end result of much work on

the problem.

Concentration is the habit of being interested in a specific

problem. For example, when Mr. Frew, president of the Corn

Exchange Bank of New York, becomes engrossed in a problem,

time never dawns on him; nothing else exists for him. "A waiter

at one of the restaurants who had planned some particularly

dainty dish to please him, remarked mournfully: 'When Mr.

Frew is thinking, I could serve him paper and he'd eat it.'"11

Alexander Graham Bell once remarked: "Concentrate all your


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thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun's rays do not burn

until brought to a focus." 6

Such a focusing means getting rid of useless brain luggage.

Giannini, the great banker, learned this device. He says: "I have

interested myself only in things of interest to me in my business.

I have avoided loading my mind with stuff of no earthly use


How can one learn this habit of excluding useless baggage

from his mind and focusing all one's energies upon the problem

in hand?

Begin by applying yourself for short periods of time. It is

much better to have a few moments of concentrated interest than

to attempt to force yourself over longer periods when conditions

are unfavorable. Harriman, the great railroad builder, says that

his decisions, which were often monumental, were the product of

brief periods of intense application in which he reviewed all the

conditions and elements involved, and forged his conclusions, as

it were, at white heat.8

It also pays to take up important problems at a time when

you are best able to devote yourself exclusively to such problems.

The time of day may vary with the individual and you may

have to experiment to find the time of day which suits you best.

Dr. Frank Billings, dean of Rush Medical College in Chicago,

says that he was never able to concentrate very well in the morn-

ings. He did most of his work alone and at night.9 Other persons

have reported that they can do their best thinking in the morn-


General Joffre Too Absorbed to Defend Himself

Most persons find it necessary to be alone in order to concen-

trate, especially before concentration becomes a fixed habit. Gen-

eral Joffre, for example, "from his early days was in the habit of

taking long walks by himself in order to think out his problems.

.. . An anecdote is told by his sister Madame Artus about one of


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his walks: 'He came to Rivesaltes on a visit, and one day he

walked as far as the cite de Prats-de-Molls. The famous fort

constructed by Vauban attracted his attention, and he began

to examine it with the interest of a professional fortress builder.

The corporal of the battery decided that the man in the civilian

dress was nothing but a German spy, so he promptly arrested

him. Did my brother protest? Not he. He permitted himself to

be brought before the officer, and proved not to be a German by

speaking in as broad a Catalonian dialect as only a native of the

Pyrenees could do. "Why did you not tell them who you were?"

we asked him on his return. "I was thinking of the fort," he

replied, unconscious of anything unusual in his behavior.'"10

Go off alone where you can give yourself to the things that

interest you and the habit of concentration will grow gradually

until, like General Joffre, you find yourself completely absorbed.

Outsiders laugh at people like Joffre, Edison, Bell, and Frew.

They call them absent-minded. But these "absent-minded" people

who have learned to become completely engrossed in a subject

do not think they are doing anything unusual and, as a matter

of fact, they are not. They have merely learned the habit of

becoming absorbed in something which, to them, is extremely

fascinating. The same things are not interesting to the outsider,

hence he cannot understand this absorption.

Grover Cleveland was accustomed to keep the door of his

office open. "Such was his power of concentration that he was

not disturbed by the many visitors freely trooping in and out"

through the outer room.11

"Classmates of Theodore Roosevelt at Harvard were fond of

telling how he could settle himself in a room filled with noisy

undergraduates, open a book and master the next day's lesson,

utterly oblivious of the tumult around."12

Roosevelt learned the habit of concentration when he was

young and that is the best time to learn it. Other men have

learned it later in life. The important thing to remember is that


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it is learning to become absorbed in a specific subject. It is

learning to be interested in what you are doing.

The secret of concentration is to become interested in what

you are doing.

If possible select a vocation in which you are interested and

devotion to that vocation will be relatively easy.

Wor\ing at an uninteresting tas\ will tend to make it interest-

ing. The more you work at any job and the more you know

about it the easier it will be to concentrate on it.

Focus your interest on a specific thing. You cannot concentrate

on any big, vague subject, nor on several things at once.

Begin the habit of being interested in a small way. Select some-

thing simple, devote a short time to it at first, and select a time

and place where there are few disturbing influences.

Do not try to concentrate. Get interested and concentration will

take care of itself.

References for Chapter XI

1. Merle Crowell, American Magazine (May 1923), p. 120.

2. John K. Winkler, William Randolph Hearst, Simon and

Schuster, 1928, pp. 64-68.

3. Keene Sumner, American Magazine (Jan. 1923), p. 120.

4. Interview with Charles Edison, Aug. 5, 1930.

5. Helen Christine Bennett, American Magazine (Sept. 1923),

p. 148.

6. Orison Swett Marden, How They Succeeded, Lathrop, Lee &

Shepard Co., 1901, p. 35.

7. B. C. Forbes, Men Who Are Making the West, Forbes Publish-

ing Co., 1916, p. 226.

8. Walter Dill Scott, Increasing Human Efficiency, Macmillan,

1923, p. 16-17.

9. Interview, June 3, 1929.

10. Alexander Kahn, The Life of General Joffre, Frederick A.

Stokes, 1915, p. 25.

11. William Gorham Rice, Century, Vol. 116, p. 744.

12. Frederick S. Wood, Roosevelt as We Knew Him, John C.

Winston Co., 1927, p. 4.


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Making Your Work Count

Lucky Is the Man with Too Much to Do

MacDowell Profited by His Boss's Laziness

Westinchouse Starts a Competition

Astor Learns the Fur Business While Ice-bound

''r tnless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do

L-l he will never do all that he can do."1 These words,

spoken by Henry Drummond, marked a turning point in the

life of Samuel S. McClure.

Downcast, discouraged, sick in body, and about to be swal-

lowed in the panic of 1893, Samuel S. McClure, the founder of

McClure's Magazine, was unburdening his troubles to the great

Henry Drummond. Starting as a poor boy, McClure had to work

for every penny he ever got, sometimes against great odds. At

the age of thirty-six, he launched his magazine with his hopes

running high. Now it looked as though he were going to be

crushed in the financial panic. He told Drummond that he did

not see how he could possibly put through the task he had under-

takenthat he did not feel strong enough to do it and ended by

saying that he seemed always to be undertaking more than he

could do.

Did Drummond tell him to give up part of his work? Not

he. He was too wise for that. He told him that a man does his

best work only when he has undertaken more than he can do.

He encouraged him to keep on fighting. His reply disclosed

one of the most important secrets of successful work, a reply


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that set McClure back on his feet, filled him with an inspiration

to go ahead, and which he never forgot. You can do your best

work when under the pressure of more than you can do.

Having much work to do keys up a man as nothing else can

do. It is a challenge which calls forth all that is in him, and it is

a pleasant challenge which the virile man cannot resist. William

Wrigley had on his office wall the motto: "Nothing is more fun

than to have a little more to do than you can get through with." 2

Without this incentive one is tempted to relax, to take it easy

and, as a result a person grows stale, fails to grow as he should,

and accomplishes only a fraction of what he could do.

The happy man is the busy man. He is so happy in his activity

that he has little time to talk about how hard he is working and

you seldom hear him complain. The complainer is the one who

is doing little but is worrying about it. It is the worry that wears

and not the work. Walter Dill Scott, president of Northwestern

University, says: "Overwork is not so dangerous or so common

as is ordinarily supposed. . . . Many persons confuse overwork

with what is really underwork accompanied with worry. ... A

successful day is likely to be a restful one, and an unsuccessful

day an exhausting one. The man who is greatly interested in his

work and who finds delight in overcoming the difficulties of his

calling is not likely to become so tired as the man for whom

work is a burden." 3

Load up with more than you can do. Use this work as an

incentive to do all you can and end each day with a glow of

satisfaction that you have been able to accomplish as much of it

as you have. If you stew and fret when you have too much to do

you will use up your energy in worry instead of in accomplishing

your best. Get the attitude of William Wrigley and enjoy the

fun of making at least a dent in the pile of work which lies

ahead of you. If you have more than you can do you are not to

be pitied. Pity the poor fellow who has too little to do.

Patrick E. Crowley, former president of the New York Central


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Railroad, started at the age of twelve to take on jobs he was not

supposed to do, so that he always did more than he was expected

to do. He did not wait for the work to come to him, he went out

and got it. He started as a messenger boy and studied telegraphy

in the evenings. Not because he had to, did he study so diligently.

He wanted to. He could have had other good jobs on the rail-

road without telegraphy but he took on the task of studying it

because he thought it might help him. Not only did he study

telegraphy but everything else about the railroad and learned so

much that when they needed a train dispatcher in Buffalo, an

official of the company who had never seen him but had heard

of him said: "Send that young fellow Crowley, he knows his

trade and he knows every foot of the road." 4

Crowley learned, as many others have also learned, that it pays

to do more than is expected of you. Such additional work gives a

broader view of the business one happens to be in, a grasp and a

vision that cannot be obtained if one does only his allotted task

with machine-like precision and regularity. In Crowley's case it

was the direct cause of his early promotions.

MacDowell Profited by His Boss's Laziness

Charles Henry MacDowell, now president of the Armour

Fertilizer Works, stepped out of the position of stenographer by

this device of doing more than was expected of him. His first

job was under a lazy secretary who liked to get from under

every job he could. He found MacDowell to be a willing victim

and asked him to prepare a private telegraph code to be used by

Mr. Armour on a trip to Europe. The secretary's laziness gave

MacDowell his chance.

"Instead of getting up an ordinary code on a few sheets of

paper, he designed a little booklet, bound it in seal, and printed

the code in illuminated letters. When it was finished the secretary

handed in the code.


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"'You didn't do this,' said Mr. Armour.

"'No-o-o, sir,' stammered the secretary.

"'Who did?'

"'My stenographer, Charles MacDowell.'

"'Send him to me,' said Mr. Armour.

"'Young man'as MacDowell came into the office'how did

you happen to get my code up in this shape?'

"'I thought it would be handier for you, sir.'

"'When did you do the work?'

"'At home, nights.'

"'Hm-m-m. Glad to know it.'

"A few days later MacDowell was given a desk in the front

office and not long afterwards he was appointed to succeed the

secretary." 8

Joseph P. Day, the greatest real estate salesman in the world,

was able to take his first step toward being a salesman by will-

ingly doing a job which a fellow workman should have done.

This is the way it happened:

When fourteen years of age, he was working as an office boy

and it looked like an impossible leap to get into sellingthe job

he wanted so much to do. "A big buyer from Chicago," says

Day, "came in late one afternoon, the third of July, and explained

that he was sailing for Europe on the fifth and wanted to place

an order before leaving. This would have to be done the follow-

ing day, which, of course, was a holiday. However, one of the

salesmen agreed to come to the store in the morning.

"The usual procedure was for the customer to look over the

samples and pick out the ones he thought he might want. Then

the salesman would have the rolls of goods brought up for


"When the young fellow who should have carried up the rolls

in this case was asked to give up his holiday and work instead,

he declared that his father was so patriotic that he wouldn't

allow his son to desecrate the Glorious Fourth in any such fash-


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ion! Of course this was only an excuse. I knew the real reason

was that the chap was going to a ball game.

"I told the salesman I'd be glad to come and the result was a

promotion. By the time I was seventeen, I was a salesman." 8

When someone with whom you work is lazy, use that as an

opportunity to do more than is expected of you. It may have

very far-reaching results. Do not succumb to the temptation to

try to outdo him in laziness or complain about him. To do so

may be closing the door of opportunity to you. Most men who

have been markedly successful secured a large portion of their

experience by doing things entirely apart from their assigned

jobs, by performing other workmen's jobs, without pay, outside

of regular working hours, and often entirely unnoticed by either

the other men or their superiors.

"On a balmy spring evening in Detroit, some forty years ago,

a young man introduced himself at the baggage-room of the

Detroit and Cleveland lake steamship lines in a manner which

made the Irish baggage agent scratch his head in perplexity.

"'Ye say,' the agent repeated, 'that ye're goin' to help me in

my workan' for nothing?'

"The young man had already peeled off his coat. Now he

tossed it with a business-like air over a near-by trunk.

"'Yep,' he grinned. 'I'm the new traveling agent, and I want

to find out how this line handles baggage.'

"'But, me boy,' pointed out the Irishman, more flabbergasted

than ever, 'it's after seven. Your quittin' time is five-thirty. An'

the company ain't payin' ye, no matter what time it is, to come

dirty in' yez hands with baggage!'

"'Oh, that's all right,' the young man assured him. 'This time

is on me. I'm out to learn something about the business besides

passenger work, and this strikes me as a good place to start in.'

"'Well, ye can help if ye want to,' the agent finally declared,

'but I'm a thinkin' that ye must be loony. Most lads the age of


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ye'd be glad to be out enjoyin' themselves on sich a fine an'

beautiful av'nin' as this.'"7

But he was not loony. This was the way this boy got the edu-

cation which landed him finally as president and general man-

ager of the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company. It was

A. A. Schantz.

Notice that this device of doing more than is expected of you

is effective only when it is done eagerly and in the spirit of fun.

These men all enjoyed doing the extra work they did. It would

not have been effective if they had done it complainingly, calling

the attention of their comrades or of their superiors to their self-

sacrifice, and inviting sympathy or praise for it. They wanted no

praise but the pleasure of doing what they enjoyed doing. The

attitude with which they did the work was more important than

the work itself.

Do more than is expected of you, but smile while you do it.

Westinghouse Starts a Competition

To compete with someone else is a sure way to spur yourself

to do your best work. Do your work in the same spirit with

which you engage in a competitive game and it will be both

more delightful and more efficient.

George Westinghouse applied this principle very effectively

in handling his men. "Of a skilled workman who was one of his

mainstays for years he once demanded: 'Miller, why are you

always so slow about getting out a job I order? Why can't you

be quick as Herr is?'

"And to Herr he said: 'Herr, why on earth can't you take

example from Miller, and do things promptly?'

"Some time later Herr had just returned from a business trip

and found awaiting him a message from his chief telling him to

have a certain casting made for immediate delivery to the Switch

and Signal Shops.


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"It was Saturday night but Herr had it done by Sunday morn-

ing. Early in the morning Westinghouse appeared at the shops.

"'Herr,' he said, 'did you get my message?'

"'I did.'

"'When are you going to pour that casting?'

"'It's poured already.'

"'Ha! How soon can you get it out?'

"'It's out."

"'Is that so? Where is it?'

"'It's at the Switch and Signal Shops.'" 8

Westinghouse was speechless. He was amazed at the effective-

ness of the device he had used to stimulate his foreman to execute

orders promptly. And what a thrill Herr felt when he saw the

unbounded approval of Westinghouse!

Theodore Roosevelt, whose name is synonymous with energy,

used the device of competition to keep himself keyed up but

he did not wait for someone else to arrange a competition or

for some outsider with whom to compete. He was eternally

competing with himself. He took stock of the things he had to

do and arranged a schedule so that he had an allotted time for

each item. Then he ran off each task in the allotted time. "He

never stopped running; even while he stoked, he fired; the

throttle was always open; the engine was always under a full

head of steam. . . . The schedule of engagements showed that

he was constantly occupied from nine o'clock in the morning

when he took his regular walk in the White House Grounds

with Mrs. Roosevelt, until midnight, with guests at both luncheon

and dinner. And when he went to bed he was able to disabuse

his mind instantly of every care and worry and go straight to

sleep and he slept with perfect normality and on schedule

time." 9

This careful planning of his work was the secret of Roosevelt's

efficiency. When a task was presented he estimated how long it

should take and found a place for it in his program of work.


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Since he would fit an important task into his schedule at as

early a time as he could, he was known to get things done ahead

of time in many instances. It is the unsystematic fellow who

comes up to the last minute without adequate preparation for an

important job. When Roosevelt, for instance, "accepted an invita-

tion to deliver an address or write an article, he would prepare

it immediately, even if the occasion were two, three, or even six

months off. . . . His promptness left him free for other things.

The President never seemed to be hurried, though he always

worked with a wonderful driving force. He seemed never to

waste any time. It was play or work, and both with his whole


No matter whether you have much to do or little, arrange a

schedule and live up to the schedule as nearly as you can. If you

have only enough to occupy you an hour arrange to do it in an

hour and play the rest of the time. It is foolish to dawdle a whole

day on a job you can do in an hour. If you have more than you

can do in the time you have available select the important items

and let the insignificant ones go, excusing yourself ahead of time

from the obligation to do them.

No one could run a factory without planning and yet many

persons think that they do efficient work merely by working

hard without any notion as to what they can hope to accomplish

in a day and how much must be left undone for lack of time.

The so-called strain of overwork is not due to overwork but

is due to a lack of planning and system. The victim of sloppy

working habits feels, "I must work, I must work, I must work,"

annoys himself by nagging at himself, cannot relax when the day

is over, and carries his work into his play and to bed with him.

Then he complains that he has to work too hard. You could not

herd a thousand men into a factory, give them a sermon on

industry, and, without any planning, expect them to turn out

automobiles or radio sets. Yet men treat themselves in this sense-

less fashion. It does no good to spur yourself to work hard if


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you do not know just what you ought to do. And in a well

planned day you should know just what you should be doing

each fifteen minutes.

John Wanamaker, Philadelphia's great merchant, was once

asked, "'How do you get through so much?'

"'By never doing the same thing twice.'"11

People who do not plan their work find themselves working in

circles, repeating what they have already done, getting in their

own way, and worst of all spending all their energy in worrying

because they are not accomplishing more.

Map out your work. Time so spent is well spent. You can

never be an efficient person if you do not. The test of efficient

work is: How well planned is your work? It is not: How hard

do you work?

The best kind of competition is to compete with your own

schedule. Keep a record of what you accomplish each day. Try

today to beat the record of yesterday. Plan tomorrow to beat

your record of today.

If you plan your work you will find that you can get your

ordinary tasks done in a shorter time, will have time to spare,

and you will find yourself casting about for something else to do.

In this way you will discover yourself forging ahead of your

less foresighted comrades. While they go plodding along, like

the snails they are, you will be finding extra time to do things

to improve your chances.

"More men fail because they are time-wasters than for any

other cause," said Frederick Douglas Underwood, president of

the Erie Railroad. "One man rises above another because he

saves time, while the other man wastes it. You cannot afford to

work six or eight hours and then put your brain to sleep. It is

physically harmful to work at manual labor all the waking hours

of the twenty-four, but I am sure it will never hurt you to keep

your mind active all the time, except when you are asleep."12


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Astor Learns the Fur Business While Ice-bound

The year after the Revolutionary War ended1784John Jacob"

Astor, a twenty-year-old German immigrant, was ice-bound for

two months in the Chesapeake on a ship bound for Baltimore.

Two months of discomfort, his little stock of money exhausted;

what an introduction to the land of opportunity he had pictured

to himself!

But these two months were not only not wasted, they opened

up to him the path that led to his extraordinary success. From a

fellow traveler he learned the important facts of the fur business,

valuable information that he wrote down in a little note book

prices, the names of dealers in the great cities, and many other

important points. Young Astor was reaching out for knowledge

and wasting no opportunities to learn. And because of this

disposition a misfortune was turned into the key that unlocked

the gate of success for him.

He not only was enabled to gain from the inside the knowl-

edge of the business in which he was later to build up a far-

flung organization in the new country, but also he applied himself

and learned many facts which made it possible to lay the small

beginnings of his colossal fortune.13

While prospecting, a young man who later gained some promi-

nence, "fell down a one hundred and twenty foot shaft and broke

both his legs. While lying on his back in the hospital he threw

himself enthusiastically into the study of law, graduated in six

months, and was immediately admitted to a partnership in a law


What appear to be misfortunes may be opportunities to do the

things we have wanted to do but have not found the time to do

in the ordinary run of affairs. It would have been easy for Astor

to have been so set on the one aim of getting to America that,

when stranded in the Chesapeake, he could say there was nothing

he could do till the ice thawed. The young prospector could not


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engage in his prospecting with a pair of broken legs; it was a

marvelous excuse for a rest. Rather, he made it a marvelous

chance to study law.

If you are lazy, you will welcome every misfortune as an

excuse for your laziness. If you are energetic you will turn what

looks like misfortune into an opportunity to do some of the

things you have wanted to do.

The only reason anyone works is to get something. As children

we must see the reward that we expect from our efforts and see it

pretty clearly if it is to motivate us to try. As we grow older we

learn to work for longer periods and for goals which are more

and more remote. This leads to persistence in a task even when

there is no immediate prospect of reward. But the reward is

there all the same. Persistence is nothing more than the habit of

keeping our hopes high, even when the goal is temporarily out

of sight. It is what we have already called the habit of success.

Behind all planning there should be a clear vision of the goal to

be achieved. The plan of work should be designed to bring us

closer to this goal, but, in addition, we should develop the habit

of continuing with our program even when the goal may be

temporarily obscured from our view.

George B. Dealey, head of The Dallas News, says: "I believe

that the effort you put into an undertaking is of greater conse-

quence than the result you accomplish."15

If you want to make your work count, start in with an easy

job and stick to it till you finish it, then take a harder one and

conquer it, and then tackle a still harder one. In this method

you can develop a bulldog grit that will take you through the

hardest and most distasteful jobs.

Carnegie at one time in his life was placed in a job where he

was forced to exercise all the grit he possessed to stick it out. He

describes it himself: "It now became my duty to bathe the newly

made spools in vats of oil. Fortunately, there was a room reserved

for this purpose and I was alone, but not all the resolution I


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could muster, nor all the indignation I felt at my own weakness,

prevented my stomach from behaving in a most perverse way.

I never succeeded in overcoming the nausea produced by the

smell of the oil. . . . But if I had to lose breakfast, or dinner, I

had all the better appetite for supper, and the allotted work was

done. A real disciple of Wallace or Bruce could not give up. He

would die first." 16

"Give me the choice between a man of tremendous brains and

ability but without tenacity, and one of ordinary brains but with

a great deal of tenacity and I will select the tenacious one every

time,"17 says Daniel Guggenheim, the philanthropist.

Or, as William Livingston, president of the Detroit Savings

Bank, says: "Genius is the power of making effort. It is nothing

but persistent patience!"18

Such persistence is not a gift. Carnegie was not born with a

gift which enabled him to stick at his job in spite of his nausea.

Persistence is learned by doing little things with thoroughness.

Even if the objective is small it can build up the habit of persist-

ence if it is achieved by sticking at a task until it is thoroughly


Charles H. Markham took his first step toward the presidency

of the Illinois Central Railroad by doing with thoroughness such

an insignificant job as sweeping a station platform. "'The first

time I ever saw Markham,' said E. F. Gerald, a former chief

travelling auditor for the Illinois Central Railroad, 'was down at

Deming. I was sitting in a private car in front of the station

platform when he came out in his blue shirt and overalls and

swept off the station platform. Something in the way he went

about it caught my eye. For he didn't miss any dirt or waste any

licks. He handled it like a brisk piece of engineering. Pratt, the

assistant general superintendent, was with me, and I called his

attention to the way the sweeping was being done, and said I

believed that fellow would bear watching. . . . Well, we did

watch him. We had him tried out after a while on some work


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at the station office and by and by as a result of it all, he was

given his first station agency.'"19

Little did Markham know that learning to do such a simple

job as sweeping the station platform in an efficient manner would

prove to be the first step in his march toward the presidency of

the road.

Charles M. Schwab says: "I have always felt that the surest way

to qualify for the job just ahead is to work a little harder than

anyone else on the job one is holding down. ... If you must be

a glutton, be a glutton for work." 20

Load up with more than you can do. It will act as a stimulus

to ma\e you do all that you can.

Arrange to compete with others or with your own record.

Nothing will draw the best from you as much as competition.

Do more than is expected of you. If you have lazy comrades

you can do their wor\ and thus learn more. If you complain

about them or try to outdo them in laziness you are hurting


Organize your wor\ so that you have some definite objective.

It is better to get a job done in record time and then to play

than it is to dawdle at it for a long time, even if you have plenty

of time to do it.

Never do the same thing twice. You will not do so if you plan

your wor\ carefully.

Utilize your spare time to improve yourself. Events that loot,

likjr misfortunes may be utilized to improve yourself.

Learn the habit of persistence by stic\ing to little jobs till they

are done and done thoroughly.

Never be afraid of overwork Overwor\ will not hurt you. It is

only worry that does harm and well planned wor\ does not cause



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References for Chapter XII

1. Samuel S. McClure, Autobiography, Frederick A. Stokes, 1913,

pp. 223-224.

2. Interview, June 24, 1930.

3. Walter Dill Scott, Increasing Human Efficiency, Macmillan,

pp. 20, 22, and 167.

4. A. H. Smith, American Magazine (Dec. 1924), p. 92.

5. J. Ogden Armour, American Magazine (March 1917), p. 8.

6. Keene Sumner, American Magazine (Aug. 1924), p. 16.

7. Sherwin Gwinn, American Magazine (July 1925), p. 37.

8. Francis E. Leupp, George Westinghouse, Little Brown, 1918,

p. 236.

9. Enoch Burton Gowin, Developing Business Executives, Ronald

Press, pp. 109-110.

10. Oscar S. Strauss, Outlook (Oct. 25, 1922), p. 334.

11. Herbert A. Gibbons, John Wanamaker, Harper Brothers, 1926,

P- 330-

12. Helen Christine Bennett, American Magazine (May 1924),

p. 88.

13. Elizabeth L. Gebhaed, John Jacob Astor, Bryan Printing Co.,

1915, pp. 35-49.

14. B. C. Forbes, Men Who Are Making the West, Forbes Publish-

ing Co., 1916, p. 100.

15. George W. Gray, American Magazine (Feb. 1927), p. 10.

16. Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, 1920,

P- 35-

17. B. C. Forbes, Men Who Are Making America, Forbes Publish-

ing Co., 1916, p. 174.

18. Thane Wilson, American Magazine (Jan. 1923), p. 51.

19. Alfred Pittman, American Magazine (Oct. 1921), p. 64.

20. Charles Schwab, Succeeding with What You Have, Century

Company, 1917, pp. 9 and 11.


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Rest and Relaxation

Work Hard and Relax Completely

Edison Took Naps on a Table

A Cardinal Jumps Chairs

Rest by Changing Occupations

Have a Hobby

//t^eople who can not find time for recreation arc obliged

I sooner or later to find time for illness,"1 said John Wana-

maker, a man who worked hard but always took time to conserve

his health through recreation.

"No one ever worked harder than Walpole." Yet "he was

irrepressibly gay, and the boisterous shout of his laughter was a

thing of which people wrote to each other."

Robert Walpole was one of the greatest of modern English

statesmen; burdened with responsibilities, harassed by petty

stiife, and annoyed by scheming politicians, but "he was the

wonder to his contemporaries for the ease with which he

handled his vast masses of public affairs."

How did he do it? How could he be saddled with work and

still be so carefree? He gave the solution when he said: "I put off

my cares when I put off my clothes."2 He could work because

he knew how to relax.

This same trait was possessed by William E. Gladstone. "When

the day's work was doneand it might be a very long and

anxious dayhe never carried any remnants of it to bed with

him, but drew about him an impenetrable curtain, behind which


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repose prepared him and fortified him for tomorrow. . . . The

ability to compel sleep whenever it was due or desired never

failed him." 8

Work hard when you work and relax completely when you

relax: is the magic formula for combining efficiency, happiness,

and health. To relax you must let golet go your worries, your

problems, your interests, your conflicts, your disappointments,

your prospectslet everything go.

If you cannot sleep it is because you have dragged your cares

to bed with you and care is an annoying bedfellowhe will not

let you sleep but will keep pestering you with regrets about

what has happened, fears about what will happen, possible solu-

tions for unsolved problems, and trivialities that seem to pop up

from nowhere. Why let care spoil your rest? You can learn to

put off cares with your clothes just as Walpole, Gladstone, and

all the other men who have been efficient, happy and healthy,

have learned to do. Such learning will pay big dividends. If you

worry because you are not able to sleep at once you merely add

another care and are still less able to sleep. First learn to relax

in simple ways and when you have learned you will have no

trouble in sleeping.

Eugene Morgan Stevens, president of the Continental Illinois

Bank and Trust Company of Chicago, tells how he learned in

his boyhood the extremely valuable habit of relaxing in the

middle of each day. "When I was a boy working at the wagon

factory, I used to come home for lunch and my mother bade me

lie down after lunch for five or ten minutes. Boy-like I could see

no sense in that.

"'Never mind,' she would say; 'you just lie down and relax.

It will do you good.'

"I tried it. It did do me good. Within a very short time it

became a habit. I found I could simply 'wipe' everything off my

mind, and sometimes sleep for a few minutes, waking up re-

freshed and ready for more work.


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"The habit of relaxing at odd times has lasted, and I have

known occasions when it was of immense value to me. To this

day, where there is any need to, I can lean back in my chair at

the office, or in the seat of a train, forget everything, and inside

a couple of minutes am sound asleep, waking refreshed." 4

How easy it is to learn! Merely do it. What does it matter if

you do not sleep? Slump in your chair, let your mind drift,

think of something refreshing or soothing; and, whether you

sleep or not you will feel refreshed. Time taken in this manner

is well invested.

Edison Took Naps on a Table

Many persons wonder at the endurance of Thomas Edison. He

is reported to have gone for long stretches with no long periods

of sleep. He was able to do this because he knew the value of,

and made use of, temporary periods of complete relaxation. "It

often happened that, when he had been working to three or four

o'clock in the morning, he would lie down on one of the labora-

tory tables, and with nothing but a couple of books for a pillow,

would fall into a sound sleep."6 In a quarter or half hour he

would wake up, refreshed and ready to go to work again.

By recuperating with these short rest periods he was able to

continue his work for long stretches, until he had finished the

job he was so engrossed in that he could not let it go. Then he

would take a long rest. On one occasion he worked for sixty

consecutive hours at the end of which period he slept for thirty-

six hours.6 Edison knew how to work but he also knew how

to relax. The two are inseparable.

But naps are not the only means of relaxation. Men who work

hard have learned various little devices which they use as

momentary diversions. These diversions act as means of rest and

recuperation and are almost as essential as the ability to go into

a complete sleep.

Humor is one of these devices. Edison always had time for


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a bit of fun or a good story. Abraham Lincoln was widely known

for his ability to inject humor into periods of great stress, a

device which doubtless saved him from unbearable tension.

Henry Justin Smith, managing editor of The Chicago Daily

News, was in the habit of taking lunch with a group of friends

whom he incited to a daily broadside of "kidding." Each was so

intent on keeping up his part of the game that he had no time to

think of serious business and at the end of the lunch was able to

return to work greatly refreshed.7

In the office of Charles W. Galloway, vice-president of the

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, there is at one side a big table with

sixty elephants on it. The elephants are of porcelain, bronze,

and other materials and Mr. Galloway has spent much time

collecting them. Every hour or so he gets up from his desk and

walks around the table, moving one elephant here and another

there. This is his unique way of momentarily resting from his

mental work.8

Probably the more childish the device the more effective it is

in bringing about a complete diversion. Napoleon's favorite

game, for example, was blind man's buff.9

A Cardinal Jumps Chairs

Still more unique was the method used by Cardinal Mazarin.

He "was fond of shutting himself up in a room, and jumping

over the chairs, arranged in positions varying according to the

degrees of difficulty in clearing them."10

Of course, these men had to maintain their dignity, and

usually did their little antics in private. Outsiders usually consider

dignified men incapable of such childish performances but that

is because they do not realize the necessity of momentary periods

of complete release from the arduous tasks they must perform.

The more childish the trick the more valuable it is.

Each man should have some diversion. Whether it is merely

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getting up and walking around the office, looking out the

window, lighting a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, walking around the

block, spinning yarns, playing with toy elephants, or jumping

chairs, will depend upon the individual personality. It matters

little what it is you do, but do something to relieve the tension.

No man can work continuously without such diversions. If

you do not develop some such device systematically you will find

yourself growing stale.

Select the form of diversion which best suits you and practice

it systematically whenever you get feeling a little too tense,

when things begin to irritate you, or when you begin to feel

tired and you will be surprised how much refreshment it pro-

vides. Furthermore, if you train yourself to relax when you feel

the need of it, you will be enabled to take complete rest in times

of crisis.

A crisis can be handled much better if you do not let it inter-

fere with your rest. E. H. Harriman, the man who did so much

for the western railroads, was "absolutely unruffled by the stress

and strain of the great business struggles in which he constantly

took so prominent a part."

On the night before the great Wall Street panic of 1907, when

he had every reason to be worried, a friend who was staying with

him said, as they parted for the night: "'Good night to you; I

hope you will have a good night's sleep and that things will

straighten out in Wall Street tomorrow.'

"Harriman smiled and replied: 'I never stayed awake a night

in my life about business, and I'm not going to begin now.'

Next morning at the breakfast table he was as fresh and cheery

as usual, though he knew better than anyone else that the very

foundations of great business concerns and of Wall Street itself,

would totter on that day, and that ruin might come to the most


Napoleon Bonaparte, in the midst of a two day battle and

entirely exhausted, ordered his man to spread a bearskin for


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him on the battlefield, gave orders to be called in twenty minutes,

lay down, and fell fast asleep. He slept for the prescribed period

to awaken fully invigorated.12

The dashing Garibaldi was accustomed to stretch out in his

tent and relax for short periods during battle. Colonel Roosevelt

retired early in the Pullman which carried him to the Chicago

convention of 1912. Bryan, when in the midst of a deadlock

which threw all of his comrades into extremely high tension,

retired to his room, threw off his coat and, oblivious to the bustle

of the delegates around him, slept soundly for an hour.18

On the night of William H. Taft's election to the presidency

in 1908, when it was evident that he had been victorious, some

cadets from the Woodward Academy in Cincinnati decided that

they would call upon Mr. Taft and congratulate him. At their

summons the butler opened the door and seemed surprised to see

them at one o'clock in the morning. He informed them that Mr.

Taft was in bed and asleep. It appeared that he had gone to bed

at nine o'clock and had left strict instructions that he was not to

be disturbed, not wanting to lose a night's sleep even to find out

whether he had been elected President of the United States.14

Another instance of tremendous working ability coupled with

the ability to relax is to be seen in Gustavus F. Swift, a man

who attained his success through a surpassing display of courage,

patience, and perseverance. He had tremendous driving power

but knew how to relax when the time came. "He was usually in

bed by ten o'clock and refused to have his hours of rest broken

into even by calls that to the ordinary man would have seemed

imperative. . . . One night the telephone rang persistently and

roused one of the maids. She called Mr. Swift, but he refused

to go to the telephone. The maid, however, was troubled and said

they wanted to tell him that 'his packinghouse was burning

down.' All he said was: 'Have them tell me what happened at

seven o'clock in the morning.' . . . He knew how to conserve

his strength and to apply it when it would be effective."15


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These men all knew how to use their energy to accomplish

things. They worked hard. But they also knew that when there

was nothing they could do, it was useless to consume energy

in vain stewing and fretting. They relaxed and rested so that

they could take up the battle with renewed vigor at the proper


Rest by Changing Occupations

A change of occupation is an excellent way to obtain rest.

John Wanamaker once was asked what he did for recreation.

His reply was: "Why, I change from one thing to another. My

wholesale business is entirely different from my retail trade. . . .

I take that up and get a rest from this. I change about. I have so

many things that interest me that I get a constant variety from

attending to all of them."16

When tired of one occupation, change to another and you will

find that such a change rests you. Many men who must work

hard and incessantly use this device to accomplish much and at

the same time provide adequate rest. Roosevelt, Gladstone, and

Ford all testify to the effectiveness of this procedure. Roosevelt

accomplished so much because he could jump from one piece

of work to another. Change of occupation was his method of


Hence, the value of making a definite schedule for the day's

work in advance is apparent. It is extremely inefficient to work

at one task until completely fatigued and then change reluctantly

to another. Divide up the day into relatively short periods. Work

during one period on one task, then change to another, and

another and then finally back to the first. Much more can be

accomplished in this fashion and, at the end of the day, you will

feel relatively fresh.

Strange as it may seem, relaxation may bring the solution of a

problem which eludes us when we are straining for the solution.


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We struggle and struggle to get the answer, but the more we

strain the more it seems to evade us. Our mind seems to be going

around in a circle. When this happens it pays to drop the ques-

tion and go on to some other job. Often, when we are not

thinking about it at all, the solution will seem literally to "pop"

into our minds.

David McLain, one of the most remarkable foundry experts

this country ever produced, relates such an experience, which

is by no means unique, but can be duplicated by many great

thinkers. He was experimenting with a steel and an iron bar and

noticed that in the smithy's coke furnace the steel melted first.

In the laboratory, when melted in a crucible, the iron melted first.

Why this strange paradox? "For weeks he wondered about this

apparent contradiction. . . . Lying in bed one night the idea

popped into his head . . . that the steel bar, when melted in the

laboratory crucible had not come in contact with the coke.

In the blacksmith's fire it had.... The coke was high in carbon.

Evidently the steel had absorbed some of the carbon from the

blacksmith's fire" and thus reduced its melting point.18 Experi-

ments demonstrated the correctness of this solution.

Emotional tension and worry interfere with clear thinking.

If the solution of a problem does not seem to come we are

likely to become irritated and determine to "get it or die." This

attitude makes it almost impossible to arrive at a solution. The

thing to do is to forget it, do something else, or relax entirely.

When fresh you can come back to it; but, in many instances, the

answer will come, not in periods of intense strain, but when you

are relaxed and not thinking of the problem at all.

Have a Hobby

Above all, every man should have a hobbyif possible some-

thing in which he can excelcertainly something he takes keen

delight in doing. Such a hobby provides an ideal form of relaxa-


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tion. One does not need to have any other reason for his hobby

than the desire to do it, and in cultivating this attitudedoing a

thing for sheer delightwe foster the attitude which should

be behind one's work.

We have said that all our work should be done in the spirit of

play, we should delight in doing it. A hobby helps to keep

this attitude in fine fettle. It may be that the necessity for persist-

ing in our serious vocation may take the edge from the pleasure

we ordinarily would get from it. Go to a hobby and you will be

able to strengthen your feeling of delight in an activity for the

sake of that activity alone. Refreshed in this manner you can

carry the same attitude back to your work. A hobby should

not be a substitute for work but a means of recreation and a

creator of enthusiasm which can be transmitted to your work.

A prominent sales manager19 sent cards to all his executives

asking them to name their hobby and to indicate what proficiency

they had reached in it. He found that practically all of them had

some favorite hobby and many of them had become quite pro-

ficient. One was the amateur golf champion of his state, one held

the world's record for a continuous run at pocket billiards, and

one was a dramatic critic for one of the metropolitan dailies.

Walter Dill Scott, president of Northwestern University, says

on this subject:

"Upon entering business every young man should select some

form of endeavor or activity apart from business to which he shall

devote a part of his attention. This interest should be so absorb-

ing that when he is thus engaged, business is banished from

his mind.

"This interest may be a home and family; it may be some form

of athletics; it may be club life; it may be art, literature, philan-

thropy, or religion. It must be something which appeals to the

individual and is adapted to his capabilities. Some men find it

advisable to have more than a single interest for the hours of

recreation. Some form of athletics or of agriculture is often


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combined with an interest in art, literature, religion, or other in-

tellectual form of recreation. Thus Gladstone is depicted as a

woodchopper and as an author of Greek works. Carnegie was de-

scribed as an enthusiast in golf and in philanthropy. Rockefeller

is believed to be interested in golf and philanthropy, but his

philanthropy takes the form of education through endowed

schools. Carnegie's philanthropy was in building libraries. If the

lives of the great business men are studied, it will be found that

there is a great diversity in the type of recreation chosen; but

philanthropy, religion, and athletics are very prominentperhaps

the most popular of the outside interests.

"Hence young men should in their youth choose wisely some

interests to which they may devote themselves with perfect aban-

don at more or less regular intervals throughout life." 20

No matter what it is, select some interest aside from your main

vocation. Select the thing you like to do best and do it for sheer

fun. The hobbies that you may select are as broad as life itself.

Some that have been followed, together with the names of some

of the men who have adopted them are given in the following

list. If you are at a loss what to select this list may give you a


ArtClemenceau, Alexander Hamilton, James J. Hill, Theodore

N. Vail.

Bicycle ridingArthur J. Balfour, James Stillman.

Boys' clubsE. H. Harriman.

BoxingE. H. Harriman.

BricklayingWinston Churchill.

CampingE. H. Harriman, Cyrus McCormick, Eugene M.


CanoeingCyrus McCormick.

CardsHerbert Asquith, H. C. Frick, Charles M. Schwab.

Cattle breedingJames Stillman.

Choral singingLord Alverstone.

Chopping woodCyrus McCormick.


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Collecting(antiques) Henry Ford, (art objects) W. R. Hearst,

(paintings) Clemenceau, Elbert Gary, (watches) H. J.


CricketLord Alverstone.

CroquetJohn Wanamaker.


Detective storiesWm. H. Baldwin, Arthur J. Balfour, Thomas

A. Edison, Herbert Hoover, Charles Evans Hughes, Nicholas

Longworth, John J. Pershing, Woodrow Wilson.

DogsJ. P. Morgan.

DrivingAlbert Billings, E. H. Harriman, J. D. Rockefeller,

Montgomery Ward.

FarmingAlexander Hamilton, E. H. Harriman, Samuel Insull,

Charles M. Schwab, Theodore N. Vail, Thomas E. Wilson.

Felling treesWilliam E. Gladstone, William Pitt.

FishingWm. H. Baldwin, Andrew Carnegie, Grover Cleve-

land, Calvin Coolidge, Clarence Dillon, Thomas A. Edison,

Lord Grey, E. H. Harriman, H. B. Hepburn, James J. Hill,

Herbert Hoover, Lord Northcliffe, Eugene M. Stevens,

Montgomery Ward.

Flowers, gardening, horticultureLord Grey, Alexander Hamil-

ton, Thomas Jefferson, Edward E. Loomis, William Pitt,

John D. Rockefeller, Frank Wetmore.

ForestryE. H. Harriman.

GolfHerbert Asquith, Arthur J. Balfour, Cyrus Curtis, Mar-

shall Field, H. C. Frick, H. B. Hepburn, Lloyd George,

Nicholas Longworth, Andrew Mellon, C. F. Murphy, Lord

Northcliffe, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, Alfred

E. Smith, William Howard Taft, John Wanamaker, Wood-

row Wilson.

HikingW. R. Hearst, Charles Evans Hughes, Cyrus Mc-


HorsesJames J. Hill, John D. Rockefeller.

HumorAbraham Lincoln.


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HuntingGrover Cleveland, Clarence Dillon, E. H. Harriman,

James J. Hill, George Washington.

Hunting big gameH. B. Hepburn, Theodore Roosevelt, Lord


MetallurgyCharles S. Parnell.

MusicClarence Dillon, Elbert Gary, H. L. Higginson, Charles

M. Schwab, Eugene M. Stevens, Duke of Wellington.

Nature studyThomas Jefferson, Cyrus McCormick.

NovelsHerbert Asquith, H. C. Frick, Charles Evans Hughes.

Organ musicAndrew Carnegie.

ParchesiThomas A. Edison.

PhotographyW. R. Hearst, James Stillman.

PigeonsAndrew Carnegie.

PoloCharles Sabin.

ReadingAndrew Carnegie, Rufus Choate, Charles G. Dawes,

Clarence Dillon, Elbert Gary, Wm. E. Gladstone, James J.

Hill, Herbert Hoover, Colonel House, J. P. Morgan, C. F.

Murphy, Napoleon, Lord Northcliffe, W. A. Paine, Lord

Roberts, Theodore Roosevelt, John Wanamaker, Woodrow


RefereeLord Alverstone.

RidingJ. H. Barringer, Joseph Choate, Cyrus Curtis, W. R.

Hearst, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Mellon, Mussolini, John

J. Pershing, Theodore Roosevelt, Gerard Swope, John Wana-

maker, George Washington, Duke of Wellington.

ShootingArthur J. Balfour, Grover Cleveland, Calvin Coolidge.

SkatingJohn D. Rockefeller.

Social reformWm. H. Baldwin, Pierre du Pont.

Sunday school teachingJohn D. Rockefeller, Alfred E. Smith,

John Wanamaker.

TennisLord Alverstone, Arthur J. Balfour, Admiral Beatty,

J. P. Morgan, Duke of Wellington.

TravelYou cannot go wrong on this. They all do it.

TheatreHerbert Asquith.


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ViolinThomas Jefferson, Mussolini, Duke of Wellington.

WalkingEdgar S. Bloom, Calvin Coolidge, H. C. Frick, Wm.

E. Gladstone, James J. Hill, Charles Evans Hughes, Lord

Northcliffe, Theodore Roosevelt, John Wanamaker.

Window shoppingWilliam Randolph Hearst.

WritingAndrew Carnegie, James J. Hill.

Yachting J. H. Barringer, J. P. Morgan.

References for Chapter XIII

1. Russell H. Conwell, John Wanama\er, Harper and Brother,

1924, p. 183.

2. G. R. Sterling Taylor, Modern English Statesmen, Robert M.

McBride, 1921, pp. 83-84.

3. William H. Rideinc, Many Celebrities and a Few Others,

Doublcday Page, 1912, p. 320.

4. Neil M. Clark, American Magazine (Jan. 1928), p. 128.

5. George S. Bryan, Thomas A. Edison, Knopf, 1926, p. 115.

6. F. T. Cooper, Thomas A. Edison, Frederick A. Stokes Company,

1914, p. 92.

7. Interview with Charles Layng, June 1, 1929.

8. Interview with Charles Layng, June 1, 1929.

9. T. F. T. Dyer, Great Men at Play, Remington & Co., 1889.

10. Ibid., pp. 16-17.

11. George E. Kennan, E. H. Harriman, Houghton Mifflin, p. 389.

12. Emil Ludwig, Napoleon, Garden City Publishing Co., 1926,

pp. 388-389.

13. Enoch B. Gowin, The Executive and His Control of Men,

Ronald Press, p. 56.

14. Interview with Charles Layng, June 1, 1929.

15. Thomas W. Goodspeed, U. of C. Biog. Studies, 1922, Vol. I,

p. 192.

16. Russell H. Conwell, John Wanama\er, Harper and Brother,

1924, p. 183.

17. Regis H. Post, World's Worl(, Vol. 41, p. 583.

18. William S. Dutton, American Magazine (April 1926), p. 152.

19. Herbert R. Maxwell (pen name), System (Sept. 1926), pp.


20. Walter Dill Scott, Increasing Human Efficiency, pp. 220-222.


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What and How to Remember

Blaine Remembers Casual Acquaintance After Twenty Years

Schantz Learned to Keep His Eyes Open

Reception Clerk Knows Ten Thousand Persons by Name

Wife Teaches Husband to Remember

Chauncey Depew once said: "Mr. James G. Blaine had an

extraordinary gift which is said to belong only to kings;

he never forgot anyone. Years after an introduction he would

recall where he had first met the stranger and remember his


"He would meet a man whom he had not seen for twenty years

and recall little details of their last interview. He would shake

hands with old farmers and remember their white horses and

the clever trades they made. 'How in the world did he know I

had a sister Mary who married a Jones?' said one fellow, and

went and voted for him. . . . One day a carriage drove up. 'I

suspect that carriage is coming for you,' said a friend. 'Yes,' said

Blaine, 'but that is not the point. The point is that there is a man

on that front seat whom I have not seen for twenty-seven years,

and I have got just two minutes and a half to remember his

name in.' He remembered it." 2

Al Smith is said to have an extraordinary memory. "He

puts a set of figures on a shelf in the back of his head and when-

ever he wants them, whether it is ten minutes or two years later,

he can find them."8 "His mind is a reliable file index of facts,

figures, stories, jokes, and names. He remembers the chorus of


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even the most obscure popular song of his boyhood. Further, he

can sing it, too." 4

What an advantage a man has who can remember! How we

envy such a person! We tend to think that he has some sort of

mysterious gift which has been denied us! But the true secret

is not the possession of some rare gift but the knowledge of how

to select the things we should remember and the use of a few

simple rules which will enable us to make the most of our


Don't excuse yourself by saying you have a poor memory.

Become familiar with the means which are at hand to make the

best use of what you have and you will be delightfully surprised.

* i. The first essential for memorizing is to become interested

in the things you wish to remember. Blaine could remember

people because he was interested in people. He liked them. He

was not working some trick to impress them; he was genuinely

anxious to know them better. Al Smith remembered many things

because he was alert and interested in everything around him.

Roosevelt possessed an amazing capacity for remembering names

and faces because he was interested in people and delighted with

every contact with others. "In a vast crowd he would see a

familiar face and cheerfully call a greeting to the man whom he

may have met only once or twice before." 5

"James J. Hill, who had perhaps one of the most remarkable

memories of any man in the country, used to say that it is easy

to remember things in which one is interested." 6

Become interested in the things you would remember and you

will not have to work to remember those things.

2. Understand what you would remember.

Walter Gifford, president of the American Telephone and

Telegraph Company, was asked how he was able to finish his

college work at Harvard in three years.

"'Walter,' a friend asked, 'you must have had your nose in a

book all the time you were at college!'


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"'But I didn't!' protested Gifford.

"'Then how did you get through your examination so easily?'

the man asked.

"'Well,' said Gifford, 'I didn't try to memorize a lot of unim-

portant details. I did try to understand the important facts! Those

were the ones that would be useful to me at examination time.

And if I understood them, I could remember them.

"'I haven't a good memory. When I was in school, I couldn't

memorize the multiplication tablenot as a mere act of memory.

But if I understood the basic principles of a problem in arith-

metic or the meaning of historical events, I never forgot them.

"'To understand facts is the best aid to memoryand it is the

only way to make them useful. A man might remember hun-

dreds of facts; but how much good would that do him if he

didn't understand them?'"7

But how does a person become able to understand things? It is

easy. By hunting for relationships, likenesses, and differences.

Ask yourself: what, when, where, and how about everything

that is worth remembering. If it is too trivial to be worth such

questions it is not worth remembering anyway, so why try? A

memory is valuable only as it has many relationships to other

things. Hunt for those relationships and you have done the best

thing to enable you to remember. Don't clutter up your mind

with things that have no relation to anything else in your life.

Either find relationships or forget the things which have none.

Schantz Learned to Keep His Eyes Open

3. Observe carefully all the characteristics of the thing you

wish to remember. The more details you see the more you will

be lively to recall.

A. A. Schantz, one of the leading transportation men of the

Great Lakes, tells how his mother taught him to do this when he

was a little boy.


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"As soon as we were six years old, Mother began to teach us

how to observe and remember. If we went to a picnic, or to the

store, or even for a walk down the street and back, Mother

expected us upon our return home to repeat to her everything we

had seenthe people whom we had met, how they were dressed,

what they had said and done, where and how we had met


"'When you are introduced to a person,' she instructed, 'try to

think of somebody this person looks like, so that you may asso-

ciate his face with that of some old friend. Look directly in the

person's eyes; and see if you can't find some peculiar feature of

the face that makes it worth rerriembering; and always repeat the

name when introduced.'

"The result is that even today, as I walk along the street, I

scan the face of every passer-by, and a month later, were he to

come into my office, I would be able to tell him just where,

at what time, and under what circumstances I had seen him on

the street." 8

Keep your eyes open. See things and you will remember. You

will never remember what you did not even see. Your eyes were

made to see withso use them. Look! Look! Look! And then

look some more! Instead of trying to remember, try to look and-

observethen you cannot help remembering. When you see

many things you will become interested and when you become

interested you will find that you understand more.

If you would build a good memory you must start at the

foundation and build up. You cannot start at the top and build

down. Observation is the foundation and any attempt to remem-

ber will topple if you have not built upon the habit of observa-


Schantz was fortunate in the fact that he learned this habit in

childhood. If you have not learned it you can do it now, even if

you are much older.


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Reception Clerk Knows Ten Thousand Persons by Name

Louis Dorn, the reception clerk of the White Motor Company,

is reputed to know ten thousand people by name and he learned

the trick after he became a man.

One day a man sauntered into the offices of the White Motor

Company. "He was of medium build, square-shouldered, and

bronzed by the wind and sun. The years and hardship had put

lines in his face and had turned his hair to gray. He had been

in South Africa, and had not set foot on American soil for

twenty-five years. Africa and time had so changed him that even

his own family had not known him.

"The benches were filled with waiting men. Dorn, the recep-

tion clerk, was jumping from telephone to desk, from desk to

telephone, with a dozen duties on his hands at once. The man

from South Africa stepped confidently up to Dorn's window.

"'Hello, Louis,' he said, and thrust out a browned hand. 'Here

is one face you've forgotten.'

"Louis C. Dorn looked up. For half a minute he scanned the

stranger's face and then his hand closed heartily over the ex-

tended brown one. He repeated the other's name."

Here is how he learned to do it:

'"One of my first jobs,' related Dorn, 'was in a retail store

here in Cleveland. I fitted shoes on a good many strange feet

in a day. Customers came and went but I didn't know them.

"'One day I went out and bought a ledger. After I had waited

on a customer, I put down his name in my book, the size and

style of shoe he had bought, the price paid, and anything else

worthy of note. I promised myself to recognize that man the

next time he came in, and to insure my doing this I took a

careful look at him. . . .

"'Thereafter I tried to remember the peculiarities of people

by associating the peculiarity with the name, the moment I

detected it again, I was given a clue to the name; the name, in


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turn, suggested facts previously set down in my book and which

I had taken care to memorize.

"'I did this for seventeen years. It was difficult at first. Grad-

ually it became easier. My eye, trained to detect individualities,

got so it caught them at a glance. Constant memorizing made

me less and less dependent on my ledger, until finally I did

without it altogether.

"'There was one man who, years ago, was given to wearing

very fancy striped and flowered vests. Then he got married and

I didn't see him for a number of years, during which time his

wife cured him of his taste for fancy attire. He showed up again

as soberly dressed as a minister, but his face suggested the

bygone vests, and from vests I recalled who he was.

"'It may be only an odd way of pronouncing a word, or an

odd droop of a shoulder or a way of walking, yet all of us

have these peculiarities that make us individuals. Take the pains

to hunt them out and you won't easily forget a man there-


Each time you meet a person add some new peculiarities to

those you have noted before. Keep looking for new things instead

of adhering to one simple feature. If you notice at the first

meeting that the man has a crooked nose, you may, in other

contacts, notice that he has a peculiar way of dropping his voice

at the end of a sentence, that he swings his arms in a character-

istic fashion when he walks, that he has a certain twist of his

mouth when he smiles, a different way of puckering his brow

when he thinks, that his trousers are always well pressed, his

ears protrude more than those of the average man, and the like.

These should not be isolated details, but they should all fuse

into a single individuality whom you cannot confuse with any


Do this and you will find people more interesting and you will

enjoy it. Furthermore, do not study people in the spirit of criti-


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cism but with real interest and you will find that you learn to like

them better when you do so.

Use the same plan in learning to remember anything. The

plan will work not only with remembering people but in remem-

bering other things. If you are learning a poem, see new mean-

ings in it every time you repeat it. If it is a mathematical formula

study new factors each time you use it. See the new aspects in

every business deal. There is no better way than this to keep

from becoming an old fogy. The old fogy gets a few set patterns

and closes his eyes to new relationships. No experience is exactly

the same as any previous one, so do not permit yourself to assume

that it is.

Wife Teaches Husband to Remember

4. Spea\ or act out the things you would remember. We re-

member the things that we do better than the things we merely

think about.

John D. Rockefeller said that it was his "method to repeat over

and over several times anything that he especially wanted to

remember." 10 Abraham Lincoln had "the habit of reading out

loud to himself whatever he wanted particularly to remember."11

A thing done or spoken becomes a more intimate part of you

than something merely thought about. If you have to rehearse

alone do so, but, if you can find someone who is interested enough

to listen, rehearse to him. Thurlow Weed, the famous journalist,

editor of the Albany Evening Journal, and political leader, found

that his wife was able to help him to remember merely by listen-

ing to him.

"'I could remember nothing,' he says. 'Dates, names, appoint-

ments, faces, everything escaped me.'"

He began to train his memory by sitting down alone for fifteen

minutes each evening and trying to recall the events of the day.

After he had done this for some time his wife said to him, " 'Why

don't you relate to me the events of the day, instead of recalling


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them to yourself? It would be interesting and my interest in it

would be a stimulus to you.'

"'Having great respect for my wife's opinion, I began a habit

of oral confession, as it were, which was continued for almost

fifty years. Every night, the last thing before retiring, I told her

everything I could remember that had happened to me or about

me during the day. I generally recalled the dishes I had had for

breakfast, dinner, and tea; and the people I had seen and what

they had said; the editorials I had written for my paper, giving

her a brief abstract of them. ... I found that I could say my

lessons better and better every year, and instead of the practice

growing irksome, it became a pleasure to go over again the

events of the day.'"12

This narration of the events of the day fixed them more firmly

in Mr. Weed's memory and, in addition, made him alert to what

was going on around him. When he knew that he would be

called upon to report what was happening it made him pay

more attention to what was going on.

5. Use written notes to relieve your memory wherever it is

possible to do so. If you waste your energy trying to remember

trivial things you will not have enough left to devote to im-

portant matters. Have you ever worried away the best part of an

important day trying to remember to take home a loaf of bread

at night, or to stop at the corner drug store for a tube of shaving

cream? If shaving cream, razor blades, bread, or even flowers for

your wife bob up to annoy you when you are trying to concen-

trate on some important problem it means that you are wasting

energy. How much you lose in efficiency by trying to remember

such things you will never know until you adopt some more

reliable mechanical means of remembering.

One man, whose name it is best to withhold, gained a reputa-

tion with his wife for being extremely thoughtful and for having

a wonderful memory. He never forgot an anniversary, surprised

her with little gifts or articles for which she had expressed a


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fondness, with theatre tickets for plays she had said she would

like to see, and with little things she needed for the home. He

kept a little vest pocket note book and whenever a suggestion

occurred to him he jotted it down. He did not waste energy or

time during his busy day trying to remember these things nor

did he approach his home with the fear that he might be greeted

with disapproval for having forgotten something.

Marshall Field used a similar system with his business affairs.

He kept a "tickler" note book and entered items weeks ahead

so that when the appropriate time came he could carry out

suggestions which had occurred to him.18

Alexander Graham Bell was in the habit of jotting down

items which he wished to remember on a bit of paper he carried

in his waistcoat pocket.14 Herbert Hoover, "when he wants to

preserve a useful but fleeting idea, covers the first piece of paper

at handif there be nothing better the margin of a newspaper

with hieroglyphic notes."16 Lloyd George "always carried with

him a small pocketbook, in which he jotted down ideas and

suggestions as they came to him in thought or talk."16 Al Smith,

famous for his remarkable memory, for many years kept a scrap

book of clippings from newspapers and magazines. He still car-

ries on the habit of clipping items of interest to him and has

carefully arranged files of them in his desk.17

Albert Brunker, president of the Liquid Carbonic Company,

is well-known for his unending supply of stories. His friends

often wondered how he was able to remember so many until

he disclosed the fact that he keeps a card index file with all his

stories classified and indexed under various headings. "I have

been collecting stories for years," he said. "When I am going to

make a speech I go through this file and pull out three or four

cards and slip them into my pocket."18

The experiences of these men indicate that it is wise to adopt

some device, wherever it is possible, to record things that you

wish to remember. The very act of recording it is valuable, it

[ M9]

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gives a motor expression which tends to fix the item. The record

serves as a reminder and so relieves you of the worry that you

might forget, leaving your mind free for more important matters.

6. Ma\e things desirable if you want to remember them. We

tend to forget the unpleasant features of a past experience and

remember the pleasant ones. Ernest Jones, a prominent psychia-

trist, says: "I have noted numerous instances of a purposeful

forgetting of appointments, particularly with patients. If a given

patient is very tedious and uninteresting, I am very apt to forget

that I have to see him at a certain hour, and if a doctor telephones

to ask whether I can see an interesting case at that hour I am

more likely than not to tell him that I shall be free then."19

Russell Conwell had met John Wanamaker for a brief inter-

view and then had not seen him again for ten years. "At this

second meeting Wanamaker came upon the platform where he

was to speak, amid applause and Chautauqua salutes. He glanced

at the press table with that quick glance of his, noticed the young

scribe who had interviewed him a decade before and, leaning

over the platform, grasped my hand cordially in recognition.

The incident demonstrated the famous merchant's marvelous

memory and the nobility and kindliness of his soul." 20 The kind-

liness was the secret of his memory. He was not playing to the

gallery, he really liked the young reporter and his recognition

was merely an expression of this affection.

"If you are not interested in other people, and in trying to

remember them," says Hugh S. Fullerton, "stay out of most

lines of endeavor. Go lock yourself down the cellar and try to

discover a cure for cancer. Choose some line where contact with

other human beings is not necessary. ... I have observed that

most of us can remember what we are interested in. If I bring

Jeremiah Gazoop around to see you, and if Mr. Gazoop says

that he will give you ten thousand dollars the next time you

recognize him on the street, you won't have any trouble remem-

bering him. You will look at his eyes, his ears, his nose, and his


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feet. You will scrutinize him from head to foot, and you will

pronounce his name over and over to yourself until you have it

letter-perfect. Then you will go out in the street and lay for him,

and if he appears you will spot him and collect the ten thousand


"In other words, you suddenly sit up and take a tremendous

interest in Mr. Gazoop because you think that it will be to your

advantage to do so.

"And that is exactly why most of us forget most of the people

we meet. We are so self-centered and egotistic that we take no

interest in them. We get so interested in showing off ourselves

that we neglect to observe the other person. ... If you want to

remember people, cultivate an interest in them."21

AH the rules for memorizing may be summed up in the one

phrase: We remember what we want to remember, what is to

our interest or what we like. The other rules follow from this

one. They are simple, learn them and use them continually.

i. Become interested in the things you wish to remember.

i. Understand what you would remember. Understanding

comes from hunting for relationships, li\enesses, and differences.

3. Observe carefully all the characteristics of the thing you wish

to remember. The more details you see the more you will be

li\ely to recall. Keep your eyes open.

4. Speaks <*" out the things you would remember. We

remember things that we do better than things we merely thin\


5. Use written notes to relieve your memory wherever possible.

Note books, date boo\s, ticklers, reminders, or even memoranda

on scraps of paper are all valuable.

6. Ma\e things desirable if you want to remember them. We

tend to forget the unpleasant features of a past experience and to

remember the pleasant things.


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References for Chapter XIV

1. Chauncey M. Depew, My Memories of Eighty Years, Charles

Scribner's Sons, 1922, p. 141.

2. Gamaliel Bradford, American Portraits, Houghton Mifflin,

1922, pp. 126-217.

3. Robert L. Duffus, Harper's Monthly, Vol. 152, p. 327.

4. John Winkler, Collier's, Vol. 76 (Oct. 31, 1925), p. 21.

5. Lillian Eichler, The Boo/( of Conversation, Doubleday Doran,

1928, p. 76.

6. B. C. Forbes, American Magazine (May 1917), p. 15.

7. Carl W. Ackerman, American Magazine (Feb. 1925), p. 27.

8. ' Sherwin Gwinn, American Magazine (July 1925), p. 176.

9. W. S. Dutton, American Magazine (Oct. 1927), p. 63.

10. D. Rogers, Sat. Eve. Post (July 30, 1921), p. 16.

11. Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln, Harcourt Brace & Co., 1926.

12. Enoch B. Gowin, Developing Executive Ability, Ronald Press,

1919, pp. 88-89.

13. Interview with Waldo Warren, June 5, 1929.

14. Catherine Mackenzie, Alexander Graham Bell, Houghton

Mifflin, 1928, p. 285.

15. Will Irwin, Herbert Hoover, The Century Co., 1928, p. 276.

16. Harold Spender, David Lloyd George, George H. Doran, '920,

p. 161.

17. Interview with Miss Moscowitz, July 31,1930.

18. Interview with Jack Finlay, May 2, 1928.

19. Ernest Jones, American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 22, p. 477.

20. Russell H. Conwell, John Wanama\er, Harper & Bro., 1924,

p. 46.

21. Hugh S. Fullerton, American Magazine (Feb. 1923), p. 7.


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Value and Use of Humor

A Joke Cools An Angry Senator

Choate Turns the Joke on Himself

Private Allen Outwits a General

Henry Clay Gives Buchanan a Dirty Dig

Apoor, dignified senator has had his feelings hurt. His sensi-

bilities have been outraged. He would like to retaliate but

he does not know how to do so. Consequently he acts just as a

little school-boy would do in a similar situation. The school-

boy "tells the teacher" so that she will punish the enemy, and

this senator "tells the president."

In this case the senator was complaining to Calvin Coolidge,

then president of the Massachusetts Senate. The senator thought

he had Coolidge "on the spot" but Coolidge saved the day with

a joke.

This is how the fuss started. One senator had been making a

long-winded speech when another senator approached him and,

"in an undertone, advised him to cut his remarks short. . . . The

senator who had the floor turned to his adviser and savagely told

him in a low voice to go to the hot place, and resumed" his


Going to the president's desk the offended senator said, "'Cal,

did you hear what So-and-So said to me a moment ago?'

"'Yes,' replied Coolidge without the semblance of a smile;

"but I've looked up the law, and you don't have to go.'"1

What a clever stroke on the part of "silent Cal." He turned the


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senator's anger to laughter, he kept himself from being drawn

into a silly school-boy wrangle and all because he was able to see

the humor of the situation.

When things get too tense and serious, look for the funny side

and you will avoid much grief and trouble. What would Coolidge

have gained by taking a serious stand in such a dispute? Nothing

but the enmity of both senators. By making a joke of it, he

avoided unpleasant involvements and stopped the argument. The

senators, in view of the joke by the president, could not fail to

see the folly of such a silly quarrel.

A man like Will Rogers could stop more diplomatic strifes

than dozens of serious-minded diplomats. A man cannot fight

when he is laughing. Get him to laugh and his anger impulses

will disappear into chuckles.

The mistake that most people make in using humor is that,

instead of getting the other fellow to laugh, they laugh at him.

This is the true measure of your humor: Can you see a joke

when it is on you? If you can it speaks well for your mental

stability. On the other hand, if you can laugh only when the joke

is on the other fellow, it indicates that your humor is but a

means of inflating yourself at the other fellow's expense. It means

that you take yourself too seriously and the other fellow too


People will hate you if you attempt to glorify yourself at their

expense. If your jokes are a means of showing how smart you

are or if they merely provide a way of humiliating the other

fellow, they will not be appreciated. Be sure that you can see a

joke on yourself before you try to spring one on someone else.

"The stories at which audiences invariably laugh the most,"

said Charles E. Carpenter, a manufacturer who has made over

1500 public speeches, "are those that are on the speaker himself

and telling such stories is one of the best ways to prove that you

are a regular fellow." 2


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Choate Turns the Joke on Himself

Joseph Choate, the great attorney, was an adept at getting

laughs at his own expense. On one occasion Nicholas Murray

Butler, president of Columbia University, gave him a flowery

introduction, referring to him as "our first citizen."

What a chance to strut! He might have stood up with a swag-

ger which would have tacitly said: "See, the 'first citizen' is about

to speak to you." Not Joseph Choate; he turned the joke on

himself and won the hearty good-will of his audience.

He began: "Your President, accidentally, I think, dropped two

words that I didn't at first understand. He said something about

a 'first citizen.' He must have spoken in a Shakespearean sense.

. . . President Butler is a wonderful Shakespearean scholar, and

he was thinking of Shakespeare at that moment. You remember,

that in many of the plays of Shakespeare, citizens are introduced

as a decoration, or fringe, to embellish the stage, and they are

numbered First Citizen, Second Citizen, Third Citizen, and in

every case, no one of them has much to say, and doesn't say that

very well, but they are all equally good, one is as good as an-

other, and they might just as well have exchanged numbers and

nobody would have known the difference."8

What a clever way to get on an equal footing with his audi-

ence! He did not want to stay on the pinnacle where Butler had

tried to place him. No serious comment which he could have

made would have accomplished his purpose quite so well as

turning the meaning of the supposed compliment into a sly

thrust. "President Butler has called me the 'first citizen' but he

really means I am but a rather useless stage ornament."

It is more important to learn to take a joke on yourself than

it is to be able to create one at the other fellow's expense. It gives

you a more wholesome outlook on things and makes a multitude

of friends for you by putting you on an equal footing with

others. Don't take yourself too seriously and you will live longer.


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"Humor saves a man's nerves," says Thomas Arkle Clark, Dean

of Men at the University of Illinois. "It saves his temper, it

strengthens his digestion, it cements friendships and insures

longer life. It should be taken up by everybody."

"My grandfather died of worry," Chauncey Depew is quoted

as saying, "and my father died of worry. I was dying of worry

when I decided to take up humorto see the genial and amus-

ing side of life. It was humor that saved my health." Dr. Depew

was a young man until he died at the age of 94. You may laugh

yourself to a happy old age or you may worry yourself to an

unhappy premature death. Take your choice. The only persons

who will object to your laughter are the morose cynics who are

jealous because they recognize that you are getting more from

life than they are.

Laughter may even be used to take the edge from a real mis-

fortune. Dr. Evans, of the chemistry department of Northwest-

ern University, tells how he kept a young man from being

overcome by fear when he spilled sulphuric acid over himself.

The young man was attempting to pour the acid into a con-

tainer when the ladder upon which he was standing broke, the

bottle crashed against the wall, and the vicious liquid was splat-

tered all over him. He ran to another room screaming that he

was killed, that the acid was eating him up.

Dr. Evans pushed him into the emergency shower and tore off

his clothing. The boy, however, continued to scream that he was

dying. He needed something to calm his nerves, since the worst

of the emergency was over. Finally, not being able to quiet him

by persuasion, the professor called loudly, "Man, look at your

clothes. They are ruined. Your skin will heal up, but look at

your clothes. They will not heal." This was too much. The boy

forgot his fear and was soon laughing at his sorry plight.

Some persons resent the type of treatment which Dr. Evans

accorded this boy. They grasp every misfortune as a means of

gaining sympathy and interest from other persons. Children learn


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this method of forcing their parents to yield to their demands.

But we seldom admire a grown person when he uses this infantile

means to accomplish his purposes.

"A man who is always complaining," says Samuel N. Felton,

the "Railroad Doctor" of America, "who always has some hard-

luck story to pour into his employer's ears is not popular with

his employer. . . . The man who tries to get his salary raised

because he has six children and finds it hard to take care of them

is tackling his problem in the wrong way."4

In the end, the man who has developed a sense of humor

gains more from his fellows than the one who whines and

parades his troubles.

Lincoln, Roosevelt, Wilson, and Bryan were all "richly en-

dowed with a sense of humor, a safety valve against over-asser-

tiveness and self-importance, a useful means of attracting friends,

and also of avoiding awkward breaks or crises in personal rela-

tions. This quality was most conspicuous in Lincoln, whose

humor became a characteristic familiar to the whole nation. . . .

Bryan's wit was a weapon formidable to his opponents, while the

humor of Roosevelt and Wilson was less a platform tool and

more a medium of personal interchange. Had Wilson been able

to talk to the public as he talked to his circle of intimate friends,

his political profile would have been notably changed." 5

"One of the greatest wits of all times was Cleopatra. She

was much more famous, in her own day, for her wit than for her

beauty. One of the strongest fetters that bound Antony to her

was her keen sense of fun and rollicking good humor."6

You may laugh your way into the hearts of people, you can

seldom cry your way in. If you weep, people will feel sorry for

you but they will soon tire of it when you continue to parade

your troubles before them. Laugh and they will love you.

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep

alone." And you should weep alone. Weeping is often a selfish,

childish performance. It means that you are feeling sorry for


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yourself. Other people do not want to be made miserable by

your tears and they will get away from them as soon as they can.

Laugh at your misfortunes and the world will flock to help you

overcome them.

The smooth operation of Grover Cleveland's cabinet was a

good illustration of what good humor will do. "Every member

of the cabinet had his own sense of humor and now and then

his good story to tell. All participated on equal terms. Nobody

was watching or feeling his way in those conversations. All were

friends. ... If some unseen phonograph had recorded those

chats, no reader of the record could have told, if the names hap-

pened not to be mentioned, who of that party was the ranking


When you wish to put people at their ease there is no more

effective means for doing so than a bit of wholesome humor.

Private Allen Outwits a General

Sometimes humor provides the best way to win an argument.

It enabled John Allen to win popular approval in a stumping

campaign and won his election to Congress. "The first time

John ran for the Congressional nomination his opponent was the

Confederate General Tucker, who had fought gallantly during

the Civil War and served with distinction two or three terms in


"General Tucker closed one of his speeches as follows: 'Seven-

teen years ago last night, my fellow citizens, after a hard-fought

battle on yonder hill, I bivouacked under yonder clump of trees.

Those of you who remember, as I do, the times that tried men's

souls, will not, I hope, forget their humble servant when the

primaries shall be held.'

"That was a strong appeal in those days, but John raised the

general at his own game, in the following amazing manner:

"'My fellow citizens, what General Tucker says to you about


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having bivouacked in yon clump of trees on that night is

true. It is also true, my fellow citizens, that I was a vidette picket

and stood guard over him while he slept. Now then, fellow

citizens, all of you who were generals and had privates to stand

guard over you while you slept, vote for General Tucker; and

all of you who were privates and stood guard over the generals

while they slept, vote for Private John Allen.'

"The Mississippians sent Allen to Congress where he stayed

until the world was filled with his renown."

His humor not only won his election but it also enabled him

to win his way into the hearts of his fellow congressmen.

"He had asked unanimous consent to address the House . . .

but some one objected, whereupon John, with tears in his voice

and, looking doleful as a hired mourner at a funeral, said, with

a melancholy accent:

"'Well, I would like at least to have permission to print some

remarks in The Record, and insert, "laughter and applause" in

appropriate places.' . . . The palpable hit at one of the most

common abuses of the house'leave to print'tickled the mem-

bers greatly, and he secured the unanimous consent which he

desired. He closed that speech with an amazing exhibition of

assurance, which added to his fame more than the speech itself.

He wound up by saying, 'Now, Mr. Speaker, having fully an-

swered all the arguments of my opponents, I will retire to the

cloak room for a few minutes to receive the congratulations of

admiring friends'which set the House and galleries wild with


Humor may also be used as a weapon, and a very effective

one, when one is drawn into a fight. When used in this capacity

it should be recognized that its use is likely to create an enemy

even though it may bring victory in the fight. There is no more

painful sting than that resulting from defeat through some



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Henry Clay Gives Buchanan a Dirty Dig

James Buchanan had made some slanderous charges against

Henry Clay, accusing him of favoring John Adams in order to

obtain the position of Secretary of State. Clay set out to make

Buchanan uncomfortable whenever opportunity offered and he

found his wit very effective in this pursuit. The following anec-

dote shows how cleverly Clay could do this.

"Buchanan had been a Federalist and in the Senate he was

once called upon to defend himself against a charge of disloyalty

during the War of 1812. He stated on this occasion that he had

joined a company of volunteers at the time of the British attack

upon Baltimore. 'True,' he added, 'I was not in any engagement,

as the British had retreated before I arrived.'

"'You marched to Baltimore, though?' Clay interposed.

"'Yes,' answered Buchanan promptly.

"'Armed and equipped?'

""Yes, armed and equipped.'

"'But the British had retreated when you arrived?' persevered

Mr. Clay.


"'Then,' continued Clay, 'will the Senator from Pennsylvania

be good enough to inform us whether the British retreated in

consequence of his valiantly marching to the relief of Baltimore,

or whether he marched to the relief of Baltimore in consequence

of the British having already retreated?'

"The galleries broke out into loud laughter and Buchanan

boiled with anger, but he wisely refrained from undertaking a


Such sarcasm is a sharp weapon and is sure to leave a deep

wound in the person upon whom it is directed. If you wish to

keep up a fight it is a good sword to use, but if you wish to

conciliate an enemy you will never do it in any such fashion.

Colonel Goethals used such sarcasm in squelching some con-


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gressmen whom he considered busybodies. These misinformed

congressmen were acting as an investigating committee during

the construction of the Panama Canal and they were obviously

bent on finding fault. They came to a house occupied by the chief

engineer. "'Let's go upstairs and see how he lives,' said one of

them. After going through the rooms another member said to

Colonel Goethals: 'Pretty fine house! What did it cost?'

"'It was built by my predecessor, Mr. Stevens,' replied the

Colonel, stating the cost.

"'You apportion the quality of the house to the salary the

man receives?' was the next question.

"'Yes,' replied the Colonel.

"'Then if we were down here working for the canal we

would each get a house half as good as this, the house of a $7,500

man?' said the congressman.

"'Oh, no,' retorted the Colonel, with a beaming smile, 'if

you were working for the canal you would not be getting


When a public speaker is heckled he sometimes has to fight

back and he stands a good chance of winning and, at the same

time, of gaining the approval of his audience if he can accom-

plish his victory with the use of wit.

"When Thomas F. Marshall, one of the great leaders of the

Kentucky bara noble, good-hearted fellow, brimful of sparkling

humor, was delivering a speech to a large audience in Buffalo,

someone every few minutes shouted:

"'Louder! Louder!'

"Marshall stood this for a while; but at last, turning gravely

to the presiding officer, said:

"'Mr. Chairman: At the last day, when the angel shall, with

his golden trumpet, proclaim that "time shall be no longer," I

doubt not, sir, that there will be in that vast crowd, as now,

some drunken fool from Buffalo, shouting, "Louder! Louder!"'

[ 161 ]

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"Marshall went on with his speech, but there were no more

cries of 'louder!'

"At another meeting, Marshall had made but little progress

before he was assailed with a torrent of abuse by an Irishman in

the crowd. Not at all disconcerted, Tom Marshall sung at the

top of his voice:

"'Be jabbers, that's me fren' Pat Murphy, the man that spells

God with a little g and Murphy with a big M.'

"This floored Pat, amidst roars of laughter."11

The humorist has the best chance of anybody of getting out of

a tight place. Senator Reed was once nearing the end of a very

important speech. The audience was hanging upon his every

word, when, without warning, there was a terrific crasha

man's seat had broken and he came tumbling to the floor. Such an

incident would have disconcerted a less witty speaker than Sena-

tor Reed. Instead of permitting the effect of his closing para-

graph to be ruined by this accident "Reed again secured the

command of his audience by saying, 'Well, you must at least

credit me with a knockdown argument.'"12 The audience

laughed, was easily led back to the subject of the moment and

Reed had won the day.

When you are forced to do an unpleasant job, inject a little

humor and you can accomplish your end without the bitterness

of a direct attack. For example, General Jackson was approached

by Judge Brockenbrough with the request that Jackson divulge

to him the plans of his military operations. Now the judge was

a close friend of Jackson and he did not want to insult him by

refusing his request and, on the other hand, he did not think it

would be wise to tell his secrets. This is what he did.

"'Judge,' he said, 'can you keep a secret?'

"'Why certainly; I think so, General.'

"'Well, Judge, so can I,' replied the General."18

Instead of getting angry, the judge was very much amused at


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this witty refusal and for years afterwards had many a hearty

laugh over the incident.

The wit of these men was no special gift. Any one can develop

a sense of humor but you must do one basic thing in order to do

so, namely: Stop taking yourself so seriously that you cannot see

the humor in any situation.

When things become too serious loo\ for the funny side.

Be as willing to see a joke on yourself as on the other fellow.

Making a jo\e on yourself is an excellent way of winning

approval either from an intimate circle of friends or from a

larger audience.

Humor is a good means of relieving tension, or dispelling fear,

or of cooling anger.

Try to develop humor as a personal trait. It will \eep you

from an overestimation of your own importance, will keep you

from worry, and prolong your life.

Humor will get you out of many a tight place if you have

vision enough to see the funny element in a misfortune.

Sarcasm is a dangerous weapon to use. It may enable you to

win a victory but it will never make a friend.

References for Chapter XV

1. M. F. Hennessy, Calvin Coolidge, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1924,

p. 71.

2. Charles E. Carpenter, American Magazine (Sept. 1923),

p. 163.

3. Theron G. Strong, Joseph H. Choate, Dodd, Mead, 1917,

pp. 94-95.

4. Samuel M. Felton, American Magazine (Oct. 1918), p. 92.

5. Charles Merriam, Four American Party Leaders, Macmillan,

1926, p. 87.

6. Lillian Eichler, The Boo\ of Conversation, Doubleday Doran,

1928, p. 147.

7. Hilary A. Herbert, Century Magazine, Vol. 63, p. 741.


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8. Champ Clark, My Quarter Century of American Politics, Har-

per and Brother, 1921, Vol. II, pp. 198-199.

9. Thomas Hart Clay, Henry Clay, Geo. W. Jacobs Co., 1910,

p. 421.

10. Joseph B. Bishop, Notes and Anecdotes of Many Years, Charles

Scribner's Sons, 1925, p. 206.

1 1. Thomas R. Marshall, Recollections, Bobbs Merrill, 1925, p. 319.

ia. Champ Clark, My Quarter Century of American Politics, Har-

per and Brother, 1921, Vol. I, p. 292.

13. T. J. Arnold, Thomas J. Jac\son, Fleming H. Revell, 1916,

p. 317.


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When to Take Risks

Frohman Buys a Play Which Had Failed

Lloyd George Was Not as Rash as He Seemed

Sims Shoots Over His Superiors' Heads

The remarkable career of Charles Frohman began when he

dared to promote a play which had failed and which he was

advised to reject. Other people laughed at it as a foolhardy un-

dertaking but he backed the play against their advice because he

had confidence in its ultimate success. His success dates from

this first demonstration of independent wisdom.

The play was called Shenandoah. He bought it in 1889 "after

it had failed in Boston and three eminent managers had aban-

doned options on the play and were a unit in believing that it

would not go. He was told by an important theatrical friend

that he was crazythat he was throwing his money away."1

But he won. He was right and they were wrong. The play

proved to be a big success and his judgment was vindicated. In

buying the play Frohman was not placing a blind bet, he was

betting on his own good judgment backed by twelve years of

experience with the theatre.

This combination of good judgment with a willingness to

take risks was doubtless a large element in his phenomenal rise.

He began selling tickets in the theatre in 1877 at the age of 17.

By 1915, when he went down with the Lusitania, he was called

the "amusement dictator of the world." "He ruled the destinies

of scores of theatres and gave employment to thousands of


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actors in this country, England, and France; he was the 'Napo-

leon of the Theatre.'"

No one can be dominant in his Held unless he does independ-

ent thinking, comes to his own conclusions, and acts upon them

even though they may run counter to the judgment of his


It takes a combination of good judgment and the willingness

to take a chance to bring success. One will not win without the

other. If Frohman had taken a chance without exercising good

judgment he would not have won. Neither would he have been

successful if he had possessed good judgment and had been

unwilling to take a chance.

Ancil F. Haines, general manager of the Pacific Steamship

Company, tells of an incident which illustrates the futility of

having good judgment without the initiative to act upon it. He

says: "A few years ago I was in the office of the head of a great

company. We were discussing business. He wanted a report

which one of his assistants had just been working on. The man

brought it in. That report was one of the most amazing docu-

ments I ever read. The man had analyzed an involved proposi-

tion with precision; he had mapped out exactly what would

happen if this course were taken and that course were taken. He

had made the whole thing as clear as glass. I marveled aloud.

"'Wonderful, isn't it?' smiled my friend. 'That man has twice

the brains that I have; he can analyze any problem or set of

problems; he is cultured, well-trained, lovableand yet he will

always be a mere assistant.'

"'Why?' I asked, astonished.

"'Because he is incapable of decision. He will tell me exactly

what will happen if any of six courses is taken. Yet if I ask him

to decide for himself among these courses he isn't able to do


Haines was right. A man who can see six possibilities but who

has not initiative enough to act on any of them will not get far.


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If you wait until the outcome of your movements is certain

you will never move. There is always a chance that things will

go awry and the wise man looks for such unexpected happenings

and prepares for them. John Wanamaker once said: "'People

who wait until they have saved enough capital never get any-

where in business.'"8

The man who starts to swim across Lake Michigan is a fool,

as is the man who sits on the shore waiting for it to freeze so

that he can walk across. The wise man starts building a boat

which will carry him across, or devises some other practical way

of getting to the other side. The important thing is that he does

something and does something that his good judgment tells

him offers some possibility of success.

The men who accomplish things usually have a well-defined

purpose to guide their actions but they often must act before

they can see exactly how they are going to accomplish their pur-

pose. They select the method which seems best and give it a

trial. If the method fails they try another but they maintain

their main purpose. The vision of something ahead is what

spurs them on. Marshall Field, when a young man, was "deter-

mined not to be poor." He "always thought that he wanted to

be a merchant,"4 but if his first ventures in merchandising had

been striking failures it is very likely that he would not have

given up his primary aim but would have tried some other

means for attaining his goal.

Lloyd George Was Not as Rash as He Seemed

What the outsider sees in an aggressive and successful in-

dividual may appear to be a consuming, foolhardy zeal but it

is usually the pursuit of a shrewd purpose. Lloyd George is a

good example of such a man. "Those who know Lloyd George

only on one side of his nature have always expected to see him

fall over some political precipice. His zeal, in their opinion,


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would eat him up. He would just run the hot course of so many

furious political firebrands. Some rash and hasty blunder would

occur, and he would flare out into the darkness.

"Yet this disaster has never occurred. And why? Because be-

hind all those flashes of spirit there has been a steady pursuing

purpose; discreet, cautious, shrewd. 'Whenever Mr. Lloyd George

seems most rash,' said an old friend of his to me who has seen

him in many situations, 'I always know that there is a cold,

shrewd calculation behind it.'" B

The time to be cautious is when you have few facts to guide

you. When you become more sure of your ground you can better

afford to take chances. As Gerard Swope, president of the Gen-

eral Electric Company, puts it: "'You wouldn't need courage

to tell me that two and two make four! In other words, if you

are sure of your facts, it doesn't take courage to state them. And

if you act on your knowledge of the facts, it isn't because you

have faith in yourself, but because you have faith in the facts!'"

Consequently, the man who appears to be taking chances may

be acting because he has faith in facts of which you are ignorant.

With your limited knowledge it would be a sheer gamble for

you to act as he is doing.

When you observe a man who is apparently lucky it will pay

you to pattern after his industry in searching for facts, instead of

trying to outdo him in recklessness. On the other hand, when

you get your facts have enough confidence in them to act.

Sims Shoots Over His Superiors' Heads

William Sims was in a position where discretion told him

to keep quiet but he had facts which incited him to act. He did

act and he won by so doing. The Navy, in which he was a mere

lieutenant, had no system of target practice and could not

shoot with any assurance of hitting anything. Captain Scott had

devised a system of target practice which Sims thought would


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train gun pointers to great accuracy without the expenditure of

costly ammunition.

Sims tried to get his superiors to adopt it, was snubbed; went

over their heads, and was snubbed some more. Finally, he wrote

direcdy to President Rooseveltan extremely indiscreet thing

for a mere lieutenant to do. In military circles all correspondence

has to go through the hands of the immediately superior officer

and the presumption of writing first to the Secretary of the

Navy and then to the President of the United States himself

was little short of a crime.

However, he won. Roosevelt decided to give the young lieuten-

ant a trial. A large target was erected and the ships, with their

old methods, fired on it for five hours without hitting it a single

time. Sims had won his contention that the Navy could not

shoot and that they needed a definite system of target practice;

and, in addition, he won the approval of President Roosevelt. If

he had been merely talking to make himself heard, if he had

not been sure of his facts, the story would have been different.7

After all is said and done, the fun in life comes from trying

the things you plan. Of course you are not sure what will hap-

pen. If you were sure it would not be fun. It is the uncertain

element that adds spice.

"'It is no use,' says Amadeo P. Giannini, the banker who has

made a great record as an organizer, 'to decide what's going

to happen unless you have the courage of your convictions.

Many a brilliant idea has been lost because the man who

dreamed it lacked the spunk or the spine to put it across.

"'It doesn't matter if you don't always hit the exact bull's eye.

The other rings in the target score points too. . . . Night after

night, for years, I have lain awake blocking out plans. When I

had made up my mind that some move promised success, I then

pictured the worst that could possibly happen if it didn't measure

up to my expectations. If, at that worst, it was still a good propo-

sition, I knew that I had a right to go ahead.'" 8


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It is clear that there are two factors to be considered, namely,

caution and initiative. Which should you emphasize? It all de-

pends upon what type of person you are. Are you prone to be a

gambler? Do you like to act without the slightest control from

your brain cells? // you are continually acting without judg-

ment, put up safeguards so that you will delay action until you

consider the possibilities.

Or, are you the type of person who is always speculating about

what might happen under different circumstances, but who never

gets up steam enough to do anything? // you are too conservative,

practice ta\ing chances in a small way until you get the feel of

self-confidence that comes from exercising initiative.

Thin\ independently, come to your own conclusions, and act

on them even though your friends may not lend approval to

your conduct.

Do something. If you wait until you can see exactly what will

happen you will never do anything.

References for Chapter XVI

1. Isaac F. Marcosson and Daniel Frohman, Charles Frohman,

Harper and Brother, 1916, pp. 117-122.

2. Thane Wilson, American Magazine (April 1921), p. 154.

3. Herbert A. Gibbons, John Wanamakjsr, Harper Brothers, 1926,

p. 64.

4. Orison Swett Marden, How They Succeeded, Lathrop, Lee &

Shepard, 1901, p. 27.

5. Harold Spender, David Lloyd George, George H. Doran, 1920,

p. 320.

6. Keene Sumner, American Magazine (Sept. 1926), p. 16.

7. Robert F. Wilson, World's Wor\, Vol. 34, pp. 333-338.

8. Thane Wilson, American Magazine (Aug. 1921), p. 92.


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How to Get Trustworthy Advice

Great Men Never Play a Lone Hand

Charles Francis Adams Gets Too Much Advice

Roosevelt Takes Orders from a Ranchman

Rules for Measuring Advice

Beware of the Man Who Must Be Boss at Any Price

//'K jo president sought advice more freely than Mr. Roosevelt.

1 N He was not afraid to confide in men, would patiently

talk over a serious matter with everyone concerned, summon-

ing men of information from thousands of miles away, making

sure he had seen the subject from every viewpoint."1

David Lloyd George knew thoroughly his own ignorance.

"When he was guiding his Budget through the House of Com-

mons he had a daily meeting of the Treasury experts, with

whom he discussed every detail. This was always his method

to learn all he could from others."2

Of Judge Elbert H. Gary, for many years president of the

United States Steel Corporation, it was said: "His willingness

to listen to other men, to listen to opposite views, was most un-

usual. He sought the opinion of associates and listened to every-


Scores of other successful men who were proficient in getting

and using advice could be mentioned. Willingness to seek and

accept advice is a common characteristic of great leaders, of

men who are dominant in their fields. In fact, the greatness of

a man is in no small measure dependent upon his ability to


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gain the cooperation of his fellows, to stimulate them to proffer

their advice, and upon his ability to profit from the advice he

receives. It is usually the weakling who does not take advice.

Ability to take advice is one of the most significant earmarks of

true greatness.

Don't pride yourself if you tend to play a lone hand, if you

tend to spurn the help you might derive from listening to

other people. There are a number of persons around you from

whom you could get help and you are the loser if you despise

such opportunities.

During the World War, Colonel R. P. Robinson had two

lieutenants in his regiment, both of whom had been captains of

large university football teams. One of them was sent out in

charge of a detachment to bring in two prisoners from the

German lines. He was unsuccessful and was killed along with

several of his men. The other officer went out immediately

afterwards and got his two prisoners without any casualty.

The difference was that the second officer recognized his lack

of experience in work of this kind and hunted up a French

officer who was able to advise him about methods that had

worked in the past and to tell him what sort of obstacles he

might encounter.4

Both men were equally brave and both were capable fellows.

The difference was that the second one had sense enough to

recognize that someone else had more experience than he had and

that he was willing to learn from the experience of others. It is

not a sign of humility to seek advice, it is merely a demonstration

of good sense. Why should any one be so conceited as to think

that he can do as much with no experience as others can who

have had experience? In civilian life few of us get killed because

we fail to seek advice but we do not know how much we lose

in other respects when we ignore the experiences of others.

Independence is the product of years of learning; it comes

naturally and is usually not flaunted by the one who has earned

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the right to be independent. It is the young, ignorant upstart

who brandishes his seeming independenceit is only a pretense,

a sham to cover his inability.

A feebleminded boy who had spent five years and yet had

reached only the second grade in school finally quit with the

statement that his teacher "couldn't learn him nothin'." He was

probably right but the fault was his and not the teacher's.

James Couzens, formerly vice-president of the Ford Motor

Company, tells how he cured a boy who had a false notion of

the importance of premature independence. The lad was a sort

of secretary to Mr. Couzens. "One night we were getting out

circulars to dealers. Both Mr. Ford and I were on the job and

I asked this young man to seal envelopes.

"'No,' he objected, 'I wasn't hired to do that.'

"'Then get out and stay out; if you're too proud to work,

we don't want you.'

"He did get out. He served around in various places for a

time and then came manfully back to me, said he had been a

fool and thought he knew better now. I took him on again and

today he is a very rich man."8

Is it hard for you to take suggestions? Do you resent it when

someone gives you advice? Are you suspicious of their motives

when they do so?

If so, perhaps it is because your confidence has been abused.

It may be that someone has given you poor advice in the past.

Or it may be that you lack self-confidence and put on a false

front of independence for fear someone will discover your lack

of self-assurance.

Learn to get over negativism, irritation, and suspicion if you

would benefit most from advice. Learn to profit from the ex-

periences of other people. They may have paid a big price for

their experiences and if they are willing to impart their knowl-

edge to you, why not take it?


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Charles Francis Adams Gets Too Much Advice

On the other hand, there is the danger of being too dependent,

too willing to accept at face value everything you are told.

Charles Francis Adams is a good illustration of over-dependence

resulting from too much supervision when he was a boy. His

family had wealth and social standing and dominated him,

although with good intentions, at every turn.

"'I should now respect myself a great deal more,' he writes,

'if I had then rebelled and run away from home, to sea, or to

the devil. Indeed, if I had had in me any element of real bad-

ness, or even recklessness of temperament, it would have been

fatally developed. But I wasn't bad or a daredevil; and I was

born with a decided sense of obligation to myself and to


It is so much easier to depend upon some one else to solve

your problems, it is so much more restful to think that no

matter what happens some one else is always to blame, and

it is so comforting to think that others care enough to take all

our responsibilities, that it is very easy to yield to the tempta-

tion to be a spineless follower.

Look at yourself. If you have been accustomed to depend

upon your father and mother completely as a child; if you

always were helped in your school work by the teacher or some

friend; if, in your business or professional life, you have had

to have some one to cling to; if you have never had the chance

to show what you can do as an independent being; you can be

sure that you are too dependent and it is high time for you to

free yourself and to show some independence.

But don't flop to the other extreme and make a fool of your-

self merely to show that you are independent. The objective

you should have is to make the most of yourself and, to enable

you to do this, you should develop the proper proportion of


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independence combined with a sensible reliance on the opinions

and advice of other persons.

It boils down to this: The first essential for getting the best

advice is to makje sure that you are the sort of person who can

profit by advice.

If you are always hanging to someone else, you will be

duped: for you will not be able to discriminate good from bad

advice and will be blind to the motives of the one who advises


Or, if your whole aim in life is to show how independent you

are, you will miss many good opportunities to profit from the

experiences of others.

When you need advice ask: Can this particular man throw

new light on this specific problem? If he can he is the one to

whom you should look for advice. If he cannot you should

not seek his advice no matter how much you may like him or

how smart he may be in other lines.

One person cannot be relied upon to the same degree in all

fields. Your wife may be a very faithful comrade but be totally

unable to give you sound advice on investments. Your husband

may be an excellent business man but that is no reason why

he should be depended upon in his taste for women's hats.

Select the best person for advice but make sure he is the best in

the specific field in which your problem lies. The same person

should not advise you on all problems. It is humanly impossible

for one person to be an expert in all fields. Go to the expert in

each field.

Roosevelt Takes Orders from a Ranchman

When Theodore Roosevelt was hunting he took advice from

a hunter and not from a politician. When he had a political

problem he sought advice from a politician and not from a



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On one occasion Roosevelt was hunting in the Bad Lands

with Merrifield, one of his ranch bosses. They had seen a flock

of prairie chickens and Roosevelt had started off with his shot-

gun after them.

"Don't shoot," Merrifield called suddenly.

Roosevelt paid no attention to the command. With his eyes

on the chickens he went on, when suddenly a mountain lion

sprang out of the brush and bounded away. Roosevelt ran for

his rifle, but too late.

Merrifield's eyes blazed and he told Roosevelt in no uncertain

terms what he thought of him, concluding: "Whenever I hold

up my hand, you stop still where you are. Understand?"

Roosevelt bore the hunter's wrath calmly because he knew

he was right and thereafter he obeyed orders meekly.7 He

obeyed because the hunter had demonstrated superior knowl-

edge and experience in hunting.

A movie star may be an authority on acting but her testimony

as to the merits of a cigarette may not be worth the paper it is

written upon. A preacher may be thoroughly upright and honest

but may be wholly misguided in his endorsement of a patent

medicine. The personal integrity of a person has nothing to do

with the value of a testimonial. The question is: Does he know

what he is talking about?

The mistake we are likely to make when we search for advice

is to look for someone who will make us feel well; we want

someone to reassure us that we are right. Instead, we should

hunt for the truth. John Wanamaker once said: "When young

people seek advice, they are not after wisdom or the advantage

of the experience of their elders. What they want is confirmation

of their own judgment, and failing to get it does not deter

them from going ahead with their plans." 8

Hunt for sound advice whether it makes you feel well or ill.

You may find reputable persons to give you any advice you

want. It will pay you to discount the advice that makes you


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feel well. Try to take an open minded attitude toward the

opinion of others; try to make a judgment which is totally in-

dependent of your feelings in the matter.

It is impossible to get away from the fact that one of the

most important elements in advice is your readiness to accept

it or your willingness to reject it. After you have made a mis-

take do not reproach your friends, asking them: "Why did you

not advise me differently?" The chances are that you would

not have listened if they had.

Nor should you reproach your friends if they advised you

badly. If you did what you were advised and have learned that

they were in error do not blame them for the error. The re-

sponsibility is yours no matter what advice they gave you. Did

you ever realize that the commonest reason for hunting advice is

to enable the seeker to have someone to blame if things go

wrongly? Have you been guilty of this? Do you take credit

to yourself when things go well and blame your advisers when

they go awry?

Rules for Measuring Advice

After you have acquired a balance in your attitude toward

advice, and not before, you are in a position to evaluate critically

your advisers and their advice.

These are some questions it may pay you to ask:

1. How free is your adviser with his advice? If he is con-

tinually advising everybody on all subjects it will pay you to

discount what he tells you. If he has a record of being slow in

giving advice and careful in what he says you can afford to

have more confidence in him.

2. Is he the very best person to advise you on the subject in

which you are interested? Temper your confidence according

to the degree of expertness of your adviser.

3. Does his advice agree with other persons in his same field?

It pays to get the opinion of more than one person.


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4. Is he telling you what he thinks you will like because he

wants to please you? This is especially likely to be the case if

the adviser has anything to gain by obtaining your good will.

5. Is your adviser a conservative person or a reckless person?

If he is either extreme, due allowance should be made for any-

thing he tells you.

6. Does he have confidence in you? He may think you in-

competent to carry out a difficult program and his advice may

be motivated by a fear that you cannot accomplish a complex

task. He may be trying to save you from defeat.

7. Is he maliciously trying to misguide you? Has he anything

to gain from your failure? Look with caution on any advice

which means a gain for your adviser if you follow it.

8. Does he really have your interest at heart?

"'What I value in you,' Theodore Roosevelt said to Joseph

B. Bishop more than once, 'is that you give me the advice you

think I need rather than the advice you think I would like to

have.' "9

The question of weighing advice is much simplified if you

can be sure that your adviser likes you, that he is sincerely

trying to help you, and that he understands you well enough

to know what you are able to accomplish. His sincerity is a

very important consideration.

But sincerity is not the only essential in selecting an adviser

and much bad advice has been given by persons who had the

noblest of motives.

Beware of the Man Who Must Be Boss at Any Price

The most dangerous type of adviser is the aggressive, dicta-

torial type of creature who must be boss at any price. He exudes

authority wherever he goes and his suggestions are given not

to help you but to gain a more complete sway over you.

It was said that when Count Tolstoi gave instructions on hunt-


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ing he told his pupils how to gain the mastery over their

mounts. When a horse swerved and refused to jump, he in-

structed the rider to pull him to the side toward which he

swerved and ride back on that side, so that the horse would

never know whether he had swerved or whether the rider had

turned him. Command the horse to do what he is already

doing and you are the boss.

This is good advice in becoming a good horseman, for a

horseman must be a boss at any price. But don't be a horse.

Beware of the man whose only motive in giving advice, offer-

ing suggestions, or issuing orders is to make you submissive to

his dictatorship. The true leader merits obedience because of

his superior experience and wisdom and he does not need to

use the authority of his office to demand obedience he does not

merit. Work for a boss whose superiority you can respect, whose

advice it is a privilege to receive, and whose orders you are

proud to obey. Such a boss will expect you to take his advice

but he will want you to show some independence as well.

A real leader does not expect his subordinates to be mere

machines, incapable of thinking. General Joffre, that great hero

of the World War, wanted his men to do more than obey

orders, he wanted them to take responsibility as well as to take

advice. He once discharged a general who was too subservient.

After his discharge, the general came to Joffre and complained:

"'Why was I retired? I obeyed the orders I received.'

"'You might have done better,' was Joffre's answer.

"Not mere obedience but the ability to think was the rule by

which Joffre measured officers. The soldier, too, was made to

feel that he was a thinking, responsible part of the army. If

he had suggestions to make he was free to make them. Officers

often consulted their men and talked over their plans with

them. Joffre believed in a democratic army."10

It is so easy to follow suggestions when they come from an

efficient leader that you may be tempted to surrender the right

[ J791

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to any independent thinking. It will pay to avoid this danger

of becoming too subservient. On the other hand, avoid as well

the tendency to be stubborn in silly trifles in order to demon-

strate your independence. Try to strike a balance which will per-

mit independence of thought and willingness to take suggestions

from those more capable and wiser than you are.

Avoid playing a lone hand. There are other people who know

more than you, from whose experience you may profit, if you

will but listen to them.

Avoid the temptation to become dependent upon other people.

Learn from their experiences, weigh their advice, but remember

the responsibility of accepting or rejecting it is wholly yours.

Always hunt the best man for advice on any particular subject.

Hunt for the specialist in each field. Do not expect one man

to be capable of giving good advice on every subject.

Do not hunt for the advice which merely makes you feel well

or which confirms you in your own opinion.

Consider the motives of your adviser as well as his competence

to advise you.

Avoid the adviser whose main objective is to dominate you.

Get a boss who merits your obedience because he measures up

to the standards of a competent adviser, who knows more about

the job than you do.

Don't be obedient merely because you enjoy dependence upon

somebody else. Never surrender the right to do your own


References for Chapter XVII

1. James Morgan, Theodore Roosevelt, The Boy and the Man,

Macmillan, 1920, pp. 248-249.

2. Harold Spender, David Lloyd George, George H. Doran, 1920,

p. 329.

3. Ida M. Tarbell, Life of Elbert H. Gary, D. Appleton, 1925,

p. 348.


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4. Address by Colonel R. P. Robinson to Chicago Post of Ameri-

can Legion, Chapter 170, Oct. 8, 1928.

5. James Couzens, System (Sept. 1921), p. 262.

6. Edgar J. Swift, Psychology and the Day's Wor\, Charles Scrib-

ner's Sons, 1919, p. 125.

7. Hermann Hagedorn, Roosevelt in the Bad Lands, Houghton

Mifflin, 1921, pp. 178-179.

8. Herbert A. Gibbons, John Wanama\er, Harper Brothers, 1926,

p. 64.

9. Joseph B. Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt and His Time, Charles

Scribner's Sons, 1920, p. 116.

10. Cora W. Rowell, Leaders of the Great War, Macmillan, 1920,

p. 12.


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Getting Others to Work for You

Train Men to Boost You

Carnegie Made Forty-three Millionaires

Never Do Anything You Can Get Someone Else To Do

Blarney Made Storey a Poor Boss

Select Men Who Are Different from Yourself

Men Work When They Are Trusted

you will make more progress by getting the men under you

to push you, than you will if you depend upon the men

above you, your bosses, to pull you up. "'Show me a man in a

responsible position,' said Arthur L. Humphrey, head of the

Westinghouse Air Brake Company, 'and I'll show you a man

who has had helpwho has known how to master help in a

pinchwho has learned the knack of sharing the load . . . who

does only what the other fellow cannot do for him. . . .

"'Most of us come into contact with two groups of people.

The one group is under us, or subject in some way to our au-

thority. The other group is over us. The mistake some make is

in thinking only of that second group. We try to be pulled

up into it. We forget all about the group below, which has

the power to "push".'"1

Are you really being helped by those under you? Do people

like to do things for you? If you ask your co-workers to help

in a task, are they willing to do it? Will they jump in to help

you when they see you need it even before you ask it? If they

will, you have taken one long step toward success, because such


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good will is essential before any man can achieve executive


Or, do people avoid working to help you? If you ask them

do they make excuses, or immediately become burdened with

their own work? If so, you can learn to win their cooperation

by applying a few simple principles which other men have used

and found effective.

You should know how to get men to work for you when

they are under no obligations to do so before you take any

position of authority over other men. A true leader is not a person

who uses his position of authority to force men to bow to his

commands. He has the interest of his subordinates at heart and

they know it. They trust him, look up to him, and would do

anything in their power for him.

You will never be able to force the men under you to boost

you. You must win them by boosting them. The more you do

for them the more your own interests are enhanced. The at-

tempt to learn rules which will make men more submissive,

more obedient, and more respectful of your authority is a

wrong approach and is very likely to fail. Make the men under

you more efficient and more successful if you would get any

benefits from their work.

"'The biggest man is the man who can make other men,'

said Charles M. Schwab, the builder and head of Bethlehem

Steel and the man who headed the shipbuilding program for

the United States Government during the World War. 'The

fact that I have made a lot of money does not yield me any satis-

faction comparable* with what I derive from the fact that a

great many of my boys have made good in a large way. It is

far more worth while to make men than to make money. Take

Mr. Grace: he is a greater steel man that I ever was or can hope

to be. I am very proud of him. I am proud, also, of the fact that

not one of the fifteen young men I selected as partners failed

to make good, although there was not one of them occupying a


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high position at the time the selection was made. . . . Each and

every one of them proved to be an executive of unusual ca-

pability.' "2

They were capable executives because Mr. Schwab made

executives of them. Did Mr. Schwab lose because these men

made good? By no means; he gained immeasurably. The man

who keeps those under him in fearful subservience because he

is afraid they will outstrip him is a coward at heart. He is not

big enough to be a real leader and will eventually discover that

he is outstripped in spite of all his efforts to be "boss."

A. J. Cassatt, the man who carried through the Pennsylvania

Terminal in New York City and who was president of the

Pennsylvania system for many years, "gathered around him the

biggest men he could find, with never a thought that they might

shine as much as he did. He found such men as the late James

McCrea, who succeeded him as president; Samuel Rea, and

William Wallace Atterbury, who became presidents in turn." 8

Carnegie Made Forty-three Millionaires

"As a staff trainer, no one ever did more than Carnegie did.

He took forty-three young men, all poor, and made them mil-

lionaires. What is more, he made them all clever, all except one

who went into politics." *

It was when Carnegie found and developed Charles M. Schwab

that he was enabled to carry out his big plans. Did he lose by

devoting his energy to developing other men? He built a gi-

gantic organization which stands today stronger than ever, a

monument to his executive ability.

In contrast to this method, Stinnes built an organization, in

Germany, but did not create a staff. The whole organization

centered around Stinnes. As a result, the Stinnes Combine is

now broken up and the Stinnes episode is a thing of the past.

"The Stinnes Combine did not last two years without Stinnes.


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Why? Because he did not provide for the event of his own

death. He did not create a staff, and all his work was the mere

making of sand castles on the seashore."4

Napoleon made the same mistake. He too failed to build an

adequate staff. When he was young he could take care of all

details himself; but, as he grew older and the details increased

in number, he was unable to do it all himself. He was forced

to leave responsibilities to subordinates who were not trained

to handle them. His "defeat at Leipsic was mainly due to his

neglect of details which he seems to have left largely to sub-

ordinates. Hitherto he had saved them practically all the think-

ing, and now in the emergency they possessed no directive ca-

pacity, but looked to him to arrange everything."8

Select capable assistants and delegate to them all the work

which they can do.

Never Do Anything You Can Get Someone Else To Do

Lord Northcliffe, the great British publisher, was a born

hustler and yet he never seemed to hustle. When asked by a

friend how he could accomplish so much with so little apparent

effort he replied, "I direct everything and leave the carrying out

to others. The secret of success, I have already discovered, is to

originate, direct, and scrutinize, but to do nothing which can

be done just as well by assistants."6

"'Never do anything if you can get someone else to do it,'

says John H. Patterson of the National Cash Register Company."

Patterson believed that an executive should do only what he

could not delegate to others. The chief business of an executive

is to think and plan and not to lose himself in details. The real

test of an executive is to create a machine which will operate

smoothly when he is absent. In order to test this theory Mr.

Patterson once took out ten or twelve important executives from

the office and factory. The machine ran on just as before.7


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You will find that all great leaders have learned this lesson.

They know the importance of turning details over to associates

and subordinates. But here is the kernel that is at the heart of

the whole affair. Turn details over to others in order that you

may \eep busy on more important matters.

Some people give work to others so that they may loaf. The

feigned executive ability of such men is merely a disguise for

laziness. They are not leaders of men. They are loafers.

Delegate work and keep busy on more vital problems and

you will become a real executive. Delegate work and do nothing

and you will find your associates and subordinates supplanting


Gordon Selfridge, when general manager of Marshall Field

and Company, in his conferences with departmental managers,

gave them this advice: "Pass your work down the line, give

your assistants every chance to do your work; then, if you

can't keep busy, it is your own fault." 8

The objective in delegating work, in getting others to work

for you, is not to decrease your load, but to get more accom-

plished. If you arrange things so that a number of men are

pulling together you accomplish more than you possibly could

by working hard yourself at some task involving only details

while those around you are working at cross purposes or doing


Blarney Made Storey a Poor Boss

Three blarneying Irishmen once made a fool of William B.

Storey, president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail-

road. He was young, a hard worker, but did not know anything

about getting other people to work. His notion of efficiency was

to work hard himself. He was working on a construction project

and was sent, with three men to help him, to find out how deep

a certain swamp was, how far down they would have to go

to get to bed rock.


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"Storey was scarcely twenty years old. He had worked in sur-

veying parties and construction crews on the railroad during

his vacations for several years; but this was the first time he had

ever been put in charge of other men. He was eager to make a

good showing as a 'boss' and get the required results in the

least possible time. So the first day he turned to and worked

harder than anybody on the theory that the others would be

inspired by his example and do likewise.

"However, they were three blarneying Irishmen, well along

in years and experience. When they saw their youthful boss

working so hard they told him he certainly was a fine worker;

and by keeping up the flow of compliments they cleverly con-

cealed the fact that they did next to nothing themselves! That

night 'Bill' Storey was a stiff, tired, and disappointed boy.

"'I lay awake the better part of that night,' Storey related,

'trying to figure out why we had failed to get more done. I

tossed and turned, and studied, and finally I concluded that

those Irishmen had been riding me. They saw I was working

hard enough for all of us, and they naturally reasoned that it

wasn't worth their while to overexert themselves! I saw I had

gone at the job wrong. The next day I held back and told the

others what to do. They did the work. I looked on and directed

it. After that we got along a whole lot faster.'"9

Storey learned a valuable lesson. He learned that more is

accomplished by using your brains to organize and direct work

than by attempting to do it all yourself.

If you are so conceited or so inexperienced as to think that

the "only way to get a thing done right is to do it yourself,"

your associates or subordinates will permit you to "work your

head off," and will become a group of lazy parasites instead

of efficient assistants.

If you are the "hardest working man" in your organization,

do not flatter yourself on that account. If you are, it probably

means that you have not learned how to delegate work, you


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have not learned how to organize things so that the others are

doing their legitimate share. Your hard work is merely a symp-

tom that you are an inefficient leader.

Storey might have gone on working himself to death and

have come back with a report of his hard work, but that would

have been of little value. Nobody wants to know how hard

you have worked, they want to know what you have accom-


Never delude yourself into thinking that, by hard work, you

can accomplish more with your own efforts than can be done

by a well directed organization.

Furthermore, do not think that organizing and directing

ability are dependent upon being in a position of authority.

Start in where you are to get people to work for you and the

position will come naturally. You cannot direct a large organiza-

tion until you have learned to get the cooperation of the few

around you.

If you would get the most from those around you, it is

important to recognize the varied temperaments that you find

and to permit each individual to develop accordingly.

Some men want specific directions, they cannot take respon-

sibility and do not want it. It is not the task of the executive to

attempt to make over such individuals but to use each accord-

ing to his interests and capacities. Do not try to make a man

shoulder responsibility if he does not want it.

"Some young men don't want responsibility," says Harry

Coulby, president of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. "A

nice smooth rut is a comfortable place to be, and they would

rather stay in it than to get out and take the bumps on the open

road. That's all right if it is what a man wants. But when he

makes that choice he oughtn't to blame anyone but himself if

his rut doesn't take him to the heights reached by othersby

those who choose the rough road that does lead there."10

But even if there are people who shirk responsibility, no one


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should use the incompetence of others as an excuse to evade his

responsibility to develop capable assistants. Select the men who

will take responsibility and increase the load of their respon-

sibility gradually.

"The function of the great executive is to select men who are

better than himself for the work in hand. Washington was a

great executive. His strength lay precisely in that. . . . He had

a talent for picking men who could do their work effectively." 11

Keep in mind the work to be done in making a selection of

associate or subordinate. The best man for the job may not be the

one you like personally, he may be very different from you in

personality; but, if you make the best selection, you will not

let personal preferences interfere with your selection. Personality

weaknesses may be strengthened by well-chosen assistants.

Select Men Who Are Different from Yourself

Lincoln selected a cabinet composed of men who were quite

different from him and different from each other. Lincoln was

somewhat eccentric and unorderly in his personal habits. In his

cabinet he had the bustling and efficient martinet in Stanton;

the dignified Seward; the cold and calculating Chase; and the

spoilsman in Cameron.

Furthermore he knew how to incite all these different types of

personalities to work in harmony. "While he was masterful

in dealing with his cabinet, he was not exacting in his demands

for precise and specific compliance with his wishes, expressed

or implied. On the contrary, he permitted, especially on the part

of Stanton, types of insubordination and disrespect that would

have ruined a less fundamentally masterful man."12

In the same way Theodore Roosevelt selected as his adviser

Henry Cabot Lodge, who was quite different from him in his

fundamental personality characteristics. Lodge was an observer,

Roosevelt a doer; Lodge was a scholar, Roosevelt was impetuous


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and unthinking in many of his acts; Lodge was somewhat

fastidious and reserved in his contact with people, while Roose-

velt was the soul of beaming cordiality; Lodge's language was

exact or even biting in its incisiveness, while Roosevelt's was

explosive, inexact, and superlative, with a bit of burlesque and

humor in it.

But the very fact that they were different made them excel-

lent working companions. Each supplemented the other. It was

a much better team than would have been the case had Roose-

velt selected someone much more like himself. That Roosevelt

appreciated the value of these differences is evidenced from a

statement contained in a letter to Cabot in 1900. He said: "You

are the only man whom in all my life I have met who has re-

peatedly and in every way done for me what I could not do

for myself and nobody else could do."18

In these words are contained the secret of true leadership.

Select those persons who are different from you, who can do

for you what you cannot do for yourself. If you select a man

exactly like yourself you are only extending your own person-

ality. The faults and limitations which you have will only be

exaggerated and accentuated by such a choice. How much more

valuable is a realization of your own peculiarities and the worth

of individuals who are different from yourself.

Men Work When They Are Trusted

To get the most from your associates you must trust them

implicitly and demonstrate to them that you do trust them.

The only way to train people to assume responsibilities is to

trust them. This cannot be done unless you have implicit con-

fidence in them.

Your staff should become a real part of you and you must

trust them as you do yourself.

J. P. Morgan delegated to his associates details which involved


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millions of dollars, not because he did not care about the mil-

lions but because he had trained them to take care of such


"One day an opposing lawyer was cross examining Mr. Mor-

gan about the purchase of fifteen million dollars' worth of

Northern Pacific stock in 1901.

"'How much did that stock cost?'

"'I haven't any idea,' replied Morgan.

"'How much did your firm make out of it?'

"'I don't know.'

"'Well, did you make one million or ten millions?' persisted

the lawyer.

"'I tell you I don't know. I don't attend to the details. I said

"Buy it". Steel knows about the details; he'll tell you about that.'

"Now it is important not to miss the point here. . . . Al-

though Mr. Morgan did not know the details, Steel did! Mr.

Morgan, when he made those remarks, was a battle-scarred

veteran of finance, the ripened product of a career of masterly

administration. Years before, as a young bank clerk, he dug

relentlessly into the details of each task with which he was en-

trusted. Now he selected competent and capable men to watch

those details with close care so that he no longer needed to give

them his personal attention."14

By entrusting Steel with the details Morgan not only could

give his attention to other matters but this confidence placed

Steel in a position of trust where he simply had to make good.

But it should be remembered that Morgan did not trust Steel

on a fifteen million dollar deal until it had been demonstrated

that he could be trusted. He trusted him first on small matters

and then in more important affairs, so that Steel had an oppor-

tunity to demonstrate trustworthiness.

When you first attempt to delegate responsibility you will

probably discover that it is very difficult to give complete freedom

to your associates. You want to keep your finger on affairs,


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which, of course, demonstrates that you do not trust the work

to others at all.

Mr. Wolf, general sales manager of the Kellog Switchboard

Company, dates his success from the time he learned this lesson.

He stated that he used to be the world's greatest "butter-in" and

would always be checking up on those things which he had

delegated. One day he made up his mind that he would change

all this. He determined that, if necessary, he would wait until

the heavens fell before he would "butt-in"; he determined to

give his associates an opportunity to show what they could do.

His plan was surprisingly successful. He found he did not have

to "butt-in."16

Cyrus Curtis, the publisher of The Saturday Evening Post

and the Ladies' Home Journal, was accustomed to "absent him-

self at what seemed to others critical times in his affairs; not

absences for a day or a week, but for months at a time. In fact

he seemed to have a faculty for choosing such times for his

absences, leaving the most important matters to be settled by

others. And true to his instinct they were settled.

"'It is just how you accustom people,' he once said; 'they'll

lean on you all the time if you let them. Go away and they can't.

They have to do for themselves. That's the way you test them

and the strength of your organization at the same time. When

a man feels he can't leave the organization that he has built up

it proves him to be a poor organizer. The trouble lies with him

and not with the organization.'"ia

Give men responsibility. But that is not all. Give them com-

plete credit for what they do. It is much better to give them too

much credit than not enough. By doing so you will establish a

loyalty which could be obtained in no other way.

Admiral Nelson obtained an unsurpassed loyalty from his

men in times and under circumstances where mutiny would have

been the order of the day. He accomplished this feat largely by

giving credit to those under him.


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"I suppose," said Lord Hood to Nelson on one occasion,

"from the length of time you were cruising among the Bahama

Keys, you must be a good pilot there?"

"I am well acquainted with them, but my second lieutenant

is far my superior in that respect," was Nelson's reply.17

Nelson was continually giving credit in just this fashion.

Now, he did not have to compliment his lieutenant when he

was praised. A more self-centered man would never think to

do so. But Nelson gained more by this attitude of generous

appreciation of his men than he ever would have done by

tooting his own horn.

The best executives go still farther. They not only give liberal

credit to their associates and subordinates but they take the

blame for the mistakes of others. Too often delegating respon-

sibility degenerates into the "old army game of passing the

buck." It is merely a scheme to evade blame when things go


You certainly do not merit loyalty and you are not likely

to get loyalty if you use your subordinates as a means for

evading responsibility. But, still better, you will do well to go

out of your way to shield them.

Charles A. Dana, the great newspaper man, once had a grand

opportunity to squirm out of a difficulty by permitting an edi-

torial writer to shoulder the blame for articles the editor had

written and for which logically he should be responsible. But

Dana was too big a man for this. "When on the stand before

a committee of Congress investigating in 1886 the so-called pan-

electric scandal he was questioned about the authorship of

certain editorial articles in The Sun.

"'They were not written by me,' he replied. 'I wish they

were: I wish I had the faculty to write such things.'"18

Could any man resist being loyal to such a boss as that?

Instead of taking the opportunity to squirm out of a delicate

situation, he not only demonstrates approval of the editor who


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was responsible for the attack upon his paper but expresses

envy of the ability of this editor who wrote the condemned edi-


In a similar fashion Cyrus Curtis backed Edward Bok in his

editorial policies for the Ladies' Home Journal even when pres-

sure was brought to bear upon Curtis to discharge Bok.

Bok had aroused the ire of women's clubs throughout this

country by criticising the superficiality of their intellectual work.

They were so incensed that they decided to retaliate by getting

him discharged from the Journal. Petitions were signed by

thousands of club women asking Curtis to remove Bok from

the editorial conduct of the magazine.

"'What is it all about?' he asked Bok one day as he brought

him one of the petitions.

"Bok told him briefly.

"'What has that to do with me? Why do they send me these

long petitions?'

"'They want you to discharge me.'"

Curtis was not influenced in the least by all these demands.

He had implicit confidence in Bok and nothing could shake it.

After that when these voluminous petitions would come he

would toss them on Bok's desk unopened. Bok even asked him

to read them, but to no purpose. He was not interested.19

After such a demonstration of confidence do you suppose

there is anything that Bok would not have done for his em-


Do nothing that other men can do for you as well as you

could do it yourself.

You will gain more by developing trustworthy subordinates

than you will by waiting for your superiors to drag you higher.

Understand details and then delegate them to others.

Delegate responsibilitynot to get out of wor\ but to give

you time for more important matters. Pass on your wor\ to


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others and then \eep busy. This is the way to multiply your out-


Motivate those to whom you have entrusted various respon-

sibilities by:

1. Showing them that you trust them.

2. Refraining from interfering with them.

3. Going away and letting them handle critical affairs.

4. Giving them full credit for what they do. Giving them too

much credit is better than giving them too little.

5. Ta\ing the blame for their mista\es.

References for Chapter XVIII

1. William S. Dutton, American Magazine (Oct. 1926), pp. 17

and 184.

2. B. C. Forbes, American Magazine (Sept. 1918), p. 74.

3. Samuel Crowther, American Magazine (Nov. 1925), p. 82.

4. Herbert N. Casson, Tips on Leadership, B. C. Forbes Publish-

ing Co., 1927, p. 47.

5. Enoch B. Gowin, The Executive and His Control of Men, Mac-

millan, 1915, p. 90.

6. William E. Carson, Northcliffe, Britain's Man of Power, Dodge

Publishing Co., 1918, p. 107.

7. Samuel Crowther, American Magazine (Oct. 1923), p. 447.

8. Interview with Waldo Warren, June 5, 1929.

9. Neil M. Clark, American Magazine (May 1923), p. 19.

10. Keene Sumner, American Magazine (May 1923), p. 176.

11. Wm. E. Woodward, George Washington, Boni and Liveright,

1926, p. 376.

12. Charles E. Merriam, Four American Party Leaders, Macmillan,

1926, p. 6.

13. William Lawrence, Henry Cabot Lodge, Houghton Mifflin,

1925, pp. 108 and 116.

14. Enoch B. Gowin, Developing Executive Ability, Ronald Press,

1919, p. 22.

15. Interview with Waldo Warren, June 5, 1929.

16. Edward W. Bok, Twice Thirty, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925,

p. 112.


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17. Robert Southey, The Life of Nelson, Houghton Mifflin, 1916,

P- 53-

18. Edward P. Mitchell, Memoirs of an Editor, Charles Scribner's

Sons, 1924, p. 134.

19. Edward W. Bok, Twice Thirty, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925,

p. 166.


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Reading with Pleasure and Profit

Selfridge Learns to Keep Awake While Reading

Know Why You Are Reading

Read for Relaxation

A Book Was Washington's Buddy

H\rry Gordon Selfridge was in luck! He had been invited to

room with a young man who had an excellent library and

had given him the "run of his books."

But there was a fly in the ointment. For five evenings each

week he had three solid hours which he could spend in

reading, but he found that, when he tried to read, he got

sleepy and could not keep awake. He liked to read, he had

plenty of books to read, he had plenty of time to read; and yet

he would fall asleep.

This young man, who later became a partner in Marshall Field

and Company and now has an immense department store in

London, was no different from thousands of other persons

who get drowsy when they try to read. Yet the reason for this

sleepiness is easy to find and the cure is simple. Anyone can

overcome this habit just as Selfridge did.

He discovered an important principle: If you attempt to do

the same thing for a long period the result is monotony, and

monotony makes you sleepy. The solution is to introduce

variation in your reading.

Selfridge adopted this plan: "During the first hour I read

something that required a good deal of thought. During the


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second hour I read biography, which requires less thinking;

and during the third hour, until bedtime, I read fiction or


Start in when you are fresh with reading which requires most

concentration. As soon as you find your mind wandering change

to something else. At first the periods may be even shorter than

an hour, but it is better to change than to attempt to force

yourself to read something in which you cannot get interested

or which puts you to sleep.

Some people train themselves to become drowsy when they

read by reading themselves to sleep. This is a poor plan. You

may be able to induce sleep by reading, but, at the same time,

you are teaching yourself to get drowsy whenever you read.

You cannot use reading as a sleeping potion and then expect to

keep awake when you read something which is not very ex-

citing. Besides, if you read, in bed, something which is stimulat-

ing enough to keep you awake, you are likely to produce

sleeplessness or a sort of restless sleep in which your mind is

continually rehearsing the ideas aroused by the reading.

If you want reading to be of any value to you, do not use it

as a means of putting yourself to sleep. You cannot expect it

to put you to sleep at one time and to keep you awake at another.

Know Why You Are Reading

To get the most from your reading ask yourself why you

are reading at the time. The motive may be different and the

reading may be different at different times but if you are clear

as to the motive you have the best guide for the selection of

what to read.

Do you want information on a specific subject? If you do,

your reading is a search for that information and should be

rigidly directed toward that end. It will involve the use of

readers' guides, encyclopedias, indexes, and reference books. You


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will read only the portion of books which have a bearing on

your problem rather than entire books. One who is reading for

specific information is wasting his time if he settles down to

read a complete book unless the whole book relates specifically

to his search.

On one occasion Thomas A. Edison wanted to know about

a certain part of the mechanism of typewriters. What did he

do? Among other things, he told an assistant to get all the

books in the library about that piece of mechanism and bring

them to his office. The assistant brought a pile of books several

feet high for Edison to read.2

What a job! Should he set about reading that whole stack

of books in order to learn about the one thing he wanted to

know? No. Such a job would have taken weeks. Edison ex-

tracted from each book just what he wanted and ignored the

rest. By so doing he was able to learn what he wanted to know

by spending only one evening with the whole stack of books.

When you are on a specific search, read the parts that relate

to that search and pass over irrelevant material.

Read for Relaxation

Perhaps you are tired, worn out with the worries of your

work, and want to relax and get away from it all. You would

like to get out into the woods or mountains or anywhere to

forget. You cannot really get away but you can lose yourself

in the emotions that men have put into their writings. At such

times do not select reading which is recommended as culturally

necessary, but the sort of thing that you enjoy. It may be a de-

tective story, a novel, a book of poems, or a book of humor.

Select something you can read for the sheer fun of the emotional

stimulation it gives you.

Whatever your taste may be, get the sort of book or magazine

which fits that taste, relax into a comfortable chair and lose


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yourself. You will come out of your little vacation of reading a

refreshed and different person.

To make your reading profitable and pleasurable decide what

you need most at the moment: intellectual stimulation, infor-

mation, relaxation, amusement, excitement, or something which

will give you courage to take up life again where you left it.

With the advice of librarian, friend, or someone who knows,

select something to fit that moodtelling them just the sort

of thing you wish to accomplishand reading will take on new

meaning to you.

Napoleon is said to have had very broad reading interests:

artillery, its principles and history; the science of warfare;

philosophy; constitutional law; history; biography; finance;

criminology; astronomy; geology; meteorology; the laws of the

growth of population; statistics of mortality; and religion. 8

Now a person cannot develop an interest in all these subjects

at once, but Charles E. Mitchell tells of a device he used which

was very effective in broadening his interests. He had "an in-

formal compact with himself to take up some new subject every

year, and learn what he could about it."4

Get simple books on any subject at first. If you get a book

you cannot understand, it does not indicate that you cannot un-

derstand the subject, it means that you cannot understand that

particular book. Get a simpler book on the same subject, one

that you can understand. Be honest with the librarian, tell him

that you want something more readable than the book you

have tried to read on the subject in question. It is no disgrace to

admit that you are ignorant on any subject. Start at the bottom

in your reading.

A Book Was Washington's Buddy

George Washington, as a young man, found a book which

was as valuable to him as a personal friend is. It was a book


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which appealed to him, which helped him, and which he kept

as a constant guide. It might not appeal to anyone else, but

if it helped him, it served its purpose. It was a curious little

book entitled The Young Man's Companion by W. Mather.

It is now a curio of high market value.

"To George The Young Man's Companion was a companion

indeed. His name, in his own handwriting, is on the flyleaf, and

its pages are well thumbed. The book tells how to measure

lumber and land, how to be a gentleman, how to set out useful

trees, how to write letters to people of quality, how to make

ink with scant materials, how to calculate interest, how to draw

up legal papers. It tells all this, and more. It is crammed full of

facts. . . . There are evidences that he labored over it and

learned it well. Many of its maxims were copied by him." 5

Books are like people. There are vast numbers of them with

which you will never get acquainted, there are some you will

know casually, but there are a few which will be so valuable

to you that you will become very intimately acquainted with

them. You should have a few books which are as close to you

as the closest personal friend.

Your intimate book friends will not be the same as those

chosen by others. Do not let that bother you. We do not all

choose the same people as friends. We may not admire the

choice of others nor they admire ours. The choice is your own

and the intimacy should be measured by the personal value

of the book to you.

But do not merely read. Use what you read. If you read

biography and learn how other men did things, try to take

advantage of their experiences when you meet similar prob-

lems. You can avoid the mistakes they made and can solve

problems similar to theirs even better than they did if you know

how they met theirs.

John A. Topping, head of the Republic Iron and Steel Com-

pany, learned how to express himself by reading Macaulay's


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Essays. His father considered these essays models of style and

urged his son to read them. He did not attempt to mimic

Macaulay after reading them but they showed him the different

ways in which ideas may be expressed. He says: "I don't pretend

to talk as Macaulay wrote, I don't want to. But I am sure that

my background of reading has made it easier for me to express

myself in my own way."6

Act on what you read. Talk about what you read. Test what

you read. See whether the writer knows what he is talking

about by putting it to a trial.

If you read a story, tell the story in your own words to some

friend, or try to write a brief synopsis of it and you will be

surprised how much the attempt will help you to express

yourself. If you read an argument try to state the argument

in your own words. Attempt to defend it or to refute it and

see how much more clearly you learn to think and to reason

as a result. If you read a description or word picture, try to

paint the same word picture in your own way.

Don't be a passive reader. Your reading will become a part

of you when you act on it, when you do something with it.

If you read as though you were a sponge you will soon soak

up all you can take, the rest will simply roll off. Make use of

everything you read in some manner and you will always be

ready and hungry for more.

Vary your reading according to your needs, your mood at

the time, and your physical condition.

If you are fresh, read things which require concentration;

if you are tired, read lighter things.

Do not use reading to put yourself to sleep. If you do so you

will make yourself a poor reader.

Vary your method of reading according to the purpose in

reading. If you are searching for the answer to a specific prob-

lem, hunt it and ignore everything else. If you want to get away


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from your troubles choose the thing in which you are most


Develop new interests in reading and thus broaden your out-

loo\ on life.

Have a few boohs which are as close to you as an intimate


Use what you read. Tal\ about it. Do not use it to show off,

but make it a part of you so that you may be better able to

express yourself.

References for Chapter XIX

1. Samuel Crowther, American Magazine (April 1924), p. ill.

2. Enoch B. Gowin, Developing Executive Ability, Ronald Press,

1919, p. 223.

3. Emil Ludwig, Napoleon, Garden City Publishing Co., 1926,

p. 10.

4. Bruce Barton, American Magazine (Feb. 1923), p. 16.

5. Wm. E. Woodward, George Washington, Boni and Liveright,

1926, p. 25.

6. Frank B. Copley, American Magazine (May 1926), p. 39.


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It Pays to Be Modest

Only a Loser Needs to Strut

Does Promotion Turn Your Head?

Franklin Gets an Intellectual Spanking

Goethals Runs from a Cheering Mob

Hill Offers to Trade a Celebration for a Library

What an opportunity for General Grant to strut! At last,

after a bitter struggle, the Confederate forces had broken,

victory was his, and Lee was to surrender his sword at Appo-

mattox Court House.

Had he not a right to boast? Any ordinary man would have

been tempted to do so but Grant was not an ordinary man

and great men are more likely to be modest than boastful.

Grant took his success very humbly and he was even modest

about his humility in so doing, as his description of the sur-

render shows.

He says: "General Lee was dressed in full uniform, which

was entirely new, and was wearing a sword of considerable

value, very likely the one which had been presented to him

by the State of Virginia. In my rough travelling suit, the uni-

form of a private with the stripes of a Lieutenant General, I

must have contrasted very strangely with a man so handsomely

dressed, six feet high, and of faultless form; but this was not

a matter I thought of until afterwards."1

One who is victorious, one who has accomplished something

of note, can well afford to be modesthis accomplishment


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speaks for itself. Strutting is only an attempt to win approval

where there is some doubt as to whether approval is merited.

If it is truly merited the strutting is superfluous and out o


Nor was Lee immodest in appearing at the surrender cere-

mony dressed in a stately manner. His position was different.

He was the loser and of course felt humiliated. But he took

his loss valiantly and his dress was an indication that he could

still hold up his head in spite of the loss. He was taking his

loss in a manful manner befitting to the great man that he

was. Lee was as modest as Grant but he was in the position

of a loser.

In other words, boasting, conceit, strutting, and holding one's

head high are usually evidence of an attempt to bear up under

a lack of success or complete failure; modesty is the expression

of confidence in achievement.

Grant did not look down upon Lee. He did not gloat over

his success nor try to humiliate his conquered foe. He realized

that there were other factors entering into his success besides

his own personal prowess. When Koerner complimented him,

telling him that his victory was one of the greatest exploits in

the long war, he replied: "We had a great deal of good luck.

About that time the weather in Virginia is customarily such

that one is stuck in the mud. We had exceptional weather,

the roads were excellent and we could go where we wanted

to go. Two days after, there was a turn in the weather, so that

any movement would have been impossible." 2

The fact that he could give the weather credit for helping

him out, shows that Grant had a great deal of self-assurance.

He had taken advantage of his opportunities and he knew it.

He did not have to boast and take credit for the weather and

everything else related to his success.

Had he accepted the compliment of Koerner, or had he

elaborated upon his prowess, it would have been a sign of


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weakness. "Men are best flattered," says Lord Chesterfield,

"upon those points where they wish to excel and yet are doubt-

ful whether they do or not." 3

When you feel proud of yourself, when you find yourself

very susceptible to compliments, when you "pat yourself on

the back," it is a danger signal. It signifies that you are fooling

yourself, you are overdoing your own self-estimation because

you are none too sure of yourself at that point. Such conceit

makes it harder for you to win next time. You fool yourself into

thinking that all credit for your success belongs to you when

it does not and in a similar situation in the future you will

not know how to handle matters successfully.

Watch for the points where you are susceptible to flattery,

recognize that they are your weak points, and set about to

strengthen them. "Almost all men are vain of what they do

badly, not of what they do well." 4

If you permit your head to be turned because you have

achieved some success, you are preparing the way for failure.

It does not pay to overdo your exaltation even if you have

done something worthy, for such exaggeration will blind you

to the difficulties of the next job.

Does Promotion Turn Your Head?

It takes a big man to keep his head when he is promoted.

Few men can do it.

Lloyd George was one of those few. "'During thirty years,'

an old servant of the Commons once declared, 'I have known

only one member whose manner and way of speaking did not

change after he became a minister. That one is Mr. Lloyd


Chauncey Depew was another exception to the tendency to

succumb to flattery. When he surrendered the speakership in

the legislature in order to lend support to the Lincoln adminis-


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tration he "was given a reception and overwhelmed with every

form of flattery and applause for distinguished service to the

party. 'By midnight,' he says, 'I had been nominated and elected

Governor of New York and an hour later I was already a

United States Senator. Before the morning the Presidency of

the United States was impatiently waiting the time when I

would be old enough to be eligible.'"6 Although Depew was

very young at the time he was too smart to have his head

turned by such wild enthusiasm in his favor. Even at this

time he showed the earmark of true greatnesshe did not

permit his head to be turned by flattery.

Can you stand prosperity? The ability to withstand pros-

perity is the true measure of the man. "The man who thinks

he has done something," says Henry Ford, "hasn't many more

things to do. More men are failures on account of success than

on account of failures. They beat their way over a dozen diffi-

culties, sacrifice, sweat, and make possible the impossible; then

along comes a little success and it tumbles them from their

perch. They let up, slip, and over they go. Who can count

the number of men who have been halted and beaten by

recognition and reward! . . .

"Make your program so long and so hard that the people

who praise you, will always seem to you to be talking about

something very trivial in comparison with what you are really

trying to do. Better have a job too big for popular praise, so

big that you can have a good start on it before the cheering-

squad can get its first intelligent glimmering of what you are

trying to do."7

"'As our success began to come,' remarked John D. Rocke-

feller in reminiscing over the early days in the oil industry, 'I

seldom put my head to the pillow at night without speaking a

few words in this wise: "Now a little success, soon you will

fall down, soon you will be overthrown. Because you have got

a start you think you are quite a merchant; look out or you


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will lose your headgo steady." These intimate conversations

with myself, I am sure, had a great influence on my life. I was

afraid I could not stand my prosperity, and tried to teach

myself not to get puffed up with any foolish notions.'"8

Fortunate are we if we can stand prosperity, if we do not

let our heads become turned when we begin to succeed. Each

achievement should be but the "commencement" of a new

endeavor. It pays to live for the future instead of living upon

past laurels.

Franklin Gets an Intellectual Spanking

If we have not learned to stand prosperity we would be

fortunate if we could have some one to handle us as Benjamin

Franklin was handled in his early days when he began to grow

conceited. Ben had no father to keep him on the ground and

his overestimation of himself made him intolerable. One day

an old Quaker called him to one side and gave him a talk

which changed Ben's whole life.

"'Ben, you are impossible,' said the Quaker. 'Your opinions

have a slap in them for everyone who differs with you. They

have become so offensive that nobody cares to hear them.

Your friends find that they enjoy themselves better when you

are not around. You know so much that no man can tell you

anything. Indeed, no man is going to try for the effort would

lead only to discomfort and hard work. So you are not likely

ever to know any more than you do now, which is very little.'

"Ben was floored. He probably got up and brushed the dust

off himself and answered: 'I'm sorry, sir. I really want to learn.'

"'Well, the first thing for you to learn is thisthat you have

been and still are a fool.'

"Again he was down, but when he had risen he had left

his conceit on the floor. . . . The next thing he needed was a

private talk with himself. That is what he had and without


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delay. He took up the study of a new subject. It was himself.

He had made type and now, out of something rather un-

promising, he undertook to make a man."9

Instead of turning out to be a conceited prig, as he started

to be, he did succeed in making himself into a real man, one

who was liked by many people, who did many constructive

things for his generation, and who has had a great influence on

succeeding generations.

How much different his life would have been if the Quaker

had not given him the lesson in modesty which he did, no one

can saybut from that time he was a changed man. He had

been living on conceit, bragging about his past exploits; now

he turned to the future, determining to make something of


The job Franklin did with himself was not so hard. The

same thing may be done by anyone who finds that he is too

much in love with himself. The important part is to see clearly

the necessity of being modest, to understand the fact that brag-

ging is fatal to progress.

Remember this. What you are going to do is of much more

importance than what you have done. The past is only valuable

if it helps you to do something else. If you have done all you

ever will do, people may listen to you as you tell about your

past. They may listen out of sympathy for you or they may

try to learn something from your experiences. But, otherwise,

they care very little about what you have done. You are more

likely to be boring them or even annoying them, if you keep

prattling about your exploits, than you are to be interesting


When you are tempted to boast think how much you hate

to hear other people boast and you are not likely to continue.

If you want friends, do not brag.

The great temptation to boast comes when some one dis-

parages what you have done. We attempt to make a fair state-


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ment of what we have achieved. Others do not seem to appre-

ciate us or may even ridicule what we have to say about our

success. Their criticism puts us on the defensive and we feel

that we must make them understand what is so clear to us.

But the best defense in such a situation is not the use of words.

Rather it is a demonstration of the falseness of their statements

by doing something even more noteworthy.

Goethals Runs from a Cheering Mob

Whenever Colonel Goethals was criticized about his work

on the Panama Canal, his usual comment was: "We will answer

them all laterwith the canal."

His self-effacement was striking and yet no man ever re-

ceived more complete credit than did Colonel Goethals for his

work. He was absorbed in what he was doing and not in the

cheers that he might receive for it and, for this reason, did a

remarkable job.

After the canal was finished he had earned a right to cele-

brate but he did not. "He was not on the prow of the first

tug that passed the locks, but on and within the lock-walls

studying closely the workings of the machinery of the gates

and valves. He was not on the bridge of the first ship to pass

from ocean to ocean, but on the lock-walls and along the

banks of Gatun Lake and the sides of the Culebra Cut, watch-

ing both the operating machinery and the wave-action created

by the moving vessel.

"An English diplomatic official, who was a passenger on the

first ship to go through the entire Canal from the Atlantic

to the Pacific, wrote of it to a friend: 'Colonel Goethals did

not go through. He saw us off at Cristobal, and then appeared

on the locks at Gatun and Pedro Miguel. At the latter point

John Barrett made arrangements to raise three cheers for Colonel

Goethals, but directly it started, the Colonel, who was in shirt-


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sleeves, turned his back and ran. John was left cheering.'"10

Goethals did not want cheershe wanted the canal to be a

success. If it succeeded he had won; if it failed he had lost. He

had said he would "answer them with the canal" and he did.

Put the emphasis on the job you do and the personal recog-

nition will come. If you advertise, advertise the thing that you

have produced. If you advertise yourself, people will be re-

pelled, and will disparage the thing you have done. You gain

nothing by blowing your own horn.

Contrast this pride in achievement of Colonel Goethals, with

its submersion of personal pride in a worthy project, to the

sensitiveness of Lord Rosebery to personal slights.

"One morning," says Andrew Carnegie, "I called by appoint-

ment upon Lord Rosebery. After greetings he took up an

envelope which I saw as I entered had been carefully laid on

his desk, and handed it to me saying:

"'I wish you to dismiss your secretary.'

'"That is a big order, Your Lordship,' I replied. 'What is

the matter with him? He is indispensable, and a Scotsman.'

"'This isn't your handwriting; it is his. What do you think

of a man who spells Rosebery with two r's?'

"I said if I were sensitive on that point life wouldn't be en-

durable for me. 'I receive many letters daily when at home and

I am sure that twenty to thirty per cent of them misspell my

name, ranging from "Karnaghie" to "Carnagay."'

"But he was in earnest. Just such little matters gave him

great annoyance. Men of action should learn to laugh at and

enjoy these small things, or they themselves may become


If a man feels touchy it probably means that he feels insecure.

The way for him to correct this is to correct his own fear

instead of attempting to get even with the fellow who has

wounded his vanity. Positions are often surrounded with de-

mands for salutes and other marks of submission from inferiors


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because the positions must be filled with inferior individuals

who could not command respect on their own account. The

smaller the man who occupies such a position the more likely

is he to be very exacting in his demands for all these marks

of deference and respect. It is because a man does not deserve

respect that he has to demand it by virtue of his position. What

a poor cloak for a weak personality!

A group of learned men once organized a club which they

called the "Boneheads." They were so sure that they were

intelligent and not boneheads that they jokingly called them-

selves by that name. If they had had any doubts as to their

intellectual ability they would not have dared to use such a

name. "Boneheads" is a fitting name for a fraternity of intel-

lectuals; "Knights of the Order of Solomon" is the sort of

pretentious title needed for an organization of numskulls.

Do you depend upon the firm where you work, or upon

your position, to support your dignity; or can it stand alone?

"One of our troubles," said Melvin A. Traylor, president of

the First National Bank of Chicago, "is that many of the young

men in the bank get the swelled head very easily, particularly

in the Real Estate and Bond Departments. They make a good

sale and then think that they have done it all themselves,

whereas actually it is the prestige of the bank behind them

that has enabled them to close the deal."12

Take advantage of the prestige of a good organization, espe-

cially in your younger days, but do not get the idea that the

success which really results from such a connection is due

only to your own efforts. Be proud of your associations with a

successful business, but do not get the silly notion that it will

fail if you should leave it, or that you are not getting enough

recognition for your importance.

Humility, rather than conceit, will get you from the lowest

rungs in a corporation to the high posts. "Has anyone heard

of a representative of this new generation of corporation leaders


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who is overbearing or discourteous, or thinks he knows it all?"

asks Victor M. Cutter, president of the United Fruit Company.

Cutter, himself, is an answer to this question. He is just a

big, human fellow who, in twenty years, travelled from a small

job on an obscure banana farm in Central America to the

presidency of the greatest company of its kind in all the world.18

Be modest in your claims and you will gain recognition, be

conceited and you will be disliked, ignored, and kept in the

inferior position where you belong.

Hill Offers to Trade a Celebration for a Library

The people of St. Paul still love James J. Hill because of his

modestya striking demonstration that modesty pays. After

his spectacular success in building the railroad which meant

so much to their city the citizens of St. Paul prepared to do

him a fitting honor. They planned a holiday and voted to spend

fifty thousand dollars for the occasion. Arches were to span

the streets, a great procession was arranged, and, to crown it

all, they were to have a civic banquet.

"Mr. Hill listened to the committee and then said: 'Gentle-

men, I am not insensible to the honor you propose. I appreciate

it and am deeply grateful to you for the good will by which

it is inspired. But it will take a good deal of money to pay for

these things, will it not?'

"The committee hastened to say that the sum, some $50,000,

a very considerable sum at that time, had been easily obtained

and willingly subscribed.

"'Then,' said Mr. Hill, 'let me take the will for the deed.

St. Paul needs a public library building, the city does not feel

that it can afford to provide one. If you will appropriate this

sum to that purpose, instead of the celebration, and call that

off, or if you can double it, I will add twice as much more,

and a good library building can be put up at once. I shall be


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just as sensible of your kindness, and the people will be richer

instead of poorer for it.'

"His proposal was not accepted. St. Paul made merry and

paid its tribute."14 But they thought all the more of him for

the modesty which he demonstrated in making the offer. People

cannot help liking a man who is modest. Modesty always pays,

conceit never does. If Hill had been conceited they probably

never would have planned the celebration in the first place.

When you feel most proud of yourself, most successful, it is

time to emphasize modesty. Your pride may be an excuse for

having done a really poor job. Whether justified or not it will

bar your way to further achievements.

Beware of a little success. It is lively to turn your head. Keep

your eye on what you may do in the future rather than on

what you have done in the past. You cannot be conceited when

you thin\ of what there is still to be done.

When tempted to boast thin\ how much you disli\e to hear

others boast and this will stop you. If you want friends, be


Beware of the temptation to overextend yourself as a result

of past successes. Your success may be due to other factors than

your own efforts. Failure to recognize these wea\ens you.

When you feel touchy, when your dignity has been hurt, it

is a sign that you are, at heart, filled with a feeling of inse-

curity. Do not ta\e it out on the one who has not treated you

with due respect. Strive for greater confidence and you will

not be touchy.

It pays to attach yourself to a prosperous organization, to

associate with successful men, and to ta\e advantage of any

prestige you can; but do not deceive yourself into thinking

that the effects of such influences are due entirely to your own



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References for Chapter XX

1. G. M. Dodge, Personal Recollections of Lincoln, Grant and

Sherman, Monarch Printing Co., p. 87.

2. Gustave Koerner, Memoirs, The Torch Press, 1909, Vol. II,

p. 447.

3. Edward G. Johnson, The Best Letters of Lord Chesterfield,

McClurg, 1923, p. 61.

4. Albert Burdett, William E. Gladstone, Houghton Mifflin, 192S,

p. 29.

5. E. T. Raymond, David Lloyd George, Doran, 1922, p. 103.

6. Chauncey M. Depew, My Memories of Eighty Years, Charles

Scribner's Sons, 1922, p. 25.

7. William S. Dutton, American Magazine (July 1928), p. 113.

8. Enoch B. Gowin, Developing Executive Ability, Ronald Press,

1919, pp. 461-462.

9. Irving Bacheller, American Magazine (Aug. 1923), p. 25.

10. Joseph B. Bishop, Notes and Anecdotes of Many Years, Charles

Scribner's Sons, pp. 223-225.

11. Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, 1920,

p. 309.

12. Interview, June 11, 1929.

13. Bruce Barton, American Magazine (Aug. 1925), p. 16.

14. Joseph G. Pyle, The Life of James J. Hill, Doubleday Page,

1917, p. 467.


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Getting Over Self-Consciousness

A Simple Rule for Learning Poise

Parnell Finds a Substitute for Blushing

A Queer Couple Give a Lesson in Poise

//\ Y rHY am I such a fool?"

VV A charming young lady fairly shrieked this question

to a friend to whom she had come for advice. Evidently she

was thoroughly angry with herself.

"We are all fools," calmly replied her adviser. "In what way

are you a bigger fool than the rest of us or more of a fool than

you usually are?"

"Oh! I wanted so much to make a good impression. I spent

a long time getting in my best togs. I thought over what I

should talk about. I planned what we would do, thought it

would all go off so well, and then I botched the whole thing.

"I have been to parties before, lots of them. I have gone

with many people and have always been able to keep my

poise. I never lacked things to talk about before. Now, when

I tried so hard, I made him think that I have not a brain in

my head. When I tried to talk, I stammered and lapsed into

painful silences. He must think I am an idiot.

"It seems when I do not care what people think, when I

do not care what sort of an impression I make, I get along fine.

When I try to act my best then I do my worst. What in the

world ails me? I never cared for the other fellows I have been

out with and got along with them fine. This is the first fellow


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I have been with whom I thought I could like and I made a

fool of myself when with him. Is there anything that I can

do to get over it?"

"Surely," replied her adviser. "It is easy. Stop thinking about

yourself. You were self-conscious, which simply means that you

were thinking about yourself. When you think about yourself,

about how you look, what you are going to say, wondering

what the other person thinks about you, and whether you are

making a good impression, you are sure to feel embarrassed."

"I did try," the girl answered, "but I could not stop thinking

of myself and the more I tried the more fussed I became."

"You went at it the wrong way. When you say to yourself,

'I won't think about myself, I won't think about myself, I

won't think about myself,' you are only keeping yourself in

mind. It is just another way of reminding yourself that you

are important. You cannot drive a thing out of your head that

way. The way to forget yourself is to get interested in some-

thing else.

"Here is a little plan that is sure to work," continued her

adviser. "When with your friend, make up your mind that

you are going to think about him instead of about yourself.

Study his interests and encourage him to talk about them. Try

to find out the things he likes, study him and you will find

that you will be able to forget yourself. We think of the thing

that interests us most. You have been more interested in your-

self than in him. Get more interested in him and the interest

in yourself will fade into the background."

The girl went away determined to try this new method. A

short time later she came back with a face wreathed in smiles.

"It worked like a charm," she reported. "I had a hard time

at first, but I kept making my mind turn to him and his in-

terests and finally he felt I was interested in him and talked

very freely. I think he liked it too."


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People continue to be self-conscious because, in trying to get

over it, they do the very thing which makes it worse.

Have you ever been self-conscious? Have you ever been as

humiliated as this girl was? She overcame her trouble by fol-

lowing a very simple plan. She overcame her self-consciousness

by refusing to think about herself and she was able to stop

thinking about herself by finding something, outside of herself,

more interesting than herself to think about.

You cannot force your attention away from yourself by saying

you won't think about yourself. You must find a substitute and

the substitute must be more attractive than yourself or it will

not be effective.

If you cannot get over self-consciousness you can be sure that

the key to your difficulty is just hereyou are so wrapped up

in yourself that you cannot find anything more interesting.

Self-consciousness is a form of conceit.

The best interest to cultivatein order to overcome this con-

ceitis an interest in other people. People are interesting if

you will only stop long enough to understand them, or even to

try to do so. Men who have studied others have found that it

paid them to do so.

It paid Joseph Choate to study people. He was well-known

for his poise but he was not born poised; it came when he

followed the suggestion we have just made.

He was so thoroughly self-possessed that no one could dis-

concert him either in private conversation, in the court room,

or in a social gathering. He was poised because he was con-

tinually studying the people with whom he associated. "Any

one with his appearance and talents might be pardoned for

thinking of so agreeable a subject as his own person; but he

never appeared to do so. He was thinking always of his object,

and carefully studying the minds and feelings of those to whom

he spoke. He studied his juries, his judges, and his audiences

with sympathetic insights, and his favorite method of capturing


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their judgment was by boldly invading the field of their per-

sonal experience and interest, making himself at home with

them, and, when he departed, leaving his own ideas with the

audience as a part of their household goods." 1

If the interest which diverts your mind from yourself is an

interest in the other fellow, it serves a twofold purpose. It gets

your mind off yourself and thus relieves your embarrassment;

and, at the same time, it pleases the other fellow immensely

when he discerns that you are interested in him. Certainly, by

all odds, the best way to overcome self-consciousness is to be

so conscious of the other fellow, his interests, his desires, and

his actions that you forget your own.

Parnell Finds a Substitute for Blushing

On the other hand, if you cannot become interested in other

persons, you may be able to find some other means to divert

your attention from yourself. Parnell, for example, forgot him-

self in his interest in metallurgy.

When Charles Stewart Parnell was but thirty-six years of

age he was characterized as the "greatest boon to Ireland" of

his time"the uncrowned King of Ireland." He had poise and

self-confidence to a degree which amazed both his friends and

his enemies.

Yet as a young man Parnell was the most self-conscious

individual that one could well imagine. When he was twenty-

eight years of age he was defeated in his race for a seat in the

House of Commons because he made such a ridiculous spectacle

of himself when he tried to make a speech.

At his first public meeting "he advanced to the front of the

platform, and the expectant crowd ceased to cheer and prepared

to listen. He opened his parched lips, and with difficulty said,

'Gentlemen, I am a candidate for the representation of the

County of Dublin!' Then he became silent. He tried again,


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faltered, paused, stumbled on, became horribly confused, and

finally broke down."2

One of the leaders of the party said that they had "a blond

fool" for a candidate. How did Parnell effect the marvelous

transformation in himself which made him, eight years later,

one of the world's really great political leaders?

Now Parnell, at the start, actually was "a blond fool," and

the reason was simple: he was thinking about himself. Any

one who is continually absorbed in himself, blond or brunet,

is a fool. But he overcame his folly just as anyone can do by

developing what was described as "an uncanny gift of concen-

trating his thoughts on the essential matter and disregarding

all else."

At one time, at the height of his political career, he had a

real occasion to think about himselfhe had been accused of

sympathy with the ruffians who had murdered the Chief Secre-

tary of Ireland, Lord Cavendish. A letter supposedly written

by Parnell expressing sympathy with the murderers had been

published in The London Times. The letter was later shown

to be a forgery and Parnell recovered five thousand pounds

damages from The Times.

"Mr. Henniker Heaton used to tell a story of Parnell at

this time, which strikingly illustrates his coldness and detach-

ment. . . . He had delivered a short speech denying its (i. e.

the published letter's) authorship. He 'then walked into the

lobby and engaged me in earnest conversation. Everybody

thought he was telling me of the awful political event which

was then exercising men's minds. This is what he said to me:

"I have just read in the afternoon papers that a mountain of

gold has been discovered in western Australia, and that some

tons of the specimens have been sent home to you." I said it

was true, and that I had in my locker in the House some of

the crushed specimens. I gave him a wineglassful of the crush-

ings, and he took it away with him, and to the bewilderment

[ 220 ]

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of his party, no one saw him for a week. On that day week,

almost at the same hour, he again appeared in the lobby. Walk-

ing up to me he said smilingly: "I have analyzed the specimens,

and they go 32 ounces of gold to the ton. . . . The fact is that

I take an interest in this matter. I have a small work shop to

test minerals in the mountains of Wicklow, some portion of

which I own." The astonishing thing is that, while his hun-

dreds of thousands of adherents were fulminating against The

Times he was quietly working away testing minerals in his

laboratory.'" 8

He was able to forget his personal troubles because he had

something more interesting to think about. He was cold, com-

posed, and reserved, not because he had consciously and di-

rectly tried to cultivate these traits, but because he had learned

to become interested in people and things outside himself.

To be sure, if he had been mixed up in an intrigue with the

ruffians, if he had even thought of joining them, he could not

have taken the accusation so complacently. It is often fear and

worry that makes us self-conscious and other people often

recognize this. The more seriously we take an accusation the

more inclined people are to believe it is true. We are less

inclined to worry about a false accusation than about those

which might have some grain of truth in them. But, whether

true or false, the best way to get over demonstrating to others

that we are bothered is to do as Parnell did, become interested

in something else.

A Queer Couple Give a Lesson in Poise

Even in the most ridiculous circumstances we can keep our

poise if we are absorbed in things other than ourselves. One

night, some years ago, during a celebration in Chicago a crowd

was gathered around an old couple who were sauntering up

State Street taking in the "sights." They were a queer old


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couple, dressed in their "Sunday clothes" of the vintage of the

early nineties. The good-natured crowd followed them, watch-

ing their every movement, and thoroughly enjoying them. But

they were totally oblivious to the fact that they were being

watched. They were having the time of their lives, entranced

with the noise, the lights, the window displays, and the jostlings.

They were absorbed in the sights and were not thinking of

themselves. What charmed the crowd was their total indiffer-

ence to the fact that they were the center of attention.

The trouble with most of us is this: We frequently believe

that we are the center of attention when this is not the case.

When we wear a new hat or a new suit or dress, we probably

feel that everybody is noticing us. That is merely our conceit.

The other fellow is probably wondering how he looks just as

we are wondering how we look, and, if he notices us at all,

it is probably because we are making ourselves ridiculous be-

cause of our self-consciousness and not because of our dress.

The same principle applies in a host of other situations. You

cannot make a person embarrassed who is so absorbed in his

work that he does not even know you are around. If you feel

incompetent when some one watches you work, your task is

to gain more competence instead of trying to get "control of

yourself." When you are sure that your work is being well

done you do not bother when some one is looking at you; it

is fear of incompetence, or making a mistake, or that someone

sees some secret impulse or thought, that brings the blush to

your cheek, the tremor to your hand, or the stammer in your

voice. You do the very thing you are afraid you will do and

you do it because you are afraid.

A group of high school boys once decided to play a trick

on a girl whom they knew to be conscious of herself. She was

to play at a church function, so they sat to one side where she

could see them out of the corner of her eye, and stared at her.

They gave no sign of ridicule, no smile, no sarcasm; they

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merely looked. The girl, being extremely self-conscious, was

soon aware of their steady stare and began to squirm, to blush,

and fidget, until she finally broke down in the middle of her

playing and left the meeting. These boys knew that this girl

was more absorbed in herself than she was in her music, that

is why they knew it would disconcert her to stare at her. If

she had been half as absorbed in her music as the couple who

walked up State Street were in the window displays, she would

not even have known that the boys were looking at her.

Thinking about yourself will not make you more competent

or less self-conscious; thinking about your job, will.

In many situations, however, the dominant thing is not your

job or any task you have to perform, but other people. If your

only refuge is work you will tend to run from such occasions

and thus become more afraid than before.

Study people and you will discover them to be the most

interesting subject that can be found. Carry out on a broader

scale what the girl did when she felt embarrassed with her

friendput your interest in the people around you. This prin-

ciple was one of the foundation stones in General Foch's success

as a military leader.

"To the commander of General Foch's type knowledge of

different men's minds and the way they work is absolutely

fundamental to success. . . . Many another young officer would

have felt that what he learned among his fellow officers of

the provincial characteristics was enough, but not so Ferdinand

Foch. Almost his entire comprehension of war is based upon

men and the way they act under certain stressnot the way

they might be expected to act, but the way they actually do

act, and the way they can be led to act."4

If you study men as General Foch did, they no longer are

objects to be feared, to cause a blush to appear, to cause the

voice to falter, or the hand to shake. If you are solving a puzzle

and run into a snag, you do not blush as you gaze at the puzzle,


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you knit your brows and try the harder to solve it. Look on

people as puzzles. When they do something you do not under-

stand, try the harder to solve the problem they present instead

of becoming self-conscious.

Self<onsciousness is merely thin\ing about yourself. To get

over it stop thinking about yourself.

The way to get over thin\ing about yourself is to find some-

thing else to thin\ about. You must find some substitute. Hav-

ing found a substitute the thoughts about yourself will fade

away without effort.

If you are ma\ing a speech thin\ about what you are saying

and the people to whom you are spea\ing, and not about your-

self, and you will not be self-conscious. If you are doing a job

thin\ 0f tne job and you wiJl not be so interested in yourself.

You may not, at first, understand the people you are with.

Thin\ing about yourself will not help you to understand them.

Thinking about the other fellow will.

Self-consciousness is a form of conceit. People are not observ-

ing you with the interest you thin\- They are usually busy

with themselves. Remember this and you will not feel uncom-

fortable in their presence.

Learn to like other people and you will have no trouble in

being comfortable when with them. They will see that you

li\e them and will feel comfortable also. This will increase

your poise.

You will never gain poise by putting on airs or pretending

nonchalance. Be natural. Don't take yourself too seriously.

References for Chapter XXI

i. Edward S. Martin, The Life of Joseph H. Choate, Charles Scrib-

ner's Sons, 1920, Vol. II, p. 414.


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St. John Ervine, Charles Stewart Parnell, Little Brown & Co.,

1925, pp. 96-99.

Ibid., pp. 249-250.

Clara E. Laughlin, Foch the Man, Fleming H. Revell, 1918,

pp. 46-52.


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Loyal Comrades Make Frohman Boss

Pulitzer Secures Extreme Devotion of Reporter

Rockefeller Forgives Impudent Clerk

Loomis Gains Loyalty of Men Through His Wits

//\ -\r rE want Frohman! We want Frohman!" chorused the

W entire troupe of Haverly's "Mastodon Minstrels." Nor

was their shouting a mere gesture; they meant it. They wanted

Frohman for their new manager and were out to get him.

At this time Charles Frohman was only twenty-one years

of age. He had travelled with the "Mastodon Minstrels" for three

years and had won his way to the heart of every member of

the troupe. Their friendship was not the result of any deliberate

plans on his part to win their favor. He had not courted them

with the selfish ends in view that a politician often has when

he courts votes. He was just the kind of a fellow who liked

them all, and who was a friend, a confidant, and a repository

for the troubles of each one.

Without any conscious effort on his part he had learned that

the way to control men is to get control of their heartstheir

affections. He had put himself out to serve them whenever they

needed him with no thought of reward. He did it because he

liked them and wanted to do it. But now he was getting his

reward even if he did not ask for any recompense.

"Big Bill" Foote, the old manager, had resigned and imme-

diately there was a scramble for the position. "But when the


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company heard that an outsider sought the position to which

Charles was entitled there was great indignation. A meeting

of protest . . . was held on the stage in Brooklyn, and a round-

robin, signed by every member of the company, was dispatched

to Jack Haverly (the owner) insisting that Charles Frohman

be made manager."

Their demands were effective and he was appointed. After

the performance, one night, he walked back on the stage and

quietly remarked,

"'Boys, I am your new manager.'

"A great shout of delight went up. The rosy, boyish youth

(for he had scarcely entered his twenties) was lifted on the

shoulders of half a dozen men and, to the words of a favorite

minstrel song, 'Hear Those Bells,' a triumphant march was

made around the stage. None of the honors that came to him

in his later years touched him quite so deeply as that affec-

tionate demonstration."1

Is it any wonder that Frohman later became the "Napoleon

of the theater"? He was raised to the position by the affections

of his fellows. When people like each other they will work

together in harmony. When they like their boss they will do

anything for him. Affection is the only true basis for teamwork.

Take time to cultivate the good will of your associates. Gain

their affection and they will work consistently for you and help

you out in. a pinch. If you arouse their enmity you can never

build any solid structure of cooperation. You cannot force men

to work for your interests but you can gain their good will to

such an extent that they will want to do so.

Frohman "was always willing to admit that his success came

from those who worked for him. Once he was asked the


"'If you had your life to live over again would you be a

theatrical manager?'

"Quick as a flash he replied: 'If I could be surrounded by


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the same actors and writers who have made meyes. Otherwise

no. ... I believe a manager's success does not come so much

from the public as from his players. When they are ready to

march with him without regard to results, then he has indeed

succeeded.'" 2

Pulitzer Secures Extreme Devotion of Reporter

Joseph Pulitzer, one-time editor and owner of The St. Louis

Post-Dispatch and owner of The New Yor\ World, "treated

his reporters like sons, and I may say without hyperbole that

they respected and loved their blind and ailing and indomitable

chief in a truly filial manner.

"There's a story it will do no harm to tella story illustrat-

ing the reporter's feelings toward Mr. Pulitzer. A reporter was

sent to cover a revival meeting, and in the midst of the pro-

ceedings an exhorter bent over the young man and said:

"'Will you not come forward?'

"'Excuse me,' was the reply, 'but I am a reporter, and I am

here only on business.'

"'But,' said the revivalist, 'there is no business so momentous

as the Lord's.'

"'Maybe not,' answered the reporter, 'but you don't know

Mr. Pulitzer.'"3

When people are friendly toward you they will work for you

with even greater energy and zeal than you could work for

yourself. Each friendship you make enlarges your personality;

each enemy you make dwarfs you. Making friends is an essen-

tial part of personal efficiency.

The true executive will go out of his way to avoid making

an enemy or keep an employee or fellow workman from holding

a grudge. Samuel Vauclain, president of the Baldwin Loco-

motive Works, said: "In all the years I've worked I've never

held a grudge or contemplated revenge against any individual.


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If a man does me a wrong I do not nurse my grievance sul-

lenly. I either talk it out with him or arrange to avoid him

permanently." *

Patrick E. Crowley, former president of the New York Central

Railroad, found that it paid to give men consideration even

when they were clearly in the wrong. It is only the immature

executive who sticks to the letter of the law regardless of the

effect that such strictness may have upon the men concerned.

"There was a near wreck one day, when Crowley was a

division superintendent. Two engineers, both veterans in the

service, came within an ace of running their trains head-on

together. It was utterly inexcusable, and orders came from the

topfar above Crowleythat both should go at once. But

Crowley had a different idea.

"'These men should have some consideration due them,' he

protested. 'What they have just done is unpardonable, and they

must be disciplined. Do whatever you please in that respect;

but don't deprive them of their places and their chance to

make a living at the only trade they know. After all, they

have been piling up a credit in the savings bank of good

behavior for many years. Their carelessness has made a heavy

draft upon that balance, but there is still something left. Disci-

pline them, but don't discharge them. If you do, you discharge

me too.'

"So the men stayed, and are still there, loyal and efficient

employees." 5

Is it any wonder that they were loyal to Patrick Crowley?

Did he do them a favor by standing up for them? Perhaps so,

but he did himself a favor at the same time. He could have

been small, mean, crabbedand strictly just. He could have

fired them and they would have had no room for protest; but

he would have lost two loyal followers by doing the just thing.

He made two supporters by doing the human thing.


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Rockefeller Forgives Impudent Clerk

John D. Rockefeller once had an excellent chance to get

square with an officious clerk but he did not do it. Successful

men are not petty. Here is how it happened:

"In those early years Mr. Rockefeller had scant leisure and

so he carried a collapsible exerciser in his baga contraption

of springs and handles which he could hang on the wall and

pull at in spare moments. One day he stepped into one of his

own branch offices, where he was a stranger, and asked for the


"'Busy,' replied a self-important clerk, looking disdainfully

at the rather shabby caller.

"John D. murmured that he would wait. The reception

room was vacant and, seeing a convenient peg on the wall, he

produced his exerciser and was soon pulling merrily away.

The squeak of the springs disturbed the clerk who bounced

back into the room and viewed the scene with manly scorn.

"'Hey you!' he cried. 'What do you think this is, a gym-

nasium? Well, it ain't. Either put that dingus away this

minute or clear out. Understand?'

"'Very well,' said John D. mildly and, unhooking the exer-

ciser, he stowed it away. Five minutes later the manager dis-

covered him and, with a great show of deference, ushered

him in.

"The clerk collapsed. His goose was cooked, he felt sure.

When Mr. Rockefeller left the office and bowed to him pleas-

antly he was nonplussed but not reassured. He felt certain

that on Saturday, at the latest, he and the pay roll would cease

to have any connection. He confided as much to his wife.

"Saturday night came, however, and there was no explosion.

Neither on the next Saturday nor the next. After three months

the clerk began to breathe a little easier. It was evident that,

for some reason, Mr. Rockefeller had decided to overlook the


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incident. Of course, the reason was that Mr. Rockefeller had

far more important things to think about than the protection

of his own dignity from the insolence of subordinates. But the

clerk never could understand itwhich throws some light on

the reason why he was, and continued to be, a clerk."6

When Andrew Carnegie was a young man he had one man

dismissed and two others suspended for a wreck for wh'ch

they were to blame. This is the sort of thing an impetuous

youngster does. When he gets older he learns better. Of this

event Carnegie himself remarked some years later:

"I felt qualms of conscience about my action in this, my

first court. A new judge is very apt to stand so straight as

really to lean a little backward. Only experience teaches the

supreme force of gentleness."7

These men all recognized the supreme importance of gaining

good will from one's fellows; that it is often a bit of silly pride

that makes us punish an offender; and that, what is often

paraded as justice, is taking revenge for injured feelings by

hiding behind legal proceedings.

As George Westinghouse once put it: "It is fundamental

that loyalty in an organization must begin at the top. If an

administrator expects loyalty in his staff he must be loyal to

the staff."8

Loomis Gains Loyalty of Men Through His Wits

Being generous in your dealings does not mean that you

must permk yourself to be duped. Men respect and love fair

play, as Edward Eugene Loomis, now president of the Lehigh

Valley Railroad, once demonstrated when he was a division

superintendent for the Erie Railroad.

In a campaign to reduce expenses he removed the night

watchmen whose duty it was to prevent pilfering from the


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lumber yards. He ordered the watchmen to do other work

while the workmen grinned inwardly.

"During the following month shadowy forms were seen in

the vicinity of the yards on dark nights. Then fences, hitherto

left unrepaired, were suddenly mended; dog kennels and a

number of chicken coops were built in back yards. Boards

were renewed in porches and steps. But all the month Loomis

went about smiling, cheerful, greeting the men with no sign

that he saw anything. By the end of the month the pilfering

was getting general. This new superintendent was evidently


"Pay day came. As the men received their envelopes and

pondered over the charges against them their faces lengthened.

For upon every pilferer's bill was an exact account of the feet

of lumber he had taken, and the price had been deducted from

his pay. There were hasty conferences. How had the boss

known, and how had he figured so exactly the amount taken?

There was no error.

"'All month,' Loomis told them, 'I've been measuring the

new material by day that you took by night. And being a boss

carpenter by trade I measured exactly. I missed nothing.'

"Despite themselves, the men grinned sheepishly. They had

been caught, but nicely caught. . . . Manlike they acknowledged

that they had been outwitted and manlike they liked it. There

was no further pilfering. If the men had to pay for what they

got, it might as well be delivered to their doors. What was the

sense of lugging it home at night? The new boss was certainly

a rare one."

Loomis had won their respect but he had their good will

along with it. He knew how to handle them because he knew

them and liked them. "'You can't,' says Loomis, 'rub people

the right way unless you know them well; and to know them

well, you must be in close touch with them. ... It does not

matter how able a man is, how thoroughly he knows his job,

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or how hard he works, he cannot be a first-class leader unless

he rubs people the right way. I am well aware that there are

many men who are now the heads of large organizations who

do not rub people the right way, but I maintain that they

detract from their achievements by their lack of popularity.'" 9

When you are in an inferior position, learn to be loyal to the

organization, to the men who work with you, and to the men

who are over you. As you advance in position and responsibility

this habit of loyalty will be one of your most valuable assets.

As a matter of fact, you will not advance unless you do learn

loyalty and teamwork. This trait will make friends all along

the line and, if you ever get into a position of authority, it

will make it easy for you to gain the loyalty of those under you

and thus create an easily manageable organization.

You get recognition when you work for others, not when you

work for yourself. You cannot live in isolation no matter how

efficient you are.

"'Not long since,' says Charles H. Sabin, president of the

Guaranty Trust Company of New York, 'a man came to me

to complain that he had worked for the company a long time

but that he had not, in his opinion, had the proper recognition.

It was just the chance I had been looking forI had been

waiting for it for months!

"' "Now," I said, "I'm going to tell you something that will

make you mad clear through and you will want to fight me.

But this I ask: Do not say a word when I have finished. Do

not answer me at all until tomorrow and then you can say

anything you like. I want you to talk back to me only after

reflection, and not today.

"' "You have been with this company for a long time and

you should ordinarily be higher. But you have never worked

for a single hour for this company. You have never worked

for anyone but yourself in all the time you have been here.

That is the reason you are not higher."


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"'The man grew red and he wanted to answer but I re-

minded him of his promise and he went out. He did not come

in to see me the next day and he has never since mentioned

the conversation; but he still speaks to me, so I imagine that,

on reflection, he more or less agrees that I had the right idea

about him.

"'At any rate, he has changed his whole attitude toward his

work and instead of looking out first for himself and second

for the institution he now looks out first for the company and

second for his individual interests.'"10

This is true teamwork. Work first for the organization and

second for yourself. If you do you will find that you will even-

tually benefit much more than if you put yourself first and

the fellows around you second.

Work for yourself and you work alone. Work for others and

you will have literally hundreds of people working for you.

Take time to cultivate the good will of your associates. If

you do, they will help you out in a pinch.

You cannot force a man to wor\ for your interests but you

can gain his good will to such an extent that he will want to

do so.

To sticky to the letter of justice is a sign of immaturity. The-

mature man makes allowances for errors, for slights, and for

injuries. Do this and you will make people loyal to you.

Go slowly in reprimanding people. Reprimands merely ma\e

people angry and you thus lose a friend.

Be loyal to those under you if you expect them to be loyal

to you. Loyalty begins at the top of an organization.

Do not be patronizing. To be patronized is as offensive as

to be insulted.

Do not try to play a lone hand. Teamwor\ is the only suc-

cessful way to play the game of life.

[234 ]

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References for Chapter XXII

1. Isaac F. Marcosson and Daniel Frohman, Charles Frohman,

Harper and Brother, 1916, p. 61.

2. Ibid., p. 295.

3. Don C. Seitz, Joseph Pulitzer, Simon and Schuster, 1924, p. 34.

4. Samuel Vauclain, Sat. Eve. Post (March 23, 1929), p. 132.

5. Patrick Crowley, American Magazine (Dec. 1924), p. 94.

6. Ibid., p. 16.

7. Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography, Houghton Mifflin, 1920,

P- 73-

8. Henry G. Prout, George Westinghouse, Charles Scribner's

Sons, 1922, pp. 292-293.

9. Helene Christine Bennett, American Magazine (Jan. 1928),

p. 19.

10. Samuel Crowther, System (Sept. 1919), p. 393.


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Personal Charm

Roosevelt Was Charming Because He Liked People

General Wood Hobnobs with Privates

Victor Lawson Does Setting-up Exercises with the Door Man

J. P. Morgan Is Sensitive to Personal Affection

On his return from a stumping tour in the West, in 1900,

Theodore Roosevelt spent a morning with William Mc-

Kinley at Washington. That night he remarked to Judge John

Carter Rose,

"'I was with McKinley for two hours this morning. Do you

know I believe McKinley likes me very much.'

"'You and McKinley are different in many ways,' replied

Judge Rose, 'but you are alike in that you never talk five

minutes with any man without making him believe that you

like him very much.'

"Roosevelt looked puzzled, smiled in a questioning way and

then said, 'By George, I don't believe I ever do talk with a

man five minutes without liking him very much."'1

This statement by one of the most charming men of modern

times expresses the underlying secret of personal charm. You

must like people very much if you would be personally attractive

to them. It is not enough to try to make them think you like

themyou must actually like them. Nor must you take a lot

of time deciding whether you do or not. Like them allevery-

bodyat first, even if you have to change your attitude with

some of them on further acquaintance.


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There is only one way to get people to like you and that is

to like them. Furthermore, you must like them for themselves

and not in order to get them to like you. The man who says

that he has tried to like people and that they do not like him

in return shows that he started out in the spirit of barter, "I'll

trade my affections for yours." This seldom works.

Like people with no thought as to whether they like you

in return or not; then you will be surprised to find that they

do like you and consider you charming. Try to be charming

so that they will like you and you will discover that they see

through your scheme and will dislike you for it.

A dentist once complained that a younger man, less proficient

than he, was getting all the wealthy patients, had built up a

staunch clientele in the town where both practiced, and was

forging ahead of the older man although the latter did much

better work at more reasonable prices.

He went on to say that his rival spent his time talking to

old ladies about football, movie shows, and such nonsense while

he discoursed to them on the theories of dentistry and the most

approved methods of filling cavities. He had been told that,

since people came to a dentist to have their teeth fixed, this

was the subject of dominant interest to them and he should

demonstrate his efficiency by talking dentistry with them. This

he did but with poor results. Why was the younger man taking

all his business?

It was found that the younger, more successful man, really

liked his clients. He liked their personalities and was interested

in them as human beings, not merely in the cavities in their

teeth. The older man did not like his patients, he saw nothing

in them but decayed teeth and they secretly and unconsciously

resented it. The younger man encouraged the patients to talk

even if it did interfere with his work. The older man told

them to keep quiet so that he could do a good job. "You cannot

fill a person's teeth when he is chattering," he complained.


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The patients, in turn, thought that the young fellow was

charming, but described the older dentist as an "old crab."

This dentist is merely a sample of thousands of people who

have the totally erroneous idea that you develop your per-

sonality by working toward self-improvement in dress, manners,

information, or skill. All these things help, of coursebut only

if properly employed. They should merely be the means for

making people feel at home with you, of liking you. If you use

them to glorify yourself and to make other people jealous or

uncomfortable, your personal charm is injured by them.

The unsuccessful dentist was given this rule: "Whenever a

client has any contact with your office or with you, make sure

that he is made happier as a result of this contact. If a client

writes, adapt the answer to him in such a way that he will

like you the more. If he telephones, see that he hangs up with

an increased feeling of warmth toward you and your office

even if he talks only with the office girl. If you have to hurt

him while filling his teeth, make him feel that you did it with

consideration and he will like you for it. Make him have

confidence in the fine quality of your work, but above all things

make him happier."

As he applied this rule the dentist found that it helped him

to turn the tide of his business.

You are developing a charming personality when you like

other people and when you do things to make them happier.

You have advanced no more than a six-year-old child when

you attempt to do things in order to impress others with your

charm or skill. Haven't you seen a six-year-old child displaying

his tricks or saying "his piece" in order to hear the company

say, "Isn't he cute?" It may be "cute" for a six-year-old child

to show off but it is not "cute" in a grown person.

This is the real test of personal charm: If you are truly

charming, people will say, after having been with you, "I like



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If they say, "Isn't he charming?" they have given you a

dubious compliment. They really mean, "Didn't he act well?

He is polished on the outside, but we have no idea what is

on the inside."

How can one learn to like people? It is easy. Mix with them,

study them, become interested in their affairsnot as a busy-

body, but with sympathetic interest. Talk with them, play with

them, be one of them. When you learn to know people you

cannot help liking them. If you don't know them you cannot

like them no matter how hard you may pretend to do so.

"The biggest man I have ever known," said Isaac Marcosson,

"was John Hay. . . . He invariably made an obscure person

feel at home in his presence. . . . Mediocritiesand the world

is packed with themhedge themselves in behind a barricade

of secretaries and useless formalities. They invest themselves

with an atmosphere of importance and maintain that they are

too busy to be seen. . . . John Hay was the exact reverse. Al-

though he played a star part in the drama of his times, he

was frank, simple, and accessible."2

You must %now people if you would like them. Be frank,

simple, and accessible. Meet them on equal terms if you would

know them. This is what great personalities have done and

they have done it in spite of the barriers which insignia of

rank or position often impose upon them.

General Wood Hobnobs with Privates

General Leonard Wood, according to Norman J. Gould, was

such a man. "Notwithstanding his high rank and distinguished

career," says Gould, "General Wood is most approachable and

genial. He possesses that rare quality among great menthe

ability to make others at home and at ease. .. . Recently General

Wood arrived at New Haven, Connecticut, after being on a

train twenty-four hours, and was in quest of food. Entering


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the railroad station restaurant General Wood saw all the seats

occupied. Three ex-service men, in uniform, immediately rose

and offered him their seats. General Wood accepted one of

them. One, a discharged soldier, gave him half a grapefruit,

another his order of ham and eggs, and the third man found

a pot of hot tea for him. General Wood immediately got on

easy terms with the ex-service men and their chat was mutually

interesting. It was the first time that the enlisted men had

ever eaten a meal with a major general, but there was nothing

in General Wood's manner to impress them with the pre-

sumable gap between them." 8

General Wood could act in the manner in which he did

because he really liked the men. Because he liked them he

broke through the barrier which his uniform imposed and had

a good time with them and they, in turn, had a good time

with him. How different he was from the men who use the

insignia of office to guard themselves from contact with people

whom they do not know or actively dislike!

A story which is told about William McKinley illustrates

how he was able to make friends with working people. "In

the summer of 1900, the President sat by an open window of

his home in Canton, talking over the long-distance telephone

with Washington about some important question connected

with China. A workingman came across the lawn with a pail,

for some water, and, turning a faucet directly under the

President's window, made so much noise that the telephone

conversation was interrupted. The President looked out and

said, 'Mike, won't you please stop that noise till I get through?'

Mike lighted his pipe, and sat down under the window, where

he listened intently to what the President was saying. At last

the conversation was over and McKinley told Mike he might

go ahead. 'Major,' said the Irishman (everybody called him

'Major' in Canton)'Major, what are yez goin' to do with

thim haythen?'"4


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Did McKinley resent the Irishman's familiarity? Rather, he

got a thrill from the knowledge that the Irishman liked him.

Truly great men like people, no matter what their station,

and enjoy the knowledge that the people like them. They

realize that they are liked for themselves and not because of

the position they hold.

Victor Lawson Does Setting-up Exercises with the Door Man

One day when Victor F. Lawson, publisher of The Chicago

Daily News, was going into the News Building, he noticed that

the door man for some reason did not recognize him and was

doing setting-up exercises on the step. The door man fell into

conversation with Mr. Lawson and told him that he ought

to take setting-up exercises too. So Mr. Lawson stood on the

step by him and went through the exercises with him. The

door man was quite surprised when, later, he learned the identity

of Mr. Lawson.5

Mr. Lawson received a big thrill from this experience, the

thrill that anyone gets when he realizes that another likes him

as a man, a human being, totally apart from any demand for

respect that might come from wealth, social position, or office.

If you would have an attractive personality do not put yourself

on a pedestal and expect people to look up to you. Some few

may do so, but most persons will not look up to you if it twists

their necks when they do so. A statue may attract admiration

but it never warms the heart of the one who gazes at it.

Personal charm is not something to stand off and admire but

to be mutually enjoyed. The chances are, if you are intrigued

by your own personal charm, the other fellow will not be.

"'How is it that everyone is personally magnetized by Mr.

Gladstone when in his company?' Sir Ralph Williams once

asked the Duchess of Cleveland.

"'Because,' she replied, 'he is always able to speak well on


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the subject in which his companion is most interested. No

matter what it may be, he will discuss it with vigor and show

a clear knowledge of it and a temporary absorbing interest

in it."'6

Gladstone knew the importance of making the other fellow

feel that he was interested in him. His conversation was only

a means to that end. The atmosphere aroused by a conversation

is more important than the conversation itself in establishing

harmonious relations with others. If you talk to show off how

much you know, you will repel people; if you talk because

you have a personal interest in your companions, they will

like you.

Of Herbert Fleishhacker, San Francisco banker, it has been

said, "He has kept something of the heart of a boy through all

his busy life, and his humor and good nature are spontaneous

and unaffected. His democracy in acquaintance includes every-

body who comes within reach of his smile; in a hotel in just

about twenty-four hours he will know the entire force from

bell boys to manager and be on good terms with all of them." 7

There is no set of mechanical rules that you can learn to

enable you to accomplish this. You cannot rehearse what you

will say to manager or bell boy or just how you will shake

hands or greet each person. It depends upon a sensitiveness to

other people which comes from knowing people and liking


Great men, small men, rich men, poor men, all alike respond

to the personal touch. It is irresistible if it is genuine and it

is a silly waste of time if it is not real.

J. P. Morgan Is Sensitive to Personal Affection

On one occasion when James Stillman was in London he

heard that J. P. Morgan had arrived, unaccompanied by any

member of his family. He called one June morning to find


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his friend eating strawberries in the garden. The two men

had some talk and then a pause fell. Then Morgan asked:

"'What brought you here to see me, Stillman?'

"'Oh,' said Stillman slowly, in that quiet way of his'I

thought you might be lonely.'

"Whereupon Morgan jumped up from the table and ran

around and kissed Stillman on the cheek."8

In fact, men who are continually surrounded by those who

have "an axe to grind" are probably more appreciative of

genuine personal interest and affection than the men in humbler


Personal influence, established on this basis of mutual affection,

will last long after an individual has departed. Gordon Selfridge

built up such a following when connected with Marshall Field

and Company that, although he has been separated from this

establishment for twenty-five years, the department managers

of the store, in a pinch, will still quote what Mr. Selfridge would

have done under these circumstances.9

For no other reason than his love for people, Tex Rickard

once did a good turn to a hobo which came to light only

after Rickard's death. It was reported in the following dispatch:

"Behind the iron filigree facade of the 'sleepers' ward' in

Salt Lake City jail, a seedy, down-at-the-heels hobo, known to

police as 'Windy' Joe McDowell, proudly boasted last night

that Tex Rickard, who died yesterday at Miami, Florida, per-

haps saved him from freezing to death.

"McDowell said that fifteen years ago he climbed on the

steps of a Pullman vestibule of the Overland limited at Reno,

Nevada, in the dead of winter and would have died from

exposure if Rickard hadn't lifted the vestibule platform and

pulled him inside.

"'When some guy grabbed me by the collar and jerked me

up after I'd been hanging on there for three hours I thought

I was pinched by a railroad dick,' the veteran box-car rider


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declared. 'He didn't say nothing to me, but he called a porter

and told him to give me a warm drink and put me to bed.

The next morning I got off the train at Ogden and the porter

handed me a $5 bill. "That's a present from Tex Rickard,"

he told me.'"10

After you have gone people will remember the little personal

things you have done much more keenly than the big things

you accomplished.

The secret of personal charm lies in your ability to li\e people.

Mix with people if you would develop a pleasing personality.

You cannot isolate yourself and develop into the sort of person

people will like.

You can learn to like people by studying them, by becoming

familiar with their interests, their hobbies, their hopes, their

fears, and showing them that you appreciate all these things.

Don't put yourself on a pedestal. Some people may enjoy

looking up to you but they don't want to loo\ t00 high.

Learn to be sensitive to other people. Know when you please

them and when you irritate them even though they try to be

civil to you and hide their feelings when you are thoughtless.

Each new friend you acquire increasesjust a bityour per-

sonal charm.

References for Chapter XXIII

1. Frederick S. Wood, Theodore Roosevelt, John C. Winston Co.,

1927, p. 19.

2. Isaac F. Marcosson, Sat. Eve. Post (Jan. 26, 1929), p. 15.

3. Norman J. Gould, Review of Reviews (March, 1920), pp. 371-


4. Charles S. Olcott, The Life of William McKinley, Houghton

Mifflin, 1916, p. 352.

5. "Mourned as a Kindly Friend," Chicago Daily News (Aug. 21,



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6. Sir Ralph Williams, How I Became Governor, John Murray,

1913, p. 213.

7. B. C. Forbes, Men Who Are Maying the West, Forbes Publish-

ing Co., 1916, p. 49.

8. Anne R. Burr, James Stillman, Duffield & Co., 1927, p. 317.

9. Interview with Waldo Warren, June 5, 1929.

10. Associated Press Dispatch, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 7, 1931.


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Adams, Charles Francis, 174

Adams, John, 160

Allen, .John, 158-59

Alverstone, Lord, 137, 138, 139

Arkell, Bartlett, 87, 88

Armour, J. Ogden, 116-17

Asquith, Herbert, 8, 137, 138, 139

Astor, John Jacob, 123

Atterbury, William Wallace, 184

Baldwin, William H., 138, 139

Balfour, Arthur James, 137, 138,


Bamberger, Louis, 35-36

Barringer, J. H., 139, 140

Beatty, David, 139

Bell, Alexander Graham, 14-15,

73, 92, no-ii, 112, 149

Billings, Albert Merritt, 69, 138

Billings, Frank, m

Bishop Joseph B., 178

Blaine, James G., 141, 142

Bloom, Edgar Seldon, 140

Bok, Edward W., 34-35, 194

Bowman, John M., 70

Brunker, Albert, 33-34, 149

Bryan, William Jennings, 133,


Buchanan, James, 160

Butler, Nicholas Murray, 155

Cameron, Simon, 189

Cannon, Joseph G., 40-41

Carnegie, Andrew, 4, 10, 16, 32,

83-84, 124-25, 138, 139, 140,

184, 211, 231

Carpenter, Charles E., 154

Cassatt, A. J., 184

Chase, S. P., 189

Chesterfield, Lord, 206

Choate, Joseph H., 53-54, 61, 139,

155, 218-19.

Choate, Rufus, 139

Churchill, Winston, 137

Clark, Thomas Arkle, 156

Clay, Henry, 160

Clemenceau, Georges, 137, 138,

Cleopatra, 157

Cleveland, Grover, 112, 138, 139,


Conwell, Russell, 150

Coolidge, Calvin, 22, 57, 103-4,

138, 139, 140, 153-54

Coulby, Harry, 12-13, 188

Couzens, James, 173

Crane, Frank, 79-80

Crowley, Patrick E., 115-16, 229

Curtis, Cyrus, 138, 139, 192, 194

Cutter, Victor M., 212-13

Dana, Charles A., 98-99, 193

Dawes, Charles Gates, 22-23, 139

Day, Joseph P., 66-68, n 7-18

Dealcy, George B., 124

Decker, Edward W., 85


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Demosthenes, 27-28

Depew, Chauncey M., 141, 156,


Dillon, Clarence, 138, 139

Dorn, Louis C, 145-46

Drummond, Henry, 114

Dryden, John, 66

du Pont, Pierre S., 58, 139

Edison, Thomas, 30-32, 76-77, 82-

83, 94, no, 112, 130-31, 138,

139, 199

Eidlitz, Charles L., 69

Evans, Ward V., 156

Faraday, Michael, 73

Felton, Samuel N., 157

Field, Marshall, 78, 138, 149, 167

Fleishhacker, Herbert, 242

Foch, Ferdinand, 223

Ford, Henry, 134, 138, 207

Franklin, Benjamin, 27, 94, 95,


Frew, Walter E., 64, no, 112

Frick, Henry Clay, 53, 138, 139,


Frohman, Charles, 165-66, 226-28

Fuld, Felix, 35-36

Fullerton, Hugh S., 150-51

Galileo, 73, 74-75

Galloway, Charles W., 131

Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 133

Gary, Elbert, 138, 139, 171

Gerald, E. F., 125-26

Giannini, Amadea P., 102, in,


Gifford, Walter S., 85-86, 88-90,


Gladstone, William E., 55, 95,

96, 128-29, '34, 138, 139, 140,

241-42 .

Goethals, George Washington,

160-61, 210-11

Gorgas, William C, 90, 92

Grace, Eugene, 183

Grant, Ulysses S., 204-5

Grey, Lord Charles, 138

Grozier, Edwin A., 109

Guest, Edgar, 9-10

Guggenheim, Daniel, 125

Haines, Ancil F., 166

Hamilton, Alexander, 137, 138

Hanna, Mark, 51-52

Harriman, Edward H., 88, in,

132, 137, 138, 139

Harrington, John L., 91

Harris, Sam H., 52-53

Hay, John, 12-13, 239

Hearst, William Randolph, 107-

9 i38, 139, 140

Heinz, Henry J., 81-82, 83, 138

Hepburn, H. B., 138, 139

Higginson, H. L., 139

Hill, James J., 56, 63, 137, 138,

139, 140, 142, 213-14

Hoover, Herbert, 91, 101, 138,

139, J49

House, Colonel Edward M., 26-

27, 139

Hughes, Charles Evans, 138, 139,


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Kraus, Joseph R., 16-17

Kruttschnitt, Julius, 88

Langley, S. P., 92

Lawson, Victor, 241

Lee, Robert E., 204-5

Lincoln, Abraham, 22, 42-43, 131,

138, 147, 157, 189

Little, Arthur D., 100

Livingston, William, 125

Lloyd George, David, 8, 138,

149, 167-68, 171, 206

Lodge, Henry Cabot, 189-90

Longworth, Nicholas, 138

Loomis, Edward E., 138, 231-33

Lord, Everett, 15

MacDowell, Charles Henry, 116-

Marconi, Guglielmo, 73

Marcosson, Isaac F., 56, 239

Markham, Charles, 125-26

Marshall, Thomas F., 161-62

Mazarin, Cardinal Jules, 131

McClure, Samuel S., 114-15

McCormick, Cyrus, 137, 138, 139

McCrea, James, 184

McCulloh, James S., 46-47

McKinley, William, 60-61, 65,

236, 240-41

McClain, David, 75-76, 135

Mellon, Andrew, 138, 139

Michelson, Albert A., 37-38

Mitchell, Charles E., 200

Mitchell, Edward P., 98-99

Morgan, J. Pierpont, 138, 139,

140, 190-91, 242-43

Murphy, C. F., 138, 139

Mussolini, Benito, 139, 140

Napoleon Bonaparte 14, 22, 24-

27, 131, 132-33, 139, 185, 200

Nation, Carrie, 22, 23

Nelson, Admiral Horatio, 192-93

Newcomb, Simon, 92

Northcliffe, Lord, 8, 138, 139,

140, 185

Paine, William Alfred, 139

Parnell, Charles S., 139, 219-21

Patterson, John H., 185

Pershing, John J., 138, 139

Phelps, William, 40

Piez, Charles, 48-49

Pitt, William, 23, 138

Preston, Thomas R., 38

Pulitzer, Joseph, 228

Raskob, John J., 57-58

Rea, Samuel, 184

Reed, Thomas B., 162

Reynolds, Arthur, 21-22

Rickard, Tex, 243-44

Ritchie, John A., 106-7

Roberts, Lord, 139

Robinson, R. P., 172

Rockefeller, John D., 61-62, 138,

139, 147, 207-8, 230-31

Rogers, Will, 154

Roosevelt, Theodore, 19-21, 22,

43-44, 56-57, 97-98, 102, 112,

120-21, 133, 134, 139, 140, 157,

169, 171, 175-76, 178, 189-90,


Rose, John Carter, 236

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Sloan, Alfred P., 55

Smith, Alfred E., 22, 138, 139,

141-42, 149

Smith, Henry Justin, 131

Staley, A. E., 44-45

Stanton, Edwin M., 189

Steinmetz, Charles, 75

Stern, Charles F., 36-37

Stevens, Eugene Morgan, 73, 129-

30, 137, 138, 139

Stillman, James, 37, 71, 137, 139,


Stinnes, Hugo, 184-85

Storey, William B., 52, 186-88

Strawn, Silas, 57

Swift, Gustavus F., 133

Swope, Gerard F., 139, 168

Taft, William Howard, 102, 133,


Tolstoy, Count, 178-79

Topping, John A., 201-2

Traylor, Melvin A., 212

Underwood, Frederick D.,


Vail, Theodore N., 89, 137, 138

Vauclain, Samuel, 3-4, 228-29

Vreeland, Herbert H., 11

Walgreen, Charles R., 1-3

Walpolc, Sir Robert, 128, 129

Wanamaker, John, 48, 122, 128,

134, '38, l39, l4, i50 l67,


Ward, Montgomery, 138

Washington, George, 139, 189,


Weed, Thurlow, 147-48

Wellington, Duke of, 139, 140

Westinghouse, George, 86-87,

119-20, 231

Wetmore, Frank O., 62, 138

Wilson, Thomas E., 56, 138

Wilson, Woodrow, 27, 138, 139,


Wolf, George D., 192

Wood, Leonard, 239-41

Wood, William A., 77

Woodhull, Daniel E., 68-69

Woodin, William H., 45-46

Wrigley, William, Jr., 88, 115


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