Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm
 
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The Best Salesman In Business

Dale Carnegie built a phenomenal sefl-help empire out of stanting the obvious. But Warren Buffett still swears by it and now you can buy the apple app.

By Daniel Okrent.

Photograph By Winters

 

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, when he was asked to assemble a list of the "Ten Books That Shaped the American Character", critic Jonathan Yardley summoned the works of the great ones: Thorean and Whitman, Twain and Hemingway, Thorstein Veblen and W.E.B. Du Bois. And standing next to them in this pantheon of the nation’s literary giants, he aslo placed the man who once told American to read his work "with a crayon, pencil, pen, magic market, or highlighter in your hand. When you come across a suggestion that you feel you can use, draw a line beside it".

Like all great successes, HTWF has inspired backlash too, including at least four books and one movie all titled How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. But the book is also the foundation stone of a self-improvement empire, now called Dale Carnegie Training, that has franchises in 80 countries and cliams 8 million graduates, including Warren Buffett, Frank Perdue, Lee Iacocca, and at least two generations of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

Like all great successes, HTWF has inspired backlash too, including at least four books and one movie all titled How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. But the book is also the foundation stone of a self-improvement empire, now called Dale Carnegie Training, that has franchises in 80 countries and cliams 8 million graduates, including Warren Buffett, Frank Perdue, Lee Iacocca, and at least two generations of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

Dale Carnegie clearly knew a hell of a lot about business.

Except he didn’t. Born in 1888, the phenomenall successful dispender of business advise had virtually no business background . Raised on a pig farm in Missouri, he first stumbled trying to sell correspondence courses, and thenfor a while he peddled bacon and lard in western South Dakota.

He was reasonably successful at that, but gave it up to move east in his early twenties, hoping to make it as an actor. That didn’t work, and neither did selling trucks or writing western novels. What did work was the class in effective public speaking that he began to teach to a handful of students at Harlem YMCA in 1912 – a class that would form the basis of his philosophy, his methodology, and his mighty self-improvement empire. One of the smartest decisions he made was changing his name in 1919 from Carnagey, at a time when "Carnegie" carried the same aura that "Gates" does today.



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