Friday, June 26, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend your time trying to accomplish something they will admire."

Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quote of the Week...

"We can all endure disaster and tragedy, and triumph over them- if we have to. We may not think we can, but we have surprisingly strong inner resources that will see us through if we will only make use of them. We are stronger than we think."

-Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

'Dale Carnegie's Wild Influence'

Source: Investor's Business Daily, Inc
Nancy Gondo
Wednesday May 27, 2009

It was 1909, and Dale Carnegie was depressed.

He despised his job.

He ate cheap, vile food.

And he lived in a cockroach-infested room in New York City.

Should he quit his sales job without having another at the ready?

It may have seemed risky, but in his heart he knew the answer.

"So I made my decision -- and that decision completely altered my future," he wrote in his 1948 best-seller, "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living," which has sold millions of copies. "It has made the rest of my life happy and rewarding beyond my most utopian aspirations."

Carnegie quit his job. He would teach adult classes at night, leaving his days free so he could prepare lectures and have time to write short stories and novels.

But what subject should he teach? He'd found success in college debates and public speaking, so he thought that could be his ticket.

Public speaking "had wiped out my timidity and lack of self-confidence and given me the courage and assurance to deal with people," he explained. "It had also made clear that leadership usually gravitates to the man who can get up and say what he thinks."

He applied to teach night-school courses at Columbia University and New York University, but got turned down by both. Not one to give up, he talked the Young Men's Christian Association into giving him a shot at teaching a class.

Cashing In
The YMCA refused to pay him a salary -- instead giving him a profit percentage -- so he'd have to prove his worth. And he did. Within three seasons, he was making $30 a night, worth $685 today.

"I had to motivate my students," Carnegie wrote. "I had to help them solve their problems. I had to make each session so inspiring that they wanted to continue coming."

He watched them flourish as they developed self-confidence and knew he'd found his calling.
What started as a night-school class in 1912 has blossomed into a training program that's available in 25 languages across 75 countries.

"What has changed since 1912 isn't so much Dale Carnegie Training's popularity but rather its sphere of influence," Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, told IBD via e-mail.

How did the program become so popular?

Carnegie knew what people wanted: to learn how to understand -- and get along well with others. So he studied newspaper columns, magazine articles and philosophers' and psychologists' writings. He read biographies of leaders and interviewed top people in all fields.

Carnegie put his findings in a speech called "How to Win Friends and Influence People," which started as a short talk and morphed into an hour-and-a-half lecture.

In 1936, he published a book with that title to be used in his course. It became an instant hit.
When he died in 1955, 5 million copies of "How to Win Friends" had sold in 31 languages. Today, 50 million copies of his books have been printed in 38 languages.

And 7 million people have taken the Carnegie course, Handal estimates.
"Rather than base our courses upon transient business fads or trends, Dale Carnegie Training's lessons are based on inherent tenets of human nature," he said. "Therefore, the courses have universal appeal and continue to succeed in different cultures and across continents."

Gil Kemp, a Carnegie grad who in 1989 co-wrote "Dale Carnegie: The Man Who Influenced Millions," recalls the self-help guru as a perfectionist who was always trying to improve the course.

"I particularly admire Carnegie's trial-and-error approach," Kemp told IBD. "He was inventive and always experimenting. Rather than having a preconceived notion of how he should teach, he tried different approaches and built on the ones that delivered results."
Giving up wasn't in his nature.

Born in 1888 in rural Missouri, Dale Carnagey (later changed to Carnegie) grew up poor and shy. He got up at the crack of dawn to do farming chores before school. In class, he was self-conscious about his clothes and prominent ears.

When he reached high school, he witnessed the power of speech. He was amazed at how a speaker from the Chautauqua adult-education movement gripped the audience.
Intrigued, Carnegie practiced public speaking by talking to animals at his family's barn. He gave a few speeches at Sunday school and had a role in a high school play. Then he pursued public speaking in earnest at what is now the University of Central Missouri, in Warrensburg, Mo.
Carnegie saw that students who won debates were considered intellectual leaders. He wanted that status, but he had to join a society and win all the contests in that group in order to enter an intersociety event.

He lost the first dozen contests he entered.

Still, he pressed on and began winning. He found that the best way to beat fear was to confront it.

"Besides being disciplined, Carnegie's friends and classmates knew him to be an engaging conversationalist gifted with this astute ability to win people's enthusiasm and cooperation and never at the expense of his or others' integrity," Handal said. "He was a natural salesman, which is why no one was surprised when he decided to make a career out of it."

After college, Carnegie sold home-study courses door-to-door but found demand was lacking. What was he doing wrong, he wondered? A salesman he knew was making a decent living selling these classes.

So he thought he'd sell a more in-demand product. He got a job as a salesman for Armour & Co., a meatpacker. After all, his hands-on experience from his father's farm could help him make his sales pitch.

His hard work and persistence paid off. He became the No. 1 salesman in Omaha, Neb., and was offered a management position, but he politely turned it down.

He wanted to go East. That led to his dead-end sales job in New York before he made the life-altering shift to teach public speaking.

The Boost

To inspire the class, he'd ask students to talk about childhood experiences. To this day, they're greeted with applause before and after speaking, which helps improve confidence and self-esteem.

"In a Carnegie training room, your credentials and resume don't matter," Kemp said. "It's what you do in the moment you're in front of the group that counts."

Kemp, who wrote the Carnegie bio after taking the course, is president and founder of Home Decorators Collection, a mail-order business he started two decades ago. Three years ago, he and his partner sold the business to Home Depot (NYSE:HD - News).

Carnegie's students often went on to earn promotions and higher wages after taking his class. Considering he lifted himself from poverty to a best-selling author with a now-worldwide training program in place, that's no big surprise.

"To those who knew (Carnegie), he was living proof of the fact that if you can somehow make yourself more likeable, doing so is not only good for business but is good for winning friends and influencing people," Handal said.