Andrew Carnegie—a distant cousin to Dale—paid a million dollars a year to Charles Schwab. Why? Was it because Schwab was a genius, or knew more about the production of steel (Carnegie’s main business) than anyone else? No, and no. In fact, Schwab readily admitted that he had many men working for him who knew more about the manufacture of steel than he did.
Schwab said that he was paid this salary (an ungodly sum in those days…) largely because of his ability to deal with people.
When asked how he did it, Schwab replied, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.
“There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise, but loath to fault. If I like anything, I am heart in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”
Dale Carnegie was so enamored with this principle that he wanted to praise his assistants even on his tombstone. He wrote an epitaph for himself that read:
“Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself.”
(Note: In looking at online pictures of Dale’s grave, I should note that there is no epitaph; just his name and dates of birth and death. But…at least the intent was there!)
The important point to come away with here is that everyone wants to be appreciated for their efforts, and by doing so you will get more productivity out of those you surround yourself with.
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Photo credit: Ambro