How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Carnegie wrote this book in 1936. I remember this as one of the first books I had ever got – as a prize in school early on in life. I re-read it recently, and was amazed to see how relevant it still is – and how little we seem to live by the principles embodied in the book. This is a book that is worth reading every few months for what is says are eternal truths. The writing style is conversational, and full of little stories. A small excerpt from the first chapter entitled “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive”:
If you and I want to stir up a resentment tomorrow that may rankle across the decades and endure until death, just let us indulge in a little stinging criticism – no matter how certain we are that it is justified.
When dealing with people, let us remember that we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.
But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
Made in America by Sam Walton with John Huey
Walmart recently became the world’s largest company. Its sales in 2001 were USD 220 billion, and the company is growing by about 15% every year. The story becomes all the more remarkable when you learn that the first Walmart opened only 40 years ago. Who better to tell the story than its founder, Sam Walton, himself. Even though the book itself is 10 years old, it makes great reading, especially for entrepreneurs. Here’s a small excerpt from the book’s foreword:
If I had to single out one element in my life that has made a difference for me, it would be a passion to compete. That passion has pretty much kept me on the go, looking ahead to the next store visit, or the next store opening, or the next merchandising item I personally wanted to promote out in those stores.
As I look back, I realize that ours is a story about the kind of traditional principles that made America great in the first place. It is a story about entrepreneurship, and risk, and hard work, and knowing where you want to go and being willing to do what it takes to get there. It’s a story about believing in your idea even maybe when some other folks don’t, and about sticking to your guns. But I think more than anything it proves that there’s absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary working people can accomplish if they’re given the opportunity and encouragement and the incentive to do their best.