Dale Carnegie’s books are not new! We hear so much about them that we think that he is a personal development coach who is still around… However, he started to introduce his methods, principles and publish his books…the last century!
So how come this American writer-lecturer is so successful that he is still relevant in today’s World? More importantly, how can we explain why its methods are still so up to date and still taught in companies around the world? Here is short overview of Dale Carnegie, this master of communication, leadership, public speeches, sales and management, in this article that is devoted to him…
Dale Carnegie, writer, lecturer and master of communication
“I’ve never done anything thinking about failure,” Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie was born in Missouri, United States, in 1888. He was educated at Warrensburg State Teachers College. At the age of 22, in 1910, Dale Carnegie moved to New York. A salesman, who wanted to become an actor, he finally got a job at the YMCA where he gave evening classes on how to speak in public. Then, as time passed and he gained more experience, Carnegie broadened his range of classes. He decided to include core competencies in personal development and human relations: better communication, build momentum and develop leadership skills, improve motivation, build people skills, etc…
It was in 1912 that the first “Dale Carnegie” group was born. The first “Communication and Leadership” course, which is now world-renowned, started off with the development of new techniques to enhance confidence in speakers to address an audience. This course was so successful that in 1930, Carnegie began to recruit his first associates to deliver the course under licence across the United States.
However, what brought Dale Carnegie to international fame was a book he published in 1936, at the end of fifteen years of continuous research. Dale Carnegie put together all his principles of human relations. This book is entitled “How to Make Friends”. It is a huge global success (in 2014, a new version called “Making Friends in the Digital Age” was published). It’s a simple and practical guide that helps people make friends and influence others, to build better and more meaningful relationships with others.
A global career in leadership and communication
To spread his ideas on how to train in communication and human relations around the world, Dale Carnegie published several books, wrote in newspapers and even had his own radio show.
In 1954, Carnegie’s company was incorporated as “Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. This international network of further education now has in excess of 3000 trainers and offices in more than 70 countries.
Dale Carnegie died in 1955 in New York City, aged 67.
Since then, “Dale Carnegie & Associates” has stuck to its goals: to develop effective communication skills, learn how to motivate others to act, identify the leadership dynamics in each of us and learn how to speak in public. Carnegie courses (Dale Carnegie training) have become a benchmark in both the political and business worlds.
Dale Carnegie’s best books
Dale Carnegie is the author of several bestsellers. One of the best known is “How to Make Friends and Influence People” first published in 1936 and which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide (in 2010). This book has been translated into 37 languages.
Dale Carnegie’s books are still published and regularly improved by his network of trainers.
I would like to give you a brief summary of Dale Carnegie’s three most iconic books: “How to Make Friends and Influence People”, “The quick and easy way to effective speaking” and “The Leader in You”.
Three Dale Carnegie books that are a must.
Summary and Book Review of “How to Make Friends and Influence People“
With sales of forty million copies worldwide, “How to win friends and influence people” is one of the most successful books in the history of publishing. Translated into several dozen languages, it still sells very well today.
So it is pointless to tell you how important it is…
In this iconic book, Dale Carnegie sets out 30 principles to develop excellent relationships with others, regardless of age and profession. These principles are divided into 4 parts:
- 3 basic techniques to influence others
- 6 secrets to win the sympathy of others
- 12 ways to convince others of our point of view
- 9 ways to change the attitudes of others to avoid irritation or offence
Three key techniques to influence others
- Do not criticise, do not condemn, do not complain (principle 1): rather than condemn people, try to understand them, to know the reasons for their actions. It is much better and more productive than criticism, and it makes us more kind, tolerant and empathetic.
- Give honest and sincere praise (Principle 2): this is not about flattery, but the search for the qualities of others, if you give them sincere praise and express your admiration for them. Sincere praise is valued by everyone.
- Regularly motivate people to act on what you propose (Principle 3): the only way to influence the other person is to talk to them about what they want and show them how they can achieve it. To affect others, they need to show the desire for action.
Six secrets of how to gain the sympathy of others
- Take a real interest in others (principle 4): people only care about themselves. So to make others interested in you, initially, you must take a genuine interest in them. All of us, whether we are rich or poor, like it when people express admiration for what we do. We are interested in others when they show interest in us.
- Smile (Principle 5): Actions speak louder than words. We must enjoy the company of other people if we want them to enjoy who we are. That’s why, Dale Carnegie recommends that we smile and are friendly with others, as well as enjoy their company.
- Remember that a person’s name is very important to them (Principle 6): thus, if you remember someone’s name, subconsciously it will act as a subtle compliment.
- Listen, encourage others to speak for themselves (Principle 7): to win someone’s sympathy and to help them achieve their goals, you must give them your full attention when they talk. This requires you to be open-minded, listen to everything they say and ask them pertinent and relevant questions about their lives and their accomplishments.
- Talk to the other person about their interests (principle 8): if you can discover someone’s interests, what they are passionate about, then all you have to do is listen to them properly, and they will happily tell you everything that you need to know.
- Make other people feel genuinely important (principle 9).
Twelve ways to convince others of our point of view
Keep clear of arguments, the best way to win (principle 10)
The best way to win an argument is to not have one, because there’s never a winner! If you lose, you lose; and if you show the other person is wrong, you also lose because you make them feel out-thought and dent their self-esteem.
Respect the opinions of the other person. Never tell them they’re wrong (principle 11)
Simply say that you don’t agree with their opinion but that you could be wrong.
If you are wrong, acknowledge it immediately and clearly (principle 12)
When it’s obvious that you have got something wrong, it’s best to take the upper hand and have the courage to say “mea culpa”.
Begin things in a friendly way (principle 13)
Pose questions that lead people to say yes immediately (principle 14)
When you want someone to believe in your ideas, it’s advisable not to have arguments at the outset and rather to emphasise the points that you both agree on. The objective is to illustrate that you both wish to aim towards the same target, and it’s simply the path to get there is a different one.
Let the other person in the discussion feel free to talk (principle 15)
Rather than talk too much, a better plan is to let the other person “have their say” to relax them and allow you to ask them questions.
Give the other person the belief that the idea came from them (principle 16)
Instead of the wish to impose your opinions, it’s a good idea to offer some clever suggestions, to allow the other person to reach their own conclusions.
Make a genuine effort to see things from the other person’s point of view (principle 17)
It is not advisable to blame the other person because, even if they are wrong, they don’t believe that to be the case. It’s important to understand this. This is what smart and patient people do.
Be open and prepared to listen to other peoples’ ideas and aspirations (principle 18)
Appeal to strong emotions (principle 19)
Typically, people base their actions on two things: what they think is right, and what they think is best. Most people are well acquainted with the second, but they would rather emphasise their best intentions.
Present your ideas so that people remember them. Make an impression and capture their imagination (principle 20)
Challenge yourself (principle 21)
To succeed, you have to encourage competition, not just for profit, but for reasons that mean a bit more than that, the drive to do better, to outperform others and to exceed your expectations.
Nine ways to change the attitudes of other people and not irritate or offend them
- Start with genuine praise (Principle 22): it is easier to take criticisms on board after we have received a compliment.
- Allude to any errors or flaws subtly (principle 23).
- Acknowledge your mistakes before you correct those of others (principle 24): if you acknowledge your own mistakes, even if they have not been rectified, it gives you the chance to change the way others think and react to situations.
- Ask questions don’t issue direct orders (principle 25): people are more likely to accept an order if they have been involved in the decision process.
- Let the person you talk to save face (principle 26).
- If there’s progress give it due credit and warm praise (Principle 27): it is important to acknowledge progress, no matter how small, to encourage further efforts.
- Create a deserved reputation for yourself (principle 28).
- Encouragement (Principle 29): this should be easy. To achieve this, demonstrate to the person you need to encourage, that you have total trust in their abilities and untapped potential.
- Convince people to see the benefits of what you propose to do (Principle 30): to change behaviour, you must:
- Not make empty promises and be genuine.
- Understand exactly what you want the other person to do.
- Put yourself in the other person’s position.
- Consider the benefits that you can gain from the other person if they accomplish what you propose and they are in harmony with those ideas.
- Make the other person understand that they will also personally gain from it.
Review of Dale Carnegie’s book “How to make friends and influence people”
This book is very easy to read. Dale Carnegie writes as he speaks, in a very practical, concise, relevant way, and gives lots of relevant examples.
In terms of content, “How to make friends and influence people” is a book full of interest, notably because it highlights the importance we place on our ego and self-esteem. In this way, Dale Carnegie emphasises the deeply emotional nature of humans, and his ideas are based on two fundamental concepts:
- Whatever you say, men and women are primarily emotional creatures with a strong urge to see themselves in a good light.
- However rational an argument, in most instances they will reject it if it hurts their pride.
Once both of these concepts are understood, most of the principles contained in this book are easy to understand. All that is required is to apply them.
In conclusion, I think this book is excellent. It can fundamentally change the way we look at human relationships. It’s a must-have for anyone who wants to improve their ability to connect and network successfully.
- Brief and concise
- Written in a simple style and easy to read
- Numerous examples that address a broad range of situations
- Strong and pertinent core concepts
- Lots of concepts to learn and apply
- Some of the examples are rather antiquated (mainly from the Civil War to the Second World War)
- Sometimes it’s a little repetitive
Have you read How to Win Friends and Influence People? How do you rate it?
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Summary and Book Review of “The quick and easy way to effective speaking“
Have you dream that you can speak and express yourself well in public without any worry or nerves? Would you like to conquer this public paralysis, which leads you to lose your train of thought when in front of a group or an examiner? Would you like to engage your audience, make them listen and appreciate what you have to say? If so, then this is the right book for you!
Regardless of your profession, in “The quick and easy way to effective speaking”, Dale Carnegie puts you totally at ease when you have to speak in public. In fact, contrary to popular belief, public speech eloquence is not a skill or an art only for a select few, but a technique that is open to everyone. Carnegie’s opinion is that you’re not born with this skill, you acquire it! When you read the book, you appreciate that the knowledge of how to speak in public, and how to be successful, is available to everyone. It’s for these reasons that his books and courses are so successful.
With all his helpful, tangible and user-friendly advice, “How to speak in public” is a book by Dale Carnegie that you need to familiarise yourself with so that you can improve your skills to speak in public.
Part 1: Basic principles of how to speak in public
The fear to speak in public can be conquered.
- To achieve this, you must:
- Learn the basic techniques:
- Learn from the experience of others.
- Don’t lose sight of your goal.
- Be confident in advance that you will succeed.
- Grab every single chance to practice.
- Develop self-confidence:
- Explore the rationale as to why you don’t like to speak in public (often due to inexperience).
- Be well prepared: plan ideas with cards and a layout, talk with friends about the subject, etc.
- Put things in place to ensure success (for example, the use of autocues)
- Be confident (act as if you are).
- Three quick basic fundamental rules to help you learn how to express yourself more clearly in public
- Cover a subject that you have personally experienced or have studied.
- Talk about a subject that you feel personally attached to.
- Be passionate about how you connect with your audience (make your enthusiasm is obvious to them).
- Learn the basic techniques:
Part 2: The speech, the speaker, the audience
The speech: four different methods to grab attention
- Restrict your subject matter: it is better to restrict what you have to say but spice it up with colourful details and vivid examples.
- Don’t reveal everything that you know, as that way you can respond with other details to any questions from the audience.
- Use personal experiences and descriptions to get the message over: express personal emotions from real-life experiences, use peoples’ names, give detailed descriptions, engage the audience in dialogue, demonstrate situations, re-enact events).
- Use specific, every day, imaginative words to bring it to life and entrance your audience.
The speaker: three suggestions of how to approach the topic
- Choose topics that you are knowledgeable about.
- Make the story and your emotions related to it come alive.
- Convince your audience.
The audience: 5 steps to connect with your audience
- Talk to the audience about what interests them (i.e. themselves).
- Give genuine praise.
- Identify with your audience; understand what links you and your audience.
- Talk to your audience (engage them in conversation).
- Be humble.
Part 3: Different strategies to deal with four different situations
How do you give a short presentation to get people to act?
- Talk about an experience you have had (from your past, start with some specific details).
- Briefly and clearly outline what you want your audience to do (make it simple and convince them).
- Emphasise how beneficial it will be for your audience.
How do you give an informative presentation?
- Keep your presentation to its allotted time: it’s preferable to present one idea in detail and give examples, rather than fill it with as many points of reference as possible.
- Arrange your ideas in a logical order.
- Make a list of their suggestions as you go along as it makes things easier.
- Compare new with old (transform a reality into an image, avoid technical terms).
- Use visual aids (it will give it more appeal).
How do you give a presentation that convinces people?
- Be genuine: you have to have conviction to be able to convince.
- Get an affirmative response: the more that people say “yes” whilst you speak, the more likely it is that you’ll get a positive response.
- Talk with unbound enthusiasm.
- Show respect and compassion for the audience.
- Start off in a relaxed style.
- Search for what unites you, harness the similarities between your ideas and the views of the other person so that they can embrace them.
How do you make an unexpected presentation?
- Regularly work on an impromptu speech.
- Be mentally prepared to talk unannounced (ask yourself what you would say if you were put on the spot).
- Give an example straight away: it makes it easier to describe a scenario and grabs peoples’ attention immediately.
- Be animated and speak forcefully.
- Work on the principle: “hic et nunc” (here and now) when you refer to your audience, the context, or what has been mentioned before.
- Do not use improvisation, but rather improvise (to get a message across).
Part 4: Pointers on how to communicate well
We communicate by how we act, how we appear, what we say and how we say it:
- Soften your outlook and loosen up to be more natural.
- Don’t copy other people, just be yourself and accentuate the differences between you and others.
- Communicate with your audience (don’t deliver monologues).
- Put your heart, mind and soul into your message, be genuine and convince your audience.
- Exercise your voice (diction, flow, volume, inflections) to ensure it is strong and agile.
- From the outset, you need to improve your diction, your flow, the output of your voice and your speech inflections.
Part 5: How to deal with your audience
- How do you introduce the speaker?
- Carefully prepare a brief yet precise introduction of the person in question.
- Follow the T.A.S. formula: Title of the speech / Attraction of the subject / Speaker.
- Be enthusiastic: talk boldly and leave a pause before you announce their name, and again between their first and second name).
- Be cordial and heartfelt (avoid irony).
- Carefully plan what to say at anawards ceremony.
- How do you offer or accept awards?
- Be genuine and give thanks.
- Honour those who helped you.
- Demonstrate how much the award means to you.
- Say thank you again.
- How do you deliver a speech at a conference?
- Grab the attention of your audience immediately, and get them intrigued (produce a bold fact, ask them to vote by a show of hands, promise them that you will reveal how they can achieve their goals, show them an object…)
- Don’t use phrases that can result in a negative reaction (disdain, offend the public, start with an apology…)
- Back up your main ideas, to substantiate your claims (with statistics, expert testimonies, analogies…).
- Present a call for action.
- Conclude with a summary and ask the audience to take part (simple, practical and realistic tasks): the conclusion is what stays with your audience.
- How do you put your new skills into practice?
Dale Carnegie concludes his book by:
- Use some of his suggestions that can immediately be put into practice in everyday life.
- Emphasise the importance of regular exercise
- Encourage perseverance, patience and confidence in success, which are essential prerequisites for a competent speaker.
Review of Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Speak in Public”
“How to Speak in Public” is a must-read book to learn about how to speak in public. His insights are the result of Dale Carnegie’s years of experience in the field. They have been validated by thousands of people and are the cornerstone of human communication.
It’s also a valuable book, full of examples, quotes and segments of life that means it’s fun and informative to read and make Dale Carnegie’s insights very relevant.
- The stories that captivate, the many references, the extracts from the speeches.
- The language used, clear, simple, direct and understood by all.
- The way it’s set out, which allows you to start at various points, the synopsis at the end of each section, which encompasses the relevant points and the main ideas, are clearly defined.
- The steady rhythm that keeps you focused until the end.
- The relevance of these techniques.
- Some repetition, due to how it’s laid out.
- Although this book advocates practice and a need to train, not many practical exercises have been included. The end result is that you need to attend one of Carnegie’s courses to learn to put this into practice, which is a shame.
- The author’s narrative is based on his experience to support his statements, not on scientific data of the psychological processes to which he refers. Actually, he explains that his techniques work but does not develop “why it works” or really “how it works”.
My rating :
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Summary and Book Review of “The leader in you “
This is another of Dale Carnegie’s iconic books. Updated in 1995, it presents 16 fundamental principles that are easy to use and apply on a daily basis to identify and develop your leadership skills.
These 16 principles are set out in 16 chapters. These are summarised below:
1 – Find the leader in you
For Dale Carnegie the first step is to identify your leadership qualities:
- Identify your abilities and don’t mimic others: the best leadership techniques are the ones we develop from within; it often requires you to discover who you really are.
- Lead by example: Actions are much more powerful than words, Carnegie believes.
2 – Start with communication
Communication is based on a foundation of trust. To do this, you must:
- Make it your top priority to communicate.
- Be accessible to others, whether they are superior, subordinate or colleagues.
- Create an environment of trust, one that encourages discussion.
3 – Inspire other people
Dale Carnegie believes that the only way to get someone to do something is to make them want to do it. The person must have a strong sense that the work they carry out is with the purpose of a worthwhile goal that is significant to them and to us. For example, Dale Carnegie recommends that:
- Demonstrate trust, respect and consideration.
- Involve your employees.
- Deal with people compassionately.
- Praise a job well done and give regular and frequent compliments.
4 – Show genuine interest in other people
There is nothing more effective! People respond well to those who show an interest in them. Expressions of interest are the key to human relations.
5 – Learn to look at things from the other person’s perspective
It is crucial to remove yourself from your environment to explore what is important to others.
6 – Learn to listen
- If you listen it’s both the most effective way to learn and to get a positive response from others.
- No one is more persuasive than an attentive listener.
- To listen actively is much more than just to hear. This involves full engagement in the conversation, which demands full involvement, with questions and encouragement.
- “To listen well” is better than “to talk well”
7 – Work together for the future
Good team members are tomorrow’s leaders. A modern business can no longer be a boss/subordinate pyramid structure. It must be arranged in teams. However, a strong leader is essential to lead the team and harness its energy.
Eight key leadership techniques to lead a team:
- Develop a shared sense of a common purpose;
- Identify individual differences and use them for the benefit of the team;
- Make each team member responsible for the team’s result;
- Have most decisions come from the group, where possible;
- Share credit and accept blame:
- Grasp every opportunity to increase team confidence:
- Be and stay involved:
- Be a mentor.
8 – Show respect and dignity to others
Genuine respect for others is the most effective way to motivate. To create an environment of well-being and respect, Dale Carnegie suggests that you:
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
- Treat employees as colleagues, with equal respect, without rebuke or reprimand
- Engage people, challenge, seek advice and encourage cooperation
- Make the business more people-focused
9 – Promote, praise, reward
Motivation doesn’t just relate to money, there are also other important incentives. Recognition that encourages self-respect and respect from others is also a powerful motivation tool.
10 – Deal with mistakes, complaints and criticisms
- Admit your own mistakes.
- Avoid criticism or condemnation, if not be constructive: kindness is much more effective than accusations or if you raise your voice at someone.
- Set an atmosphere of openness.
11 – Set your own targets
Dale Carnegie advises that they are:
- Realistic, inspire people, clear and measurable objectives for the short and long term, to give you a target to aim for and to evaluate your success.
- Small interim objectives: most of the main challenges are more effectively tackled when the objectives are a series of interim goals; it is a process that leads to more encouragement and motivation.
- Priorities of our objectives.
12 – Concentrate on a single guideline
Leaders never lose sight of what they want. They keep their objective in perspective. It is important to have a clear objective in mind that you are determined to achieve, that you believe in, that you will persevere with and not be distracted from.
13 – Keep the balance right
It is vital to balance your life and allow yourself time to do things other than work. This not only makes you happier and gives you satisfaction, but it also gives you more energy, helps concentration and increases your efficiency at work.
14 – Develop a positive mental attitude
- We are what we think we are: our surroundings have little effect on our personal happiness; in reality, what is important is how we react to these factors.
- Your attitude influences those around you, both positively and negatively: a positive attitude is the secret to a happy life and a successful career; it is the foundation of a good leadership.
15 – Learn how to cope with stress
- It is important to learn to control stress and focus on the present moment.
- It is not circumstances that make you happy or unhappy, it is how you react to them.
- However, when you don’t have any other choice, it is important not to feel disappointed or resentful and rather to deal with the results that will follow.
16 – Demonstrate your enthusiasm
- The impact of enthusiasm should not be underestimated. It:
- Is contagious and makes people react: the ideal way to get excited about an idea, project or campaign is to be enthusiastic and make it obvious.
- Comes from within.
- Consists of two elements: passion and trust.
- Has as much importance as certain skills or hard work.
- Can’t be faked but can be created and nurtured.
- Is conveyed by our actions rather than by words: we convey enthusiasm through our eyes, our body language.
Book review of “The leader in you” by Dale Carnegie
The advice given by Dale Carnegie is actually quite simple. It just requires actual implementation and effort.
The book is a short, practical and pragmatic guide that provides the basics of leadership in a very user-friendly way. These principles, if implemented into our family, social and professional lives, can make a real difference and deliver personal and professional benefits!
To achieve the leadership qualities outlined within the book does not require a doctorate in psychology or a degree in management, only a desire to lead an even better life!
“The leader in you” is, therefore, a book that I recommend to anyone who wishes to improve the quality of their professional and personal leadership through basic advice and common sense.
Strong Points :
- Appropriate advice and informative examples make this book a real practical guide to people skills and leadership;
- The principles outlined are simple and only require you to invest your personal time to apply them in your daily life;
- The book, with plenty of examples, stories and practical ideas, is easy to read.
Weak Points :
- Mostly common sense with some very basic advice. However, given its title, one could expect more from the book.
My rating :
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Dale Carnegie said…
On human relationships
- “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
- “You may know a lot about a person – all bad. But there may be one thing that you don’t know about them, which would completely change your opinion if you knew about it.”
- “And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours? For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give.”
- “First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”
- “Remember a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
- “People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.”
- “Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”
- “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”
- “Happiness does not depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”
- “Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.”
- “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
- “Get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don’t put off being happy until some future date.”
- “Today is the beginning of the rest of your life.”
- “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”
On success and achievement
- “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
- “You’ll never achieve real success unless you like what you’re doing.”
- “Patience and perseverance will accomplish more in this world than a brilliant dash. Remember that when something goes wrong.”
- “Actions speak louder than words.”
- “A man who is unwilling finds an excuse. A man who is, finds a way.”
- “We become like that on which our hearts are fixed.”
- “A man usually has two reasons for doing a thing: the one that sounds good and the real one!”
On the art of how to influence others
- Very important people have told me that they prefer good listeners to good talkers.”
- “When you want to convince, remember that it is more effective to use emotions than intelligence.”
- “The obvious is what people need to be told.”
- “Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.”
- “Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
- “Inaction breeds doubt and fear.”
- “Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”
On mistakes and failures
- “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.”
- “Let’s admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm.”
- “The public opens its heart and mind to those who talk of their mistakes or weaknesses with humour. On the contrary, the one who presents himself as a “perfect being” or an expert who knows everything, leaves the audience cold and indifferent.”
- “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
- “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive.”
Do you know of any other quotes from Dale Carnegie that could inspire people? Have you read Dale Carnegie’s books or heard of his methods? Did it change your life? Feel free to share your comments on the subject!