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How To Win Friends & Influence People: Highlights From Dale Carnegie's Golden Book

The fundamentals of success in this life and our work don't change. And for thousands of years (go read the letters from the Apostle Paul and the proverbs of King Solomon) great men have shared these not so secret secrets.

One of those great leaders is Dale Carnegie. And its the memory of his Golden Book that recently prompted me to revisit it. 

My Introduction To Dale Carnegie

After first launching my marketing business, I attended numerous network events as a powerful way to drum up new paid projects. Somewhere along the way, I was lucky enough to win complimentary participation in a Dale Carnegie course on winning friends and influencing people. 

Up until that point, I'd not heard of him or his work, so it took some time for me to fully appreciate the value of this gift. After participating, I later coached the program twice. All three of my experiences were transformational seasons of my life. 

So while Dale Carnegie has been dead since 1955, his life and work have directly changed the trajectory of my journey.

Let Me Introduce You To The Golden Book Principles

The subtitle is Principles from How To Win Friends And Influence People (Affiliate). If you've read it, you'll be familiar with the following three sections I sought to reflect on. They explore friendship, persuasion, and leadership.


First, is how to become a friendlier person. Here are the nine principles in this section.

  • 1. Don't criticize, condemn, or complain
  • 2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.
  • 3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
  • 4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • 5. Smile.
  • 6. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • 7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • 8. Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
  • 9. Make the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.


The second section is geared towards winning people to our way of thinking. It was this section, in particular, I was interested in revisiting as part of my Last Jedi betterment series.

  • 10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  • 11. Show respect for the other person's opinion. Never say, "You're wrong".
  • 12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  • 13. Begin in a friendly way.
  • 14. Get the other person saying "yes, yes" immediately.
  • 15. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  • 16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  • 17. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
  • 18. Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires.
  • 19. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  • 20. Dramatize your ideas.
  • 21. Throw down a challenge.


The third and final section is oriented around how to be a leader.

  • 22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  • 23. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
  • 24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  • 25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  • 26. Let the other person save face.
  • 27. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be "hearty" in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
  • 28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  • 29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  • 30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Remembering These Principles

Even transcribing these principles is a helpful reminder to me. And, if you've known me for some time, you'll know how much I practice and strive towards these on a regular basis (many times, failing along the way). 

Ultimately, these principles are derived by and exemplified by the life of Jesus of Nazareth. And since I seek to embrace His life as part of my personal purpose, this perspective provides a powerful set of guidelines to live it daily.

As I survey the political landscape, especially across social media platforms, it's these principles we must embrace now more than ever. The list of what's happening across the nation is quite literally a list of items completely opposite of what's in the golden book.

For us parents, it's important we teach our children to live and operate this way with others so when they grow old, they too can uplift and influence in such a positive way. I'm extremely grateful to my parents, family, and community growing up for conveying this message to me. 

Dale Carnegie's concepts are a helpful reminder, and a correction for seasons of our life when we get off track. Let's take the time to absorb, reflect, and remember them regularly. 

Hero Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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