12 timeless lessons from the 1937 classic ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ the book Warren Buffett says transformed his life

warren buffett

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett credits Dale Carnegie’s teachings with transforming his life.
Buffett studied Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” when he was 15.
Its main principles focus on persuading people through charm and confidence rather than aggression.
It is one of the all-time best-selling books, and is the only nonfiction title in the most-checked-out books from the New York Public Library.
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There’s only one nonfiction title in the top 10 of the most-checked-out books from the New York Public Library — with 284,524 checkouts — and it’s the self-help classic, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Since its publication in 1937, it has sold a reported 30 million copies. Among fans of its practical techniques on persuading people through charm and confidence is Berkshire Hathaway CEO, Warren Buffett.

When Buffett was 15 years old, he found a copy of Carnegie’s book on his grandfather’s bookshelf. As Alice Schroeder writes in her biography of the billionaire investor, “The Snowball,” Buffett was having difficulty fitting in at high school, and so the title was too much to resist.

The insights Carnegie includes in the book were honed in his years as a young salesman, and then solidified in public speaking classes he taught at YMCAs. His book grew out of those classes, and made an impact on Americans, who were still recovering from the Great Depression and dealing with its aftereffects. “How to Win Friends & Influence People” provided Americans with hope for a better life, and equipped them with tools for surviving an increasingly consumerist society.

Buffett saw the book as a means of shedding his social awkwardness, and began experimenting with Carnegie’s instructions, Schroeder wrote. That didn’t happen overnight, but he found that he was making progress and ingrained all of Carnegie’s advice within himself.

Several years later, at the start of his career, he took one of Carnegie’s famous public speaking courses courses. And while Buffett may have a master’s degree from Columbia University, to this day the Carnegie class’ diploma is the only one of Buffett’s hanging in his office. He said in the 2017 HBO documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett,” that he credits Carnegie’s teachings with transforming his life.

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” contains some dated language and references, but its fundamental insights are just as applicable today as it they were during the late 1930s or when a young, insecure Buffett picked up a copy.

We’ve summarized some of its main lessons on how to be a likable, persuasive, and influential leader.

1. Avoid criticizing, condemning, or complaining

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain — and most fools do,” Carnegie wrote. “But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

Carnegie explained that those in leadership positions should acknowledge when a subordinate is not meeting expectations or when a competitor’s approach is inferior to their own, but do so in a way that acknowledges what is working, avoiding resentment and …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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