No, this is not a picture of Harry S. Truman, but it definitely had me fooled. Nope, this is Dale Carnegie. I've been on this Dale Carnegie kick for the last month or so. And quite honestly it kind of bugs me, because I really didn't enjoy the course when I was "encouraged" to take it after starting my first job out of grad school. For those of you not familiar with DC, he was maybe the first hugely successful self-help/motivational speaker, who wrote the mega-hit How To Win Friends and Influence People back in 1937. So you can blame him for the rise of the "If-You-Can-See-It-You-Can-Be-It" industry, aka motivational speakers. But I digress...
Even though I really wasn't "feeling" the course (partly because I was all of twenty-four years old when I took it), the book made some good points when it comes to how people want to be treated. And by treating them the with a lot of dap ('80s flashback word meaning respect) you improve your chances of making them like you - really really like you. To the point that they'll trust you enough to buy stuff from you.
Although the book was written over 70 years ago, the principles still stand. And if you apply them using today's social media tools they can really work for you. So that's why every time I've been asked lately by traditional small business types who are trying to make sense of the web, I tell them just think what Dale C. would do with blogs, social networks and other things that people are using to reach more people, in a more meaningful way than ever before.
I came up with a few examples for how some of Carnegie's concepts are being used today for my weekly online column for BlackEnterprise.com.