WHEN you do not
know what to do or
which way to turn,
smile. This will relax
your mind and let the
sunshine of happiness
into your soul.

“You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!”

BEFORE you proceed to the mastery of this
lesson your attention is directed to the fact that there
is perfect co-ordination of thought running throughout
this course.

You will observe that the entire sixteen lessons
harmonize and blend with each other so that they
constitute a perfect chain that has been built, link by
link, out of the factors that enter into the development
of power through organized effort.

You will observe, also, that the same fundamental
principles of Applied Psychology form the foundation
of each of these sixteen lessons, although different
application is made of these principles in each of the

This lesson, on Initiative and leadership, follows
the lesson on Self-confidence for the reason that no
one could become an efficient leader or take the
initiative in any great undertaking without belief in

Initiative and leadership are associated terms in
this lesson for the reason that Leadership is essential
for the attainment of Success, and Initiative is the
very foundation upon which this necessary quality of
Leadership is built. Initiative is as essential to success
as a hub is essential to a wagon wheel.

And what is Initiative?

It is that exceedingly rare quality that prompts –
nay, impels – a person to do that which ought to be
done without being told to do it. Elbert Hubbard
expressed himself on the subject of Initiative in the

“The world bestows its big prizes, both in money
and honors, for one thing, and that is Initiative.

“What is initiative? I’ll tell you: It is doing the
right thing without being told.

“But next to doing the right thing without being
told is to do it when you are told once. That is say,
‘Carry the message to Garcia.’ Those who can carry a
message get high honors, but their pay is not always
in proportion.

“Next, there are those who do the right thing
when necessity kicks them from behind, and these ‘get
indifference instead of honors, and a pittance for pay.

“This kind spend most of the time polishing a
bench with a hard luck story.

“Then, still lower down in the scale than this we
have the fellow who will not do the right thing even
when someone goes along to show him how and stays
to see that he does it; he is always out of a job, a
receives the contempt he deserves, unless he has a
rich pa, in which case destiny patiently waits around
1 1 1 6 comer with a stuffed club.

“To which class do you belong?”

Inasmuch as you will be expected to take
inventory of yourself and determine which of the
fifteen factors of this course you need most, after you
have completed the sixteenth lesson, it may be well if
you begin to get ready for this analysis by answering
the question that Elbert Hubbard has asked

To which class do you belong?

One of the peculiarities of Leadership is the fact
that it is never found in those who have not acquired
the habit of taking the initiative. Leadership is
something that you must invite yourself into; it will
never thrust itself upon you. If you will carefully
analyze all leaders whom you know you will see that
they not only exercised Initiative, but they went about
their work with a definite purpose in mind. You will
also see that they possessed that quality described in
the third lesson of this course, Self-confidence.

These facts are mentioned in this lesson for the
reason that it will profit you to observe that
successful people make use of all the factors covered
by the sixteen lessons of the course; and, for the more
important reason that it will profit you to understand
thoroughly the principle of organized effort which this
Reading Course is intended to establish in your mind.

This seems an appropriate place to state that this
course is not intended as a short-cut to success, nor is
it intended as a mechanical formula that you may use
in noteworthy achievement without effort on your
part. The real value of the course lies in the use that
you will make of it, and not in the course itself. The
chief purpose of the course is to help you develop in
yourself the fifteen qualities covered by the sixteen
lessons of the course, and one of the most important
of these qualities is Initiative, the subject of this

We will now proceed to apply the principle upon
which this lesson is founded by describing, in detail,
just how it served successfully to complete a business
transaction which most people would call difficult.

In 1916 I needed $25,000.00 with which to create
an educational institution, but I had neither this sum
nor sufficient collateral with which to borrow it
through the usual banking sources. Did I bemoan my
fate or think of what I might accomplish if some rich
relative or Good Samaritan would come to my rescue
by loaning me the necessary capital?

I did nothing of the sort!

I did just what you will be advised, throughout
this course, to do. First of all, I made the securing of
this capital my definite chief aim. Second, I laid out a
complete plan through which to transform this aim
into reality. Backed by sufficient Self-confidence and
spurred on by Initiative, I proceeded to put my plan
into action. But, before the “action” stage of the plan
had been reached, more than six weeks of constant,
persistent study and effort and thought were embodied
in it. If a plan is to be sound it must be built of
carefully chosen material.

You will here observe the application of the
principle of organized effort, through the operation of
which it is possible for one to ally or associate several
interests in such a way that each of these interests is
greatly strengthened and each supports all the others,
just as one link in a chain supports all the other links.

I wanted this $25,000.00 in capital for the purpose of
creating a school of Advertising and
Salesmanship. Two things were necessary for the
organization of such a school. One was the $25,000.00
capital, which I did not have, and the other was the
proper course of instruction, which / did have. My
problem was to ally myself with some group of men
who needed that which I had, and who would supply
the $25,000.00. This alliance had to be made through
a plan that would benefit all concerned.

After my plan had been completed, and I was
satisfied that it was equitable and sound, I laid it
before the owner of a well known and reputable
business college which just then was finding
competition quite keen and was badly in need of a
plan for meeting this competition.

My plan was presented in about these words:

Whereas, you have one of the most reputable
business colleges in the city; and,

Whereas, you need some plan with which to meet
the stiff competition in your field; and,

Whereas, your good reputation has provided you
with all the credit you need; and,

Whereas, I have the plan that will help you meet
this competition successfully.

Be it resolved, that we ally ourselves through a
plan that will give you that which you need and at the
same time supply me with something which I need.

Then I proceeded to unfold my plan, further, in
these words:

I have written a very practical course on
Advertising and Salesmanship. Having built this
course out of my actual experience in training and
directing salesmen and my experience in planning and

THE space you occupy and the authority you
exercise may be measured with mathematical
exactness by the service you render.

Directing many successful advertising campaigns, I
have back of it plenty of evidence of its soundness.

If you will use your credit in helping market this
course I will place it in your business college, as one
of the regular departments of your curriculum and take
entire charge of this newly created department. No
other business college in the city will be able to meet
your competition, for the reason that no other college
has such a course as this. The advertising that you do
in marketing this course will serve, also, to stimulate
the demand for your regular business course. You may
charge the entire amount that you spend for this
advertising, to my department, and the advertising bill
will be paid out of that department, leaving you the
accumulative advantage that will accrue to your other
departments without cost to you.

Now, I suppose you will want to know where I
profit by this transaction, and I will tell you. I want
you to enter into a contract with me in which it will
be agreed that when the cash receipts from my
department equal the amount that you have paid out or
contracted to pay out for advertising, my department
and my course in Advertising and Salesmanship
become my own and I may have the privilege of
separating this department from your school and
running it under my own name.

The plan was agreeable and the contract was

(Please keep in mind that my definite purpose was
to secure the use of $25,000.00 for which I had no
security to offer.)

In a little less than a year the Business College
had paid out slightly more than $25,000.00 for
advertising and marketing my course and the other expenses
incidental to the operation of this newly
organized department, while the department had
collected and, turned back to the College, in tuition
fees, a sum equaling the amount the College had
spent, and I took the department over, as a going and
self-sustaining business, according to the terms of my

As a matter of fact this newly created department
not only served to attract students for the other
departments of the College, but at the same time the
tuition fees collected through this new department
were sufficient to place it on a self-sustaining basis
before the end of the first year.

Now you can see that while the College did not’
loan me one penny of actual capital, it nevertheless
supplied me with credit which served exactly the same

I said that my plan was founded upon equity; that
it contemplated a benefit to all parties concerned. The
benefit accruing to me was the use of the $25,000.00,
which resulted in an established and self-sustaining
business by the end of the first year. The

enefit accruing to the college was the students
secured cured for its regular commercial and business
course as a result of the money spent in advertising
my department, all advertising having been done under
the name of the College.

Today that business college is one of the most
successful schools of its kind, and it stands as a
monument of sound evidence with which to
demonstrate the value of allied effort.

This incident has been related, not alone because
it shows the value of initiative and leadership, but for
the reason that it leads up to the subject covered by
the next lesson of this Reading Course on the Law of
Success, which is imagination.

There are generally many plans through the
operation of which a desired object may be achieved,
and it often happens to be true that the obvious and
usual methods employed are not the best. The usual
method of procedure, in the case related, would have
been that of borrowing from a bank. You can see that
this method was impractical, in this case, for the
reason that no collateral was available.

A great philosopher once said: “Initiative is the
pass-key that opens the door to opportunity. ”

I do not recall who this philosopher was, but I
know that he was great because of the soundness of
his statement.

We will now proceed to outline the exact
procedure that you must follow if you are to become a
person of initiative and leadership.

First: You must master the habit of
procrastination and eliminate it from your make-up.
This habit of putting off until tomorrow that which
you should have done last week or last year or a score
of years ago is gnawing at the very vitals of your
being, and you can accomplish nothing until you
throw it off.

The method through which you eliminate
procrastination is based upon a well known and
scientifically tested principle of psychology which has
been referred to in the two preceding lessons of this
course as Autosuggestion.

Copy the following formula and place it
conspicuously in your room where you will see it as
you retire at night and as you arise in the morning:


Having chosen a definite chief aim as my life-
work I now understand it to be my duty to transform
this purpose into reality.

Therefore, I will form the habit of taking some
definite action each day that will carry me one step
nearer the attainment of my definite chief aim.

I know that procrastination is a deadly enemy of
all who would become leaders in any undertaking, and
I will eliminate this habit from my make-up by:

{a) Doing some one definite thing each day, that
ought to be done, without anyone telling me to do it.

(b) Looking around until I find at least one thing
that I can do each day, that I have not been in the
habit of doing, and that will be of value to others,
without expectation of pay.

(c) Telling at least one other person, each day, of
the value of practicing this habit of doing something
that ought to be done without being told to do it.

I can see that the muscles of the body become
strong in proportion to the extent to which they are
used, therefore I understand that the habit of initiative
also becomes fixed in proportion to the extent that it
is practiced.

I realize that the place to begin developing the
habit of initiative is in the small, commonplace things
connected with my daily work, therefore I will go at
my work each day as if I were doing it solely for the
purpose of developing this necessary habit of

I understand that by practicing this habit of
taking the initiative in connection with my daily work
I will be not only developing that habit, but I will also
be attracting the attention of those who will place
greater value on my services as a result of this


Regardless of what you are now doing, every day
brings you face to face with a chance to render some
service, outside of the course of your regular duties,
that will be of value to others. In rendering this
additional service, of your own accord, you of course
understand that you are not doing so with the object of
receiving monetary pay. You are rendering this
service because it provides you with ways and means
of exercising, developing and making stronger the
aggressive spirit of initiative which you must possess
before you can ever become an outstanding figure in
the affairs of your chosen field of life-work.

Those who work for money alone, and who
receive for their pay nothing but money, are always
underpaid, no matter how much they receive. Money is
necessary, but the big prizes of life cannot be
measured in dollars and cents.

No amount of money could possibly be made to
take the place of the happiness and joy and pride that
belong to the person who digs a better ditch, or builds
a better chicken coop, or sweeps a cleaner floor, or
cooks a better meal. Every normal person loves to
create something that is better than the average. The
joy of creating a work of art is a joy that cannot be
replaced by money or any other form of material

I have in my employ a young lady who opens,

WHAT helped you over the great
obstacles of life?” was
asked of a highly successful man.
“The other obstacles,” he replied.

assorts and answers much of my personal mail. She
began in my employ more than three years ago. Then
her duties were to take dictation when she was asked
to do so. Her salary was about the same as that which
others receive for similar service. One day I dictated
the following motto which I asked her to typewrite for

Remember that your only limitation is the one
that you set up in your own mind.

As she handed the typewritten page back to me
she said, “Your motto has given me an idea that is
going to be of value to both you and me.”

I told her I was glad to have been of service to
her. The incident made no particular impression on my
mind, but from that day on I could see that it had
made a tremendous impression on her mind. She began
to come back to the office after supper and performed
service that she was neither paid for nor expected to
perform. Without anyone telling her to do it she began
to bring to my desk letters that she had answered for
me. She had studied my style and these letters were
attended to as well as I could have done it; in some
instances much better. She kept up this habit until my
personal secretary resigned. When I began to look for
someone to take his place, what was more natural than
to turn to this young woman to fill the place. Before I
had time to give her the position she took it on her
initiative. My personal mail began to come to my desk
with a new secretary’s name attached, and she was that
secretary. On her own time, after hours, without
additional pay, she had prepared herself for the best
position on my staff.

But that is not all. This young lady became so
noticeably efficient that she began to attract the
attention of others who offered her attractive
positions. I have increased her salary many times and
she now receives a salary more than four times as
large as the amount she received when she first went
to work for me as an ordinary stenographer, and, to
tell you the truth, I am helpless in the matter, because
she has made herself so valuable to me that I cannot
get along without her.

That is initiative transformed into practical,
understandable terms. I would be remiss in my duties
if I failed to direct your attention to an advantage,
other than a greatly increased salary, that this young
lady’s initiative has brought her. It has developed in
her a spirit of cheerfulness that brings her happiness
which most stenographers never know. Her work is not
work-it is a great interesting game at which she is
playing. Even though she arrives at the office ahead of
the regular stenographers and remains there long after
they have watched the clock tick off five o’clock and
quitting time, her hours are shorter by far than are
those of the other workers. Hours of labor do not drag
on the hands of those who are happy at their work.

This brings us to the next step in our description
of the exact procedure that you must follow in
developing initiative and leadership.

Second: You of course understand that the only
way to get happiness is by giving it away, to others.
The same applies to the development of initiative.
You can best develop this essential quality in yourself
by making it your business to interest those around
you in doing the same. It is a well known fact that a
man learns best that which he endeavors to teach
others. If a man embraces a certain creed or religious
faith, the first thing he does is to go out and try to
“sell” it to others. And in exact proportion to the
extent to which he impresses others does he impress

In the field of salesmanship it is a well known
fact that no salesman is successful in selling others
until he has first made a good job of selling himself.
Stated conversely, no salesman can do his best to sell
others without sooner or later selling himself that
which he is trying to sell to others.

Any statement that a person repeats over and over
again for the purpose of inducing others to believe it,
he, also, will come to believe, and this holds good
whether the statement is false or true.

You can now see the advantage of making it your
business to talk initiative, think initiative, eat
initiative, sleep initiative and practice initiative. By
so doing you are becoming a person of initiative and
leadership, for it is a well known fact that people will
readily, willingly and voluntarily follow the person
who shows by his actions that he is a person of

In the place where you work or the community in
which you live you come in contact with other people.
Make it your business to interest every one of them
who will listen to you, in the development of
initiative. It will not be necessary for you to give your
reasons for doing this, nor will it be necessary for you
to announce the fact that you are doing it. Just go
ahead and do it. In your own mind you will
understand, of course, that you are doing it because
this practice will help you and will, at least, do those
whom you influence in the same practice no harm.

If you wish to try an experiment that will prove
both interesting and profitable to you, pick out some
person of your acquaintance whom you know to be a
person who never does anything that he is not
expected to do, and begin selling him your idea of
initiative. Do not stop by merely discussing the
subject once; keep it up every time you have a
convenient opportunity. Approach the subject from a
different angle each time. If you go at this experiment
in a tactful and forceful manner you will soon observe
a change in the person on whom you are trying the

And, you will observe something else of more
importance still: You will observe a change in

Do not fail to try this experiment.

You cannot talk initiative to others without
developing a desire to practice it yourself. Through
the operation of the principle of Auto-suggestion
every statement that you make to others leaves its
imprint on your own subconscious mind, and this
holds good whether your statements are false or true.

You have often heard the saying: “He who lives
by the sword will die by the sword.”

Properly interpreted, this simply means that we
are constantly attracting to ourselves and weaving into
our own characters and personalities those qualities
which our influence is helping to create in others. If
we help others develop the habit of initiative, we, in
turn, develop this same habit. If we sow the seeds of
hatred and envy and discouragement in others, we, in
turn, develop these qualities in ourselves. This
principle through which a man comes to resemble in
his own nature those whom he most admires is fully
brought out in Hawthorne’s story, The Great Stone
Face, a story that every parent should have his
offspring read.

We come, now, to the next step in our description
of the exact procedure that you must follow in
developing initiative and leadership.

Third: Before we go further let it be understood
what is meant by the term “Leadership,” as it is used
in connection with this Reading Course on the Law of
Success. There are two brands of leadership, and one
of them is as deadly and destructive as the other is
helpful and constructive. The deadly brand, which
leads not to success, but to absolute failure, is the
brand adopted by pseudo-leaders who force their
leadership on unwilling followers. It will not be
necessary here to describe this brand or to point out
the fields of endeavor in which it is practiced, with
the exception of the field of war, and in this field we
will mention but one notable example, that of

Napoleon was a leader; there can be no doubt
about this, but he led his followers and himself to
destruction. The details are recorded in the history of
France and the French people, where you may study
them if you choose.

It is not Napoleon’s brand of leadership that is
recommended in this course, although I will admit that
Napoleon possessed all the necessary fundamentals for
great leadership, excepting one-he lacked the spirit of
helpfulness to others as an objective. His desire for
the power that comes through leadership was based
solely upon self-aggrandizement. His desire for
leadership was built upon personal ambition and not

CHERISH your visions
and your dreams as they
are the children of your
soul; the blue-prints of
your ultimate achievements.

upon the desire to lift the French people to a higher
and nobler station in the affairs of nations.

The brand of leadership that is recommended
through this course of instruction is the brand which
leads to self-determination and freedom and self-
development and enlightenment and justice. This is
the brand that endures. For example, and as a contrast
with the brand of leadership through which Napoleon
raised himself into prominence, consider our own
American commoner, Lincoln. The object of his
leadership was to bring truth and justice and
understanding to the people of the United States. Even
though he died a martyr to his belief in this brand of
leadership, his name has been engraved upon the heart
of the world in terms of loving kindliness that will
never bring aught but good to the world.

Both Lincoln and Napoleon led armies in warfare,
but the objects of their leadership were as different as
night is different from day. If it would give you a
better understanding of the principles upon which this
Reading Course is based, you could easily be cited to
leadership of today which resembles both the brand
that Napoleon employed and that which Lincoln made
the foundation of his life-work, but this is not
essential; your own ability to look around and analyze
men who take the leading parts in all lines of
endeavor is sufficient to enable you to pick out the
Lincoln as well as the Napoleon types. Your own
judgment will help you decide which type you prefer
to emulate.

There can be no doubt in your mind as to the
brand of leadership that is recommended in this
Reading Course, and there should be no question in
your mind as to which of the two brands described you
will adopt as your brand. We make no
recommendations on this subject, however, for the
reason that this Reading Course has been prepared as
a means of laying before its students the fundamental
principles upon which power is developed, and not as
a preachment on ethical conduct. We present both the
constructive and the destructive possibilities of the
principles outlined in this course, that you may
become familiar with both, but we leave entirely to
your own discretion the choice and application of
these principles, believing that your own intelligence
will guide you to make a wise selection.


In every field of human endeavor, he that is first
must perpetually live in the white light of publicity.
Whether the leadership be vested in a man or in a
manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at

In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the
reward and the punishment are always the same. The
reward is widespread recognition; the punishments
fierce denial and detraction.

When a man’s work becomes a standard for the
whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of
the envious few. If his work be merely mediocre, he
will be left severely alone – if he achieve a
masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging.

Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at
the artist who produces a commonplace painting.

*(With the compliments of the Cadillac Motor Car Co.)

Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing
or build, no one will strive to surpass or slander you,
unless your work be stamped with the seal of a genius.

Long, long after a great work or a good work has
been done, those who are disappointed or envious
continue to cry out that it cannot be done.

Mean voices were raised against the author of the
Law of Success before the ink was dry on the first
textbooks. Poisoned pens were released against both
the author and the philosophy the moment the first
edition of the course was printed.

Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were
raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long
after the big world acclaimed him its greatest artistic

Multitudes flocked to Beyreuth to worship at the
musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of
those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued
angrily that he was no musician at all.

The little world continued to protest that Fulton
could never build a steamboat, while the big world
flocked to the river banks to see his boat steam by.

Small, narrow voices cried out that Henry Ford
would not last another year, but above and beyond the
din of their childish prattle Ford went silently about
his business and made himself the richest and most
powerful man on earth.

The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and
the effort to equal him is merely added proof of his

Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to
depreciate and to destroy – but only confirms the
superiority of that which he strives to supplant.

There is nothing new in this.

It is as old as the world and as old as the human
passions – envy, fear, greed, ambition and the desire
to surpass.

And it all avails nothing.

If the leader truly leads, he remains the LEADER!

Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman,
each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels
through the ages.

That which is good or great makes itself known,
no matter how loud the clamor of denial.

A real leader cannot be slandered or damaged by
lies of the envious, because all such attempts serve
only to turn the spot-light on his ability, and real
ability always finds a generous following.

Attempts to destroy real Leadership is love’s
labor lost, because that which deserves to live, lives!

We come back, now, to the discussion of the third
step of the procedure that you must follow in
developing initiative and leadership. This third step
takes us back for a review of the principle of
organized effort, as described in the preceding lessons
of this course.

You have already learned that no man can
accomplish enduring results of a far-reaching nature
without the aid and co-operation of others. You have
already learned that when two or more persons ally
themselves in any undertaking, in a spirit of harmony
and understanding, each person in the alliance thereby
multiplies his own powers of achievement. Nowhere is
this principle more evidenced than it is in an industry
or business in which there is perfect team-work between
the employer and the employees. Wherever you
find this team-work you find prosperity and goodwill
on both sides.

Co-operation is said to be the most important
word in the English language. It plays an important
part in the affairs of the home, in the relationship of
man and wife, parents and children. It plays an
important part in the affairs of state. So important is
this principle of co-operation that no leader can
become powerful or last long who does not understand
and apply it in his leadership.

Lack of Co-operation has destroyed more
business enterprises than have all other causes
combined. In my twenty-five years of active business
experience and observation I have witnessed the
destruction of all manner of business enterprises
because of dissension and lack of application of this
principle of Co-operation. In the practice of law I
have observed the destruction of homes and divorce
cases without end as a result of the lack of Co-
operation between man and wife. In the study of the
histories of nations it becomes alarmingly obvious
that lack of Co-operative effort has been a curse to the
human race all back down the ages. Turn back the
pages of these histories and study them and you will
learn a lesson in Co-operation, that will impress itself
indelibly upon your mind.

You are paying, and your children and your
children’s children will continue to pay, for the cost of
the most expensive and destructive war the world has
ever known, because nations have not yet learned that
a part of the world cannot suffer without damage and
suffering to the whole world.

SERVICE, Sacrifice
and Self-Control are
three words which
must be well understood
by the person
who succeeds in doing
something that is of
help to the world.

This same rule applies, with telling effect, in the
conduct of modern business and industry. When an
industry becomes disorganized and torn asunder by
strikes and other forms of disagreement, both the
employers and employees suffer irreparable loss. But,
the damage does not stop here; this loss becomes a
burden to the public and takes on the form of higher
prices and scarcity of the necessities of life.

The people of the United States who rent their
homes are feeling the burden, at this very moment, of
lack of co-operation between contractors and builders
and the workers. So uncertain has the relationship
between the contractors and their employees become
that the contractors will not undertake a building
without adding to the cost an arbitrary sum sufficient
to protect them in the event of labor troubles. This
additional cost increases rents and places unnecessary
burdens upon the backs of millions of people. In this
instance the lack of co-operation between a few men
places heavy and almost unbearable burdens upon
millions of people.

The same evil exists in the operation of our
railroads. Lack of harmony and co-operation between
the railroad management and the workers has made it
necessary for the railroads to increase their freight
and passenger rates, and this, in turn, has increased
the cost of life’s necessities to almost unbearable
proportions. Here, again, lack of co-operation between
a few leads to hardship for millions of people.

These facts are cited without effort or desire to
place the responsibility for this lack of co-operation,
since the object of this Reading Course is to help its
students get at facts.

It may be truthfully stated that the high cost of
living that everywhere manifests itself today has
grown out of lack of application of the principle of
co-operative leadership. Those who wish to decry
present systems of government and industrial
management may do so, but in the final analysis it
becomes obvious to all except those who are not
seeking the truth that the evils of government and of
industry have grown out of lack of co-operation.

Nor can it be truthfully said that all the evils of
the world are confined to the affairs of state and
industry. Take a look at the churches and you will
observe the damaging effects of lack of co-operation.
No particular church is cited, but analyze any church
or group of churches where lack of co-ordination of
effort prevails and you will see evidence of
disintegration that limits the service those churches
could render. For example, take the average town or
small city where rivalry has sprung up between the
churches and notice what has happened; especially
those towns in which the number of churches is far out
of proportion to the population.

Through harmonized effort and through co-
operation, the churches of the world could wield
sufficient influence to render war an impossibility.
Through this same principle of co-operative effort the
churches and the leaders of business and industry
could eliminate rascality and sharp practices, and all
this could be brought about speedily.

These possibilities are not mentioned in a spirit
of criticism, but only as a means of illustrating the
power of co-operation, and to emphasize my belief in
the potential power of the churches of the world. So
there will be no possibility of misinterpretation of my
meaning in the reference that I have here made to the
churches I will repeat that which I have so often said
in person; namely, that had it not been for the
influence of the churches no man would be safe in
walking down the street. Men would be at each other’s
throat like wolves and civilization would still be in
the pre-historic age. My complaint is not against the
work that the churches have done, but the work that
they could have done through leadership that was
based upon the principle of co-ordinated, co-operative
effort which would have carried civilization at least a
thousand years ahead of where it is today. It is not yet
too late for such leadership.

That you may more fully grasp the fundamental
principle of co-operative effort you are urged to go to
the public library and read The Science of Power, by
Benjamin Kidd. Out of scores of volumes by some of
the soundest thinkers of the world that I have read
during the past fifteen years, no single volume has
given me such a full understanding of the possibilities
of co-operative effort as has this book. In
recommending that you read this book it is not my
purpose to endorse the book in its entirety, for it
offers some theories with which I am not in accord. If
you read it, do so with an open mind and take from it
only that which you feel you can use to advantage in
achieving the object of your definite chief aim. The
book will stimulate thought, which is the greatest
service that any book can render. As a matter of fact
the chief object of this Reading Course on the Law of
Success is to stimulate deliberate thought: particularly
that brand of thought that is free from bias and
prejudice and is seeking truth no matter where or how
or when it may be found.

During the World War I was fortunate enough to
listen to a great soldier’s analysis of how to be a
leader. This analysis was given to the student-officers
of the Second Training Camp at Fort Sheridan, by
Major C. A. Bach, a quiet, unassuming army officer
acting as an instructor. I have preserved a copy of this
address because I believe it to be one of the finest
lessons on leadership ever recorded.

The wisdom of Major Bach’s address is so vital to
the business man aspiring to leadership, or to the
section boss, or to the stenographer, or to the foreman
of the shop, or to the president of the works, that I
have preserved it as a part of this Reading Course. It
is my earnest hope that through the agency of this
course this remarkable dissertation on leadership will
find its way into the hands of every employer and
every worker and every ambitious person who aspires
to leadership in any walk of life. The principles upon
which the address is based are as applicable to
leadership in business and industry and finance as
they are in the successful conduct of warfare.

Major Bach spoke as follows:

In a short time each of you men will control the
lives of a certain number of other men. You will have
in your charge loyal but untrained citizens, who look
to you for instruction and guidance. Your word will be
their law. Your most casual remark will be
remembered. Your mannerisms will be aped. Your
clothing, your carriage, your vocabulary, your manner
of command will be imitated.

When you join your organization you will find
there a willing body of men who ask from you nothing
more than the qualities that will command their
respect, their loyalty and their obedience.

They are perfectly ready and eager to follow you
so long as you can convince them that you have these
qualities. When the time comes that they are satisfied
you do not possess them you might as well kiss
yourself good-bye. Your usefulness in that
organization is at an end.

[How remarkably true this is in all manner of

From the standpoint of society, the world may be
divided into leaders and followers. The professions
have their leaders, the financial world has its leaders.
In all this leadership it is difficult, if not impossible,
to separate from the element of pure leadership that
selfish element of personal gain or advantage to the
individual, without which any leadership would lose
its value.

It is in military service only, where men freely
sacrifice their lives for a faith, where men are willing
to suffer and die for the right or the prevention of a
wrong, that we can hope to realize leadership in its
most exalted and disinterested sense. Therefore, when
I say leadership, I mean military leadership.

In a few days the great mass of you men will
receive commissions as officers. These commissions
will not make you leaders; they will merely make you
officers. They will place you in a position where you
can become leaders if you possess the proper
attributes. But you must make good, not so much with
the men over you as with the men under you.

MAKE excuses for
the shortcomings of
others, if you wish,
but hold yourself to
a strict accountability
if you would
attain leadership in
any undertaking.

Men must and will follow into battle officers who
are not leaders, but the driving power behind these
men is not enthusiasm but discipline. They go with
doubt and trembling that prompts the unspoken
question, “What will he do next?” Such men obey the
letter of their orders but no more. Of devotion to their
commander, of exalted enthusiasm which scorns
personal risk, of self-sacrifice to insure his personal
safety, they know nothing. Their legs carry them
forward because their brain and their training tell
them they must go. Their spirit does not go with them.

Great results are not achieved by cold, passive,
unresponsive soldiers. They don’t go very far and they
stop as soon as they can. Leadership not only demands
but receives the willing, unhesitating, unfaltering
obedience and loyalty of other men; and a devotion
that will cause them, when the time comes, to follow
their uncrowned king to hell and back again, if

You will ask yourselves: “Of just what, then, does
leadership consist? What must I do to become a
leader? What are the attributes of leadership, and how
can I cultivate them?”

Leadership is a composite of a number of
qualities. [Just as success is a composite of the fifteen
factors out of which this Reading Course was built.]
Among the most important I would list Self-
confidence, Moral Ascendency, Self-Sacrifice,
Paternalism, Fairness, Initiative, Decision, Dignity,

Self-confidence results, first, from exact know-
ledge; second, the ability to impart that knowledge;
and third, the feeling of superiority over others that
naturally follows. All these give the officer poise. To
lead, you must know! You may bluff all of your men
some of the time, but you can’t do it all the time. Men
will not have confidence in an officer unless he knows
his business, and he must know it from the ground up.

The officer should know more about paper work
than his first sergeant and company clerk put together;
he should know more about messing than his mess
sergeant; more about diseases of the horse than his
troop farrier. He should be at least as good a shot as
any man in his company.

If the officer does not know, and demonstrates the
fact that he does not know, it is entirely human for the
soldier to say to himself, “To hell with him. He
doesn’t know as much about this as I do,” and calmly
disregard the instructions received.

There is no substitute for accurate knowledge!

Become so well informed that men will hunt you
up to ask questions; that your brother officers will say
to one another, “Ask Smith – he knows.”

And not only should each officer know
thoroughly the duties of his own grade, but he should
study those of the two grades next above him. A two-
fold benefit attaches to this. He prepares himself for
duties which may fall to his lot any time during battle;
he further gains a broader viewpoint which enables
him to appreciate the necessity for the issuance of
orders and join more intelligently in their execution.

Not only must the officer know but he must be
able to put what he knows into grammatical,
interesting, forceful English. He must learn to stand
on his feet and speak without embarrassment.

I am told that in British training camps student-
officers are required to deliver ten minute talks on any
subject they choose. That is excellent practice. For to
speak clearly one must think clearly, and clear,
logical thinking expresses itself in definite, positive

While self-confidence is the result of knowing
more than your men, Moral Ascendency over them is
based upon your belief that you are the better man. To
gain and maintain this ascendency you must have self-
control, physical vitality and endurance and moral
force. You must have yourself so well in hand that,
even though in battle you be scared stiff, you will
never show fear. For if by so much as a hurried
movement or a trembling of the hands, or a change of
expression, or a hasty order hastily revoked, you
indicate your mental condition it will be reflected in
your men in a far greater degree.

In garrison or camp many instances will arise to
try your temper and wreck the sweetness of your
disposition. If at such times you “fly off the handle”
you have no business to be in charge of men. For men
in anger say and do things that they almost invariably
regret afterward.

An officer should never apologize to his men;
also an officer should never be guilty of an act for
which his sense of justice tells him he should

Another element in gaining Moral Ascendency
lies in the possession of enough physical vitality and
endurance to withstand the hardships to which you and
your men are subjected, and a dauntless spirit that
enables you not only to accept them cheerfully but to
minimize their magnitude.

Make light of your troubles, belittle your trials
and you will help vitally to build up within your
organization an esprit whose value in time of stress
cannot be measured.

Moral force is the third element in gaining Moral
Ascendency. To exert moral force you must live clean;
you must have sufficient brain power to see the right
and the will to do right.

Be an example to your men!

An officer can be a power for good or a power for
evil. Don’t preach to them – that will be worse than
useless. Live the kind of life you would have them
lead, and you will be surprised to see the number that
will imitate you.

A loud-mouthed, profane captain who is careless
of his personal appearance will have a loud-mouthed,
profane, dirty company. Remember what I tell you.
Your company will be the reflection of yourself ! If you
have a rotten company it will be because you are a
rotten captain.

Self-sacrifice is essential to leadership. You will
give, give, all the time. You will give of yourself
physically, for the longest hours, the hardest work and
the greatest responsibility are the lot of the captain.
He is the first man up in the morning and the last man
in at night. He works while others sleep.

You will give of yourself mentally, in sympathy
and appreciation for the troubles of men in your
charge. This one’s mother has died, and that one has
lost all his savings in a bank failure. They may desire
help, but more than anything else they desire
sympathy. Don’t make the mistake of turning such men
down with the statement that you have troubles of
your own, for every time you do that you knock a
stone out o f the foundation of your house.

Your men are your foundation, and your house of
leadership will tumble about your ears unless it rests
securely upon them. Finally, you will give of your
own slender financial resources. You will frequently
spend your own money to conserve the health and
well-being of your men or to assist them when in
trouble. Generally you get your money back. Very
frequently you must charge it off to profit and loss.

Even so, it is worth the cost.

When I say that paternalism is essential to
leadership I use the term in its better sense. I do not
now refer to that form of paternalism which robs men
of initiative, self-reliance and self-respect. I refer to
the paternalism that manifests itself in a watchful care
for the comfort and welfare of those in your charge.

Soldiers are much like children. You must see
that they have shelter, food and clothing, the best that
your utmost efforts can provide. You must see that
they have food to eat before you think of your own;
that they have each as good a bed as can be provided
before you consider where you will sleep. You must
be far more solicitous of their comfort than of your
own. You must look after their health. You must
conserve their strength by not demanding needless
exertion or useless labor.

And by doing all these things you are breathing
life into what would be otherwise a mere machine. You
are creating a soul in your organization that will
make the mass respond to you as though it were one
man. And that is esprit.

NO accurate thinker will judge another person by
that which the other person’s enemies say about him.

And when your organization has this esprit you
will wake up some morning and discover that the
tables have been turned; that instead of your
constantly looking out for them they have, without
even a hint from you, taken up the task of looking out
for you. You will find that a detail is always there to
see that your tent, if you have one, is promptly
pitched; that the most and the cleanest bedding is
brought to your tent; that from some mysterious
source two eggs have been added to your supper when
no one else has any; that an extra man is helping your
men give your horse a supergrooming; that your
wishes are anticipated; that every man is “Johnny-on-
the-spot.” And then you have arrived!

You cannot treat all men alike! A punishment that
would be dismissed by one man with a shrug of the
shoulders is mental anguish for another. A company
commander who, for a given offense, has a standard
punishment that applies to all is either too indolent or
too stupid to study the personality of his men. In his
case justice is certainly blind.

Study your men as carefully as a surgeon studies
a difficult case. And when you are sure of your
diagnosis apply the remedy. And remember that you
apply the remedy to effect a cure, not merely to see
the victim squirm. It may be necessary to cut deep,
but when you are satisfied as to your diagnosis don’t
be diverted from your purpose by any false sympathy
for the patient.

Hand in hand with fairness in awarding
punishment walks fairness in giving credit. Everybody
hates a human hog. When one of your men has
accomplished an especially creditable piece of work
see that he gets the proper reward. Turn heaven and
earth upside down to get it for him. Don’t try to take it
away from him and hog it for yourself. You may do
this and get away with it, but you have lost the respect
and loyalty of your men. Sooner or later your brother
officers will hear of it and shun you like a leper. In
war there is glory enough for all. Give the man under
you his due. The man who always takes and never
gives is not a leader. He is a parasite.

There is another kind of fairness – that which will
prevent an officer from abusing the privileges of his
rank. When you exact respect from soldiers be sure
you treat them with equal respect. Build up their
manhood and self-respect. Don’t try to pull it down.

For an officer to be overbearing and insulting in
the treatment of enlisted men is the act of a coward.
He ties the man to a tree with the ropes of discipline
and then strikes him in the face knowing full well that
the man cannot strike back.

Consideration, courtesy and respect from officers
toward enlisted men are not incompatible with
discipline. They are parts of our discipline. Without
initiative and decision no man can expect to lead.

In maneuvers you will frequently see, when an
emergency arises, certain men calmly give instant
orders which later, on analysis, prove to be, if not
exactly the right thing, very nearly the right thing to
have done. You will see other men in emergency
become badly rattled; their brains refuse to work, or
they give a hasty order, revoke it; give another,
revoke that; in short, show every indication of being
in a blue funk.

Regarding the first man you may say: “That man
is a genius. He hasn’t had time to reason this thing
out. He acts intuitively.” Forget it! Genius is merely
the capacity for taking infinite pains. The man who
was ready is the man who has prepared himself. He
has studied beforehand the possible situations that
might arise; he has made tentative plans covering such
situations. When he is confronted by the emergency he
is ready to meet it. He must have sufficient mental
alertness to appreciate the problem that confronts him
and the power of quick reasoning to determine what
changes are necessary in his already formulated plan.
He must also have the decision to order the execution
and stick to his orders.

Any reasonable order in an emergency is better
than no order. The situation is there. Meet it. It is
better to do something and do the wrong thing than to
hesitate, hunt around for the right thing to do and
wind up by doing nothing at all. And, having decided
on a line of action, stick to it. Don’t vacillate. Men
have no confidence in an officer who doesn’t know his
own mind.

Occasionally you will be called upon to meet a
situation which no reasonable human being could
anticipate. If you have prepared yourself to meet other
emergencies which you could anticipate, the mental
training you have thereby gained will enable you to
act promptly and with calmness.

You must frequently act without orders from
higher authority. Time will not permit you to wait for
them. Here again enters the importance of studying
the work of officers above you. If you have a
comprehensive grasp of the entire situation and can
form an idea of the general plan of your superiors,
that and your previous emergency training will enable
you to determine that the responsibility is yours and
to issue the necessary orders without delay.

The element of personal dignity is important in
military leadership. Be the friend of your men, but do
not become their intimate. Your men should stand in
awe of you – not fear! If your men presume to become
familiar it is your fault, and not theirs. Your actions
have encouraged them to do so. And, above all things,
don’t cheapen yourself by courting their friendship or
currying their favor. They will despise: you for it. If
you are worthy of their loyalty and respect and
devotion they will surely give all these without
asking. If you are not, nothing that you can do will
win them.

It is exceedingly difficult for an officer to be
dignified while wearing a dirty, spotted uniform and a
three days’ stubble of whiskers on his face. Such a
man lacks self-respect, and self-respect is an essential
of dignity.

There may be occasions when your work entails
dirty clothes and an unshaved face. Your men all look
that way. At such times there is ample reason for your
appearance. In fact, it would be a mistake to look too
clean – they would think that you were, not doing your
share. But as soon as this unusual occasion has passed
set an example for personal neatness.

And then I would mention courage. Moral courage
you need as well as mental courage – that kind of
moral courage which enables you to adhere without
faltering to a determined course of action, which your
judgment has indicated is the one best suited to secure
the desired results.

You will find many times, especially in action,
that, after having issued your orders to do a certain
thing, you will be beset by misgivings and doubts; you
will see, or think you see, other and better means for
accomplishing the object sought. You will be strongly
tempted to change your orders. Don’t do it until it is
clearly manifested that your first orders were radically
wrong. For, if you do, you will be again worried by
doubts as to the efficacy of your second orders.

Every time you change your orders without
obvious reason you weaken your authority and impair
the confidence of your men. Have the moral courage
to stand by your order and see it through.

Moral courage further demands that you assume
the responsibility for your own acts. If your
subordinates have loyally carried out your orders and
the movement you directed is a failure the failure is
yours, not theirs. Yours would have been the honor
had it been successful. Take the blame if it results in
disaster. Don’t try to shift it to a subordinate and
make him the goat. That is a cowardly act.
Furthermore, you will need moral courage to
determine the fate of those under you. You will
frequently be called upon for recommendations for
promotion or demotion of officers and non-
commissioned officers in your immediate command.

Keep clearly in mind your personal integrity and
the duty you owe your country. Do not let yourself be
deflected from a strict sense of justice by feelings of
personal friendship. If your own brother is your sec-

THERE is something
wrong about the man
whose wife and
children do not greet
him affectionately on
his homecoming.

and lieutenant, and you find him unfit to hold his
commission, eliminate him. If you don’t your lack of
moral courage may result in the loss of valuable lives.
If, on the other hand, you are called upon for a
recommendation concerning a man whom, for personal
reasons, you thoroughly dislike, do not fail to do him
full justice. Remember that your aim is the general
good, not the satisfaction of an individual grudge.

I am taking it for granted that you have physical
courage. I need not tell you how necessary that is.
Courage is more than bravery. Bravery is fearlessness
– the absence of fear. The merest dolt may be brave,
because he lacks the mentality to appreciate his
danger; he doesn’t know enough to be afraid.

Courage, however, is that firmness of spirit, that
moral backbone which, while fully appreciating the
danger involved, nevertheless goes on with the
undertaking. Bravery is physical; courage is mental
and moral. You may be cold all over; your hands may
tremble; your legs may quake; your knees be ready to
give way-that is fear. If, nevertheless, you go forward;
if, in spite of this physical defection you continue to
lead your men against the enemy, you have courage.
The physical manifestations of fear will pass away.
You may never experience them but once. They are
the “buck fever” of the hunter who tries to shoot his
first deer. You must not give way to them.

A number of years ago, while taking a course in
demolitions, the class of which I was a member was
handling dynamite. The instructor said, regarding its
manipulation: “I must caution you gentlemen to be
careful in the use of these explosives. One man has
but one accident.” And so I would caution you. If you
give way to fear that will doubtless beset you in your
first action; if you show the white feather; if you let
your men go forward while you hunt a shell crater,
you will never again have the opportunity of leading
those men.

Use judgment in calling on your men for displays
of physical courage or bravery. Don’t ask any man to
go where you would not go yourself. If your common
sense tells you that the place is too dangerous for you
to venture into, then it is too dangerous for him. You
know his life is as valuable to him as yours is to you.

Occasionally some o f your men must be exposed
to danger which you cannot share. A message must be
taken across a fire-swept zone. You call for
volunteers. If your men know you and know that you
are “right” you will never lack volunteers, for they
will know your heart is in your work, that you are
giving your country the best you have, that you would
willingly carry the message yourself if you could.
Your example and enthusiasm will have inspired them.

And, lastly, if you aspire to leadership, I would
urge you to study men.

Get under their skins and find out what is inside.
Some men are quite different from what they appear to
be on the surface. Determine the workings of their

Much of General Robert E. Lee’s success as a
leader may be ascribed to his ability as a
psychologist. He knew most of his opponents from
West Point days; knew the workings of their minds;
and he believed that they would do certain things
under certain circumstances. In nearly every case he
was able to anticipate their movements and block the

You cannot know your opponent in this war in the
same way. But you can know your own men. You can
study each to determine wherein lies his strength and
his weakness; which man can be relied upon to the last
gasp and which cannot.

Know your men, know your business, know

In all literature you will not find a better
description of leadership than this. Apply it to
yourself, or to your business, or to your profession, or
to the place where you are employed, and you will
observe how well it serves as your guide.

Major Bach’s address is one that might well be
delivered to every boy and girl who graduates in high
school. It might well be delivered to every college
graduate. It might well become the book of rules for
every man who is placed in a position of leadership
over other men, no matter in what calling, business or

In Lesson Two you learned the value of a definite
chief aim. Let it be here emphasized that your aim
must be active and not passive. A definite aim will
never be anything else but a mere wish unless you
become a person of initiative and aggressively and
persistently pursue that aim until it has been fulfilled.

You can get nowhere without persistence, a fact
which cannot be too often repeated.

The difference between persistence and lack of it
is the same as the difference between wishing for a
thing and positively determining to get it.

To become a person of initiative you must form
the habit of aggressively and persistently following
the object of your definite chief aim until you acquire
it, whether this requires one year or twenty years. You
might as well have no definite chief aim as to have
such an aim without continuous effort to achieve it.

You are not making the most of this course if you
do not take some step each day that brings you nearer
realization of your definite chief aim. Do not fool
yourself, or permit yourself to be misled to believe
that the object of your definite chief aim will matter –
alive if you only wait. The materialization will come
through your own determination, backed by your own
carefully laid plans and your own initiative in putting
those plans into action, or it will not come at all.

One of the major requisites for Leadership is the
power of quick and firm DECISION!

Analysis of more than 16,000 people disclosed
the fact that Leaders are always men of ready
decision, even in matters of small importance, while
the follower is NEVER a person of quick decision.

This is worth remembering!

The follower, in whatever walk of life you find
him, is a man who seldom knows what he wants. He
vacillates, procrastinates, and actually refuses to
reach a decision, even in matters of the smallest
importance, unless a Leader induces him to do so.

To know that the majority of people cannot and
will not reach decisions quickly, if at all, is of great
help to the Leader who knows what he wants and has a
plan for getting it.

Here it will be observed how closely allied are
the two laws covered by Lesson Two and this lesson.

The Leader not only works with A DEFINITE CHIEF
AIM, but he has a very definite plan for attaining the
object of that aim. It will be seen, also, that the Law
of Self-confidence becomes an important part of the
working equipment of the Leader.

The chief reason why the follower does not reach
decisions is that he lacks the Self-confidence to do so.
Every Leader makes use of the Law of a Definite
Purpose, the Law of Self-confidence and the Law of
Initiative and Leadership. And if he is an outstanding,
successful Leader he makes use, also, of the Laws of
Imagination, Enthusiasm, Self-Control, Pleasing
Personality, Accurate Thinking, Concentration and
Tolerance. Without the combined use of all these
Laws no one may become a really great Leader.
Omission of a single one of these Laws lessens the
power of the Leader proportionately.

A salesman for the LaSalle Extension University
called on a real estate dealer, in a small western town,
for the purpose of trying to sell the real estate man a
course in Salesmanship and Business Management.

When the salesman arrived at the prospective
student’s office he found the gentleman pecking out a
letter by the two-finger method, on an antiquated
typewriter. The salesman introduced himself, then
proceeded to state his business and describe the
course he had come to sell.

The real estate man listened with apparent

After the sales talk had been completed the
salesman hesitated, waiting for some signs of “yes” or
“no” from his prospective client. Thinking that
perhaps he had not made the sales talk quite strong
enough, he briefly went over the merits of the course

NO man may become
an accurate thinker
until he learns how to
separate mere gossip
and information from facts.

he was selling, a second time. Still there was no
response from the prospective student.

The salesman then asked the direct question,
“You want this course, do you not?”

In a slow, drawling tone of voice, the real estate
man replied:

“Well, I hardly know whether I do or not.”

No doubt he was telling the truth, because he was
one of the millions of men who find it hard to reach

Being an able judge of human nature the salesman
then arose, put on his hat, placed his literature back in
his brief case and made ready to leave. Then he
resorted to tactics which were somewhat drastic, and
took the real estate man by surprise with this startling

“I am going to take it upon myself to say
something to you that you will not like, but it may be
of help to you.

“Take a look at this office in which you work 1
The floor is dirty; the walls are dusty; the typewriter
you are using looks as if it might be the one Mr. Noah
used in the Ark during the big flood; your pants are
bagged at the knees; your collar is dirty; your face is
unshaved, and you have a look in your eyes that tells
me you are defeated.

“Please go ahead and get mad – that’s just what I
want you to do, because it may shock you into doing
some thinking that will be helpful to you and to those
who are dependent upon you.

“I can see, in my imagination, the home in which
you live. Several little children, none too well
dressed, and perhaps none too well fed; a mother
whose dress is three seasons out of style, whose eyes
carry the same look of defeat that yours do. This little
woman whom you married has stuck by you but you
have not made good in life as she had hoped, when
you were first married, that you would.

“Please remember that I am not now talking to a
prospective student, because I would not sell you this
offered to pay cash in advance, because if I did you
would not have the initiative to complete it, and we
want no failures on our student list.

“The talk I am now giving you will make it
impossible, perhaps, for me ever to sell you anything,
but it is going to do something for you that has never
been done before, providing it makes you think.

“Now, I will tell you in a very few words exactly
why you are defeated; why you are pecking out letters
on an old typewriter, in an old dirty office, in a little

“All your life you have been forming the habit of
dodging the responsibility of reaching decisions, until
you have come, now, to where it is well-nigh
impossible for you to do so.

“If you had told me that you wanted the course,
or that you did not want it, I could have sympathized
with you, because I would have known that lack of
funds was what caused you to hesitate, but what did
you say? Why, you admitted you did not know whether
you wanted it or not.

“If you will think over what I have said I am sure
you will acknowledge that it has become a habit with
you to dodge the responsibility of reaching clear-cut
decisions on practically all matters that affect you.”

The real estate man sat glued in his chair, with
his under jaw dropped, his eyes bulged in
astonishment, but he made no attempt to answer the
biting indictment.

The salesman said good-bye and started for the

After he had closed the door behind him he again
opened it, walked back in, with a smile on his face,
took his seat in front of the astonished real estate
man, and explained his conduct in this way:

“I do not blame you at all if you feel hurt at my
remarks. In fact I sort of hope that you have been
offended, but now let me say this, man to man, that I
think you have intelligence and I am sure you have
ability, but you have fallen into a habit that has
whipped you. No man is ever down and out until he is
under the sod. You may be temporarily down, but you
can get up again, and I am just sportsman enough to
give you my hand and offer you a lift, if you will
accept my apologies for what I have said.

“You do not belong in this town. You would
starve to death in the real estate business in this place,
even if you were a Leader in your field. Get yourself a
new suit of clothes, even if you have to borrow the
money with which to do it, then go over to St. Louis
with me and I will introduce you to a real estate man
who will give you a chance to earn some money and at
the same time teach you some of the important things
about this line of work that you can capitalize later

“If you haven’t enough credit to get the clothes
you need I will stand good for you at a store in St.
Louis where I have a charge account. I am in earnest

and my offer to help you is based upon the highest
motive that can actuate a human being. I am
successful in my own field, but I have not always been
so. I went ‘through just what you are now going
through, but, the important thing is that I WENT
THROUGH IT, and got it over with, JUST AS YOU

“Will you come with me?”

The real estate man started to arise, but his legs
wobbled and he sank back into his chair. Despite the
fact that he was a great big fellow, with rather
pronounced manly qualities, known as the “he-man”
type, his emotions got the better of him and he
actually wept.

He made a second attempt and got on his feet,
shook hands with the salesman, thanked him for his
kindness, and said he was going to follow the advice,
but he would do so in his own way.

Calling for an application blank he signed for the
course on Salesmanship and Business Management,
made the first payment in nickels and dimes, and told
the salesman he would hear from him again.

Three years later this real estate man had an
organization of sixty salesmen, and one of the most
successful real estate businesses in the city of St.
Louis. The author of this course (who was advertising
manager of the LaSalle Extension University at the
time this incident happened) has been in this real
estate man’s office many times and has observed him
over a period of more than fifteen years. He is an
entirely different man from the person interviewed by
the LaSalle salesman over fifteen years ago, and the
thing that made him different is the same that will
make YOU different: it is the power of DECISION
which is so essential to Leadership.

This real estate man is now a Leader in the real
estate field. He is directing the efforts of other
salesmen and helping them to become more efficient.
This one change in his philosophy has turned
temporary defeat into success. Every new salesman
who goes to work for this man is called into his
private office, before he is employed, and told the
story of his own transformation, word for word just as
it occurred when the LaSalle salesman first met him in
his shabby little real estate office.

Some eighteen years ago the author of this course
made his first trip to the little town of Lumberport, W.
Va. At that time the only means of transportation
leading from Clarksburg, the largest near-by center, to
Lumberport, was the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and
an interurban electric line which ran within three
miles of the town; one could walk the three miles if he

Upon arrival at Clarksburg I found that the only
train going to Lumberport in the forenoon had already
gone, and not wishing to wait for the later afternoon
train I made the trip by trolley, with the intention of
walking the three miles. On the way down the rain
began to pour, and those three miles had to be
navigated on foot, through deep yellow mud. When I
arrived at Lumberport my shoes and pants were
muddy, and my disposition was none the better for the

The first person I met was V. L. Hornor, who was

MASTERY of the Fifteen Laws of Success is the
equivalent of an insurance policy against failure.
-Samuel Gompers.

then cashier of the Lumberport Bank. In a rather loud
tone of voice I asked of him, “Why do you not get that
trolley line extended from the junction over to
Lumberport so your friends can get in and out of town
without drowning in mud?”

“Did you see a river with high banks, at the edge
of the town, as you came in?” he asked. I replied that
I had seen it. “Well,” he continued, “that’s the reason
we have no street cars running into town. The cost of
a bridge would be about $100,000.00, and that is more
than the company owning the trolley line is willing to
invest. We have been trying for ten years to get them
to build a line into town.”

“Trying!” I exploded. “How hard have you tried?”

“We have offered them every inducement we
could afford, such as free right of way from the
junction into the town, and free use of the streets, but
that bridge is the stumbling block. They simply will
not stand the expense. Claim they cannot afford such
an expense for the small amount of revenue they
would receive from the three mile extension.”

Then the Law of Success philosophy began to
come to my rescue!

I asked Mr. Hornor if he would take a walk over
to the river with me, that we might look at the spot
that was causing so much inconvenience. He said he
would be glad to do so.

When we got to the river I began to take
inventory of everything in sight. I observed that the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad tracks ran up and down the
river banks, on both sides of the river; that the county
road crossed the river on a rickety wooden bridge,
both approaches to which were over several strands of
railroad track, as the railroad company had its
switching yards at that point.

While we were standing there a freight train
blocked the crossing and several teams stopped on
both sides of the train, waiting for an opportunity to
get through. The train kept the road blocked for about
twenty-five minutes.

With this combination of circumstances in mind it
required but little imagination to see that THREE
DIFFERENT PARTIES were or could be interested in
the building of the bridge such as would be needed to
carry the weight of a street car.

It was obvious that the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad Company would be interested in such a
bridge, because that would remove the county road
from their switching tracks, and save them a possible
accident on the crossing, to say nothing of much loss
of time and expense in cutting trains to allow teams to

It was also obvious that the County
Commissioners would be interested in the bridge,
because it would raise the county road to a better
level and make it more serviceable to the public. And,
of course the street railway company was interested in
the bridge, but IT DID NOT WISH TO PAY THE

All these facts passed through my mind as I stood
there and watched the freight train being cut for the
traffic to pass through.

A DEFINITE CHIEF AIM took place in my mind.
Also, a definite plan for its attainment. The next day I
got together a committee of townspeople, consisting
of the mayor, councilmen and some leading citizens,
and called on the Division Superintendent of the Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad Company, at Grafton. We
convinced him that it was worth one third of the cost
of the bridge to get the county road off his company’s
tracks. Next we went to the County Commissioners
and found them to be quite enthusiastic over the
possibility of getting a new bridge by paying for only
one third of it. They promised to pay their one third
providing we could arrange for the other two thirds.

We then went to the president of the Traction
Company that owned the trolley line, at Fairmont, and
laid before him an offer to donate all the rights of way
and pay for two thirds of the cost of the bridge
providing he would begin building the line into town
promptly. We found him receptive, also.

Three weeks later a contract had been signed
between the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, the
Monongahela Valley Traction Company and the
County Commissioners of Harrison County, providing
for the construction of the bridge, one third of its cost
to be paid by each.

Two months later the right of way was being
graded and the bridge was under way, and three
months after that street cars were running into
Lumberport on regular schedule.

This incident meant much to the town of
Lumberport, because it provided transportation that
enabled people to get in and out of the town without
undue effort.

It also meant a great deal to me, because it served
to introduce me as one who “got things done.” Two
very definite advantages resulted from this
transaction. The Chief Counsel for the Traction
Company gave me a position as his assistant, and later
on it was the means of an introduction which led to
my appointment as the advertising manager of the
LaSalle Extension University.

Lumberport, W. Va., was then, and still is a small
town, and Chicago was a large city and located a
considerable distance away, but news of Initiative and
Leadership has a way of taking on wings and

Four of the Fifteen Laws of Success were
combined in the transaction described, namely: A
entered, somewhat, into the transaction, because I was
not offered anything and in fact did not expect pay for
what I did.

To be perfectly frank I appointed myself to the
job of getting the bridge built more as a sort of
challenge to those who said it could not be done than I
did with the expectation of getting paid for it. By my
attitude I rather intimated to Mr. Hornor that I could
get the job done, and he was not slow to snap me up
and put me to the test.

It may be helpful to call attention here to the part
which IMAGINATION played in this transaction. For
ten years the townspeople of Lumberport had been
trying to get a street car line built into town. It must
not be concluded that the town was without men of
ability, because that would be inaccurate. In fact there
were many men of ability in the town, but they had
been making the mistake which is so commonly made
by us all, of trying to solve their problem through one
single source, whereas there were actually THREE
SOURCES of solution available to them.

$100,000.00 was too much for one company to
assume, for the construction of a bridge, but when the
cost was distributed between three interested parties
the amount to be borne by each was more reasonable.

The question might be asked: “Why did not some
of the local townsmen think of this three-way

In the first place they were so close to their
problem that they failed to take a perspective, bird’s-
eye view of it, which would have suggested the
solution. This, also, is a common mistake, and one
that is always avoided by great Leaders. In the second
place these townspeople had never before co-ordinated
their efforts or worked as an organized group with the
sole purpose in mind of finding a way to get a street
car line built into town. This, also, is another common
error made by men in all walks of life-that of failure
to work in unison, in a thorough spirit of cooperation.

I, being an outsider, had less difficulty in getting
co-operative action than one of their own group might
have had. Too often there is a spirit of selfishness in
small communities which prompts each individual to
think that his ideas should prevail. It is an important
part of the Leader’s responsibility to induce people to
subordinate their own ideas and interests for the good
of the whole, and this applies to matters of a civic,
business, social, political, financial or industrial

Success, no matter what may be one’s conception
of that term, is nearly always a question of one’s
ability to get others to subordinate their own
individualities and follow a Leader. The Leader who
has the Personality and the Imagination to induce his

TIME is the mighty hand that rocks
the eternal cradle of progress and
nurses struggling humanity
through that period when man needs
protection against his own ignorance

followers to accept his plans and carry them out
faithfully is always an able Leader.

The next lesson, on IMAGINATION, will take
you still further into the art of tactful Leadership. In
fact Leadership and Imagination are so closely allied
and so essential for success that one cannot be
successfully applied without the other. Initiative is the
moving force that pushes the Leader ahead, but
Imagination is the guiding spirit that tells him which
way to go.

Imagination enabled the author of this course to
analyze the Lumberport bridge problem, break it up
into its three component parts, and assemble these
parts in a practical working plan. Nearly every
problem may be so broken up into parts which are
more easily managed, as parts, than they are when
assembled as a whole. Perhaps one of the most
important advantages of Imagination is that it enables
one to separate all problems into their component
parts and to reassemble them in more favorable

It has been said that all battles in warfare are won
or lost, not on the firing line, after the battle begins,
but back of the lines, through the sound strategy, or
the lack of it, used by the generals who plan the

What is true of warfare is equally true in
business, and in most other problems which confront
us throughout life. We win or lose according to the
nature of the plans we build and carry out, a fact
which serves to emphasize the value of the Laws of
Initiative and Leadership, Imagination, Self-
confidence and a Definite Chief Aim. With the
intelligent use of these four laws one may build plans,
for any purpose whatsoever, which cannot be defeated
by any person or group of persons who do not employ
or understand these laws.

There is no escape from the truth here stated!

ORGANIZED EFFORT is effort which is directed
according to a plan that was conceived with the aid of
Imagination, guided by a Definite Chief Aim, and
given momentum with Initiative and Self-confidence.
These four laws blend into one and become a power in
the hands of a Leader. Without their aid effective
leadership is impossible.

You are now ready for the lesson on Imagination.
Read that lesson with the thought in mind of all that
has been here stated and it will take on a deeper



An After-the-Lesson Visit With the Author

If you must give expression to prejudice and
hatred and intolerance, do not speak it, but
write it; write it in the sands, near the water’s

When the dawn of Intelligence shall spread over
the eastern horizon of human progress, and
Ignorance and Superstition shall have left their
last footprints on the sands of time, it will be
recorded in the last chapter of the book of man’s
crimes that his most grievous sin was that of

The bitterest intolerance grows out of religious,
racial and economic prejudices and differences of
opinion. How long, O God, until we poor mortals
will understand the folly of trying to destroy one
another because we are of different religious
beliefs and racial tendencies?

Our allotted time on this earth is but a fleeting
moment. Like a candle, we are lighted, shine for a
moment, and flicker out. Why can we not learn to
so live during this brief earthly visit that when
the great Caravan called Death draws up and
announces this visit completed we will be ready to
fold our tents and silently follow out into the
great unknown without fear and trembling?
I am hoping that I will find no Jews or Gentiles,
Catholics or Protestants, Germans, Englishmen or
Frenchmen when I shall have crossed the bar to
the other side. I am hoping that I will find there
only human Souls, Brothers and Sisters all,
unmarked by race, creed or color, for I shall want
to be done with intolerance so I may rest in peace
throughout eternity.

YOU will see at the top of the previous page a
picture which describes the futility of combat.

The two male deer have engaged in a fight to the
finish, each believing that he will be the winner. Off
at the side the female awaits the victor, little
dreaming that tomorrow the bones of both combatants
will be bleaching in the sun.

“Poor foolish animals,” someone will say.
Perhaps, but not very different from the man family.
Man engages his brothers in mortal combat because of
competition. The three major forms of competition are
sex, economic and religious in nature.

Twenty years ago a great educational institution
was doing a thriving business and rendering a worthy
service to thousands of students. The two owners of
the school married two beautiful and talented young
women, who were especially accomplished in the art
of piano playing. The two wives became involved in
an argument as to which one was the more
accomplished in this art. The disagreement was taken
up by each of the husbands. They became bitter
enemies. Now the bones of that once prosperous
school “lie bleaching in the sun.”

The two bucks shown in the picture above locked
horns over the attention of the doe. The two “man
bucks” locked horns over the selfsame impulse.

In one of the great industrial plants two young
foremen “locked horns” because one received a
promotion which the other believed he should have
had. For more than five years the silent undertow of
hatred and intolerance showed itself. The men under
each of the foremen became inoculated with the spirit
of dislike which they saw cropping out in their
superiors. Slowly the spirit of retaliation began to
spread over the entire plant. The men became divided
into little cliques. Production began to fall off. Then
came financial difficulty and finally bankruptcy for
the company.

Now the bones of a once prosperous business “lie
bleaching in the sun,” and the two foremen and
several thousand others were compelled to start all
over again, in another field.

Down in the mountains of West Virginia lived
two peaceful families of mountain-folk – the Hatfields
and the McCoys. They had been friendly neighbors for
three generations. A razor-back pig belonging to the
McCoy family crawled through the fence into the
Hatfield family’s corn field. The Hatfields turned their
hound loose on the pig. The McCoys retaliated by
killing the dog. Then began a feud that has lasted for
three generations and cost many lives of the Hatfields
and McCoys.

In a fashionable suburb of Philadelphia certain
gentlemen of wealth have built their homes. In front
of each house the word “INTOLERANCE” is written.
One man builds a high steel fence in front of his
house. The neighbor next to him, not to be outdone,
builds a fence twice as high. Another buys a new
motor car and the man next door goes him one better
by purchasing two new cars. One remodels his house
adding a colonial style porch. The man next door adds
a new porch and a Spanish style garage for good
measure. The big mansion on top of the hill gives a
reception which brings a long line of motor cars filled
with people who have nothing in particular in common
with the host. Then follows a series of “receptions” all
down the “gold-coast” line, each trying to outshine all
the others.

The “Mister” (but they don’t call him that in
fashionable neighborhoods) goes to business in the
back seat of a Rolls Royce that is managed by a
chauffeur and a footman. Why does he go to business?
To make money, of course! Why does he want more
money when he already has millions of dollars? So he
can keep on out-doing his wealthy neighbors.

Poverty has some advantages – it never drives
those who are poverty-stricken to “lock horns” in the
attempt to out-poverty their neighbors.

Wherever you see men with their “horns locked”
in conflict you may trace the cause of the combat to
one of the three causes of intolerance – religious
difference of opinion, economic competition or sex

The next time you observe two men engaged in
any sort of hostility toward each other, just close your
eyes and THINK for a moment and you may see them,
in their transformed nature, very much resembling the
male deer shown in the picture above. Off at one side
you may see the object of the combat – a pile of gold,
a religious emblem or a female (or females).

Remember, the purpose of this essay is to tell
some of the TRUTH about human nature, with the
object of causing its readers to THINK. Its writer
seeks no glory or praise, and likely he will receive
neither in connection with this particular subject.

Andrew Carnegie and Henry C. Frick did more
than any other two men to establish the steel industry.
Both made millions of dollars for themselves. Came
the day when economic intolerance sprang up between
them. To show his contempt for Frick, Carnegie built
a tall sky-scraper and named it the “Carnegie
Building.” Frick retaliated by erecting a much taller
building, alongside of the Carnegie Building, naming
it the “Frick Building.”

These two gentlemen “locked horns” in a fight to
the finish, Carnegie lost his mind, and perhaps more,
for all we of this world know. What Frick lost is
known only to himself and the keeper of the Great
Records. In memory their “bones lie bleaching in the
sun” of posterity.

The steel men of today are managing things
differently. Instead of locking horns they now
“interlock directorates,” with the result that each is
Practically a solidified, strong unit of the whole
industry. The steel men of today understand the difference
between the meaning of the words


which the remainder of us would do well to
understand, also.

In England the men who own the mines and those
who run the labor unions “locked horns.” Had not the
cooler heads unlocked those horns the bones of the
British empire (including both the owners of industry
and the labor unions) should soon have lain
“bleaching in the sun.” One year of open combat
between the unions and the owners of industry, in
Great Britain, would have meant annihilation of the
British empire. The other nations of the world would
have grabbed all the economic machinery now
controlled by Britain.

Let the leaders of American industry and
unionism not forget!

Fifteen factors enter into the attainment of
SUCCESS. One of these is TOLERANCE. The other
fourteen are mentioned many times in this series of

Intolerance binds man’s legs with the shackles of
IGNORANCE and covers his eyes with the scales of
FEAR AND SUPERSTITION. Intolerance closes the
book of knowledge and writes on the cover “Open not
this book again. The last word has been herein

It is not your DUTY to be tolerant; it is your

Remember, as you read this article, that sowing
the seed of INTOLERANCE is the sole and exclusive
business of some men. All wars and all strikes and all
other forms of human suffering bring profit to SOME.
If this were not true there would be no wars or strikes
or other similar forms of hostility.

In the United States today there is a well
organized system of propaganda, the object of which
is to stir up strife and hostility between the owners of
industries and those who work in those industries.
Take another look at the picture at the beginning of
this article and you may see what will happen to all
who lock horns in labor disagreements, and remember
that it is always the bones of the workers (and not
those of the leaders of either the unions or the
industries) that “lie bleaching in the sun” after the
fight is over.

When you feel yourself preparing to “lock horns”
with someone remember that it will be more profitable
if you LOCK HANDS instead! A warm, hearty hand-
shake leaves no bones bleaching in the sun.

“LOVE is the only bow on life’s dark cloud. It is
the Morning and the Evening Star. It shines upon the
cradle of the babe, and sheds its radiance upon the
quiet tomb. It is the mother of Art, inspirer of poet,
patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every
heart, builder of every home, kindler of every fire on
every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality.
It fills the world with melody, for Music is the voice
of Love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that
changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal
kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of
the wondrous flower – the heart – and without that
sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than
beasts; but with it, earth is heaven and we are gods”

– Ingersoll.

Cultivate LOVE for your fellow man and you will
no longer want to lock horns with him in futile
combat. Love makes every man his brother’s keeper.

Love, indeed, is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared, by Allah given,
To lift from earth our low desire.
Devotion wafts the mind above,
But heaven itself descends in love;
A feeling from the Godhead caught,
To wean from self each sordid thought;
A ray of Him who form’d the whole;
A glory circling round the soul:

– Byron.