I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie three times:
- Once in college,
- Once when I was selling IT hardware for a big company,
- And once in 2019 when I moved to a new city and was starting a new job. Each of these readings was a couple of years apart.
Two of the common complaints I find from people who have not read the book include “the title sounds stupid and manipulative, I want to make friends, not win people, life isn’t just about winning friends and influence!”
The second complaint is “this book can’t work for me, I am not social, attractive, or interesting enough.”
And here is the thing…
First, the book is not about manipulation. Influence is not about manipulation. Everyone learns about influence from a very young age, and some just become better at it over time.
Don’t put down the importance of influence in life simply because you are not yet good at it, or you envy those who are incredibly influential. And there is nothing wrong with having to “win” people over. Most people are too busy to make friends with everyone in the world. Friendships and personal and professional relationships can take time to craft.
How can you expect someone important and busy to just suddenly become your friend? You shouldn’t expect it. Sometimes you have to win them over, and not by beating anybody at tricking them into thinking you are a cool and interesting person. It is by applying some of the age-old wisdom of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” which everyone and anyone can learn to apply.
To address our second complaint, if you truly, deeply, stubbornly believe that “‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ can’t work for you, and that you are not social, attractive, or interesting enough,” then there may be other books to look into.
Yes, the cover says it is “The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success,” and while I believe it can help everyone, there might be a big personal barrier of skepticism of your own ability that you have to first overcome.
You can choose to always live in disbelief of the things that can help you, or you can pick up a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and start learning about the fundamentals of leadership.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” does a great job of presenting the core of how all great personal and professional relationships begin and flourish. And that knowledge is valuable for business leaders, salespeople, world travelers, entrepreneurs, entertainers, artists, and more…
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” provides the foundations of:
- The fundamental skills leaders need to have
- How to become an incredibly valuable employee at a company
- How to attract people who you might perceive as “more successful than you”
- How to be charismatic and likable even if you are an introvert
- What it takes to grow a business whether you are a contributor or the owner
- Why some men and women seem to form valuable relationships with ease, and others struggle…
And for all of that wisdom, I give “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie a 3.5/5. Many books have been adapted off Carnegie’s book because (and this is my personal perspective) there has been a need to adapt his wisdom for the modern world. Communication is changing incredibly quickly. And the great thing about the ideas in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is that everyone can take action on them. But in order to get the most out of the work, is to put in work, and to throw in personal substance. I also disagree that it is the “only” book for success since I am a big biased fan of “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Law of Success.” But it is a great foundation from which to build that teaches ideas that cannot be found in Napoleon Hill’s work.
It is undoubtedly worth the read though.
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” stands the test of time for a majority of the ideas. Even Warren Buffett took his leadership speaking course.
P.S. Don’t wait to take action. The ideas in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” do require “action” on your part. You can’t “Win Friends and Influence People” without working with people and getting yourself to form those relationships. So get a copy of the book today, and start applying what you learn today.