Chapter 6: Let Everything Go Well
Recall in 1898, a tragedy happened in the town of Rorland, New York. That cold, snowy morning, Joe Farley was out of the stables, punching the saddle to attend the funeral of a child, when the horse suddenly became ill and threw a kick, killing him on the spot, leaving his wife behind, and three sons and a few hundred dollars in insurance.
His oldest son, 10 year old Jim, had to drop out of school to work for a living at a brick factory. He did everything from pushing the excavator, pouring dirt into the mold and arranging the bricks to dry in the sun. Jim was not fortunate enough to study well, but with his cheerful nature, he easily made others love him. As the years passed, the old boy became an experienced man who entered politics and became a politician with an uncanny ability to remember names.
He had never been lectured at a university, but before the age of 46, four universities gave him many honorary degrees and then he became Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and General Manager. Governor of the US Postal Service. I once interviewed and asked Jim Farley about the secret to success. He replied, “Work hard.” I replied, “Don’t joke around!” He asked on the contrary, what do you think makes him successful.
I replied, “I know you can remember the first names of 10,000 people.” He replied, “No! You are wrong. I can remember the names of 50,000 people.” It was this special ability that helped Jim Farley bring Franklin Roosevelt to the White House when he ran the presidential campaign for Roosevelt in 1932.
During the years of struggling with life, through many professions, sometimes selling for a plaster factory, sometimes in charge of the Staniford City Hall clerk, he has developed a rule of remembering people’s names. Every time he got to know someone, he learned the person’s full name as well as a few facts about the person’s family, work, and political views.
He meticulously memorized all this information into his mind like the details of a picture. The next time you see him again, even after a year, he can still shake hands and ask about the family or ask about the plants in the person’s backyard. In this way, he gained the affection of many people.
Before Roosevelt’s presidential campaign, Jim Farley wrote hundreds of letters a day to voters throughout the western and northwestern states. Then, within 19 days, he traveled around 20 States, nearly 20,000 km by various means of transport. Going to each place, he expressed his concerns to voters through intimate meetings: drinking morning tea, lunch or dinner, and then set off again to start a new journey.
As soon as he returned to the east, he wrote to his closest relatives in each of the regions he visited and asked them for a list of those who had attended his talk. In the end, that list amounts to tens of thousands of names. Yet, every single person on this list received a private letter from Jim Farley. Letters usually begin with “Dear Bill” or “Dear Charles” and are always signed simply “Jim”.
Jim Farley soon discovered that the average person cares more about his or her own name than every other name on earth combined. Just remember the individual’s name, pronounce it correctly, and you’ve given that person a subtle and very effective compliment. If you forget, mispronouncing someone else’s name also means putting yourself in a very uncomfortable situation.
Once, I held a lecture course in Paris and sent letters to all American citizens living in this city. The typists were not very fluent in English, so they made many mistakes when entering their own names. The director of a large American bank in Paris, later wrote me a harsh critique because his name was misspelled. Sometimes it’s hard to remember a person’s name, especially when it’s so complicated to pronounce. Many people don’t even learn the pronunciation but call the person by a nickname to remember.
Cid Levy visits a client whose owner has a personal name Nikodemos Papadolos but most people call him Nik. Levy said:
– I tried to pronounce his name for weeks before visiting him. When I greeted him with his full name “Hello, Mr. Nikodemos Papadolos”, he was amazed.
After a few minutes of silence, he moved to say:
– Mr. Levy, in the 15 years I have lived in this country, no one has ever called me by my name!
You know what made Andrew Carnegie so successful? He was called the Iron King of America. The thousands of people who work for him have much more knowledge of steel than he does, only he knows how to treat people. This is what made him rich. He also soon showed an aptitude for organization and a natural talent for leadership. At the age of 10, he discovered the amazing importance of calling people by their first names, and he used this finding to get the enthusiastic cooperation of people throughout his life.
As a young boy in Scotland, he raised a pair of rabbits. Soon he had a bunch of baby rabbits, but the difficulty was that he had nothing to feed them. One fine day, he had an idea: he told the boys and girls in the area that if they could get enough clover and dandelion to feed the rabbits, he would name them after them. name for each baby rabbit. That plan worked like a miracle, and Carnegie never forgot this.
Years later, he has made millions using this same mentality in business. For example, Andrew Carnegie wanted to supply steel rails for the Tese Vania railroad company, of which Edgar Thompson was President. So he built a giant steel mill in Pittsburg and called it “Edgar Thompson Steelworks”. Guess who railway company Tese Vania needs steel to make rails, whose steel will Edgar Thompson buy?
The art of remembering and cherishing the names of friends and business associates was one of Carnegie’s secrets to successful leadership. He prided himself on being able to call many workers by their own names and there had never been a strike at the steel mills during his time in power.
Ben Sinlov, the director of the Texas Chamber of Commerce, believes that the more a corporation grows, the more distant it becomes, and he offers a solution: there is a way to connect the spirit of the corporation, which is to remember its name of everyone. Any manager who says that he can’t remember the names of his employees means that he can’t remember an important part of his job.
Karen Chris, from California, a flight attendant for an American airline travel agency, has a habit of learning the first names of passengers in the cabin and using them when serving them. Passengers were so pleased with her service that they wrote letters of praise to the airline and to her. One passenger wrote:
“I came to fly on an American airline for the first time, but from now on, I will only go with this airline. Your service style is very special, sincere, and that’s the important thing. important to me.”
Everyone is very proud of their own name so try to save it at all costs. For centuries, aristocrats, magnates, sponsors of artists, musicians and authors, rarely, apart from having their names placed on the front page of their works, dedication and thanksgiving.
Libraries and museums have the richest collections thanks to people who don’t want to lose their names in the memory of humanity, like the New York library whose Esto and Lenos; The Government Museum maintains the names of Benjamin Altman and Chapis Morgan. Nearly every church is adorned with stained glass windows bearing the names of their patrons. Many buildings, many lecture halls of most universities, are named after people who have contributed large amounts of money to the school.
Most of us don’t remember people’s names simply because we often blame our busy schedules for not taking the time and effort needed to concentrate, remember, repeat, and inculcate that information into his mind.
For many people, a name is merely a name. This concept is completely wrong. When we are able to remember and call another person’s name accurately and intimately, it shows that we have shown a sincere interest in that person and of course those who are genuinely cared for will also show affection.
Same for us, President Franklin Roosevelt was obviously a very busy man, yet he still took the time to remember and be able to repeat the names of everyone, including an ordinary mechanic with whom he had a chance. The story is that the Chrysler company built a car for the President because he couldn’t use a normal car because his legs were paralyzed. And Chamberlain, from the Chrysler company, recounted the delivery of the car to the President at the White House in his letter to me as follows:
“When I arrived at the White House, the President greeted me warmly. He called me by my first name which made me feel very comfortable and especially gave me the impression that he really cared about what I had to say. The car is designed so that it can be used entirely by hand. In front of the crowd gathered around to see the car, he commented:
“It’s great! just press the button and it runs without any effort. It’s beautiful! I don’t know how it works. When I have free time, I have to take it off to see.”
As the President’s friends and associates marveled at the car, he told me:
“Mr. Chamberlain, I really appreciate the time and effort you put into creating this car. It’s truly amazing!”
The President looked at the radiator, the rear mirror, the clock, the special lights, the upholstery, the driver’s seat, the individual suitcases in the trunk with the letters crossed per suitcase. He paid attention to every detail and deliberately raised these up, for the attention of Mrs. Roosevelt, Miss Jetkins, the Secretary of Labor and his personal secretary. After listening to my instructions on how to use it, the President said:
“Mr. Chamberlain, I’ve made the Federal Reserve guy wait 30 minutes, I need to get back to work.”
I brought a mechanic with me. He was very shy, stood back and didn’t say a word. The President only heard me introduce his name once, when he first arrived. Yet before he left, the President found this mechanic, shook his hand, called him by his first name, and thanked him sincerely. A few days later, when I returned to New York, I received a signed portrait of President Roosevelt plus a thank you note. Where did he find the time to do that? This is still a mystery to me.”
Franklin Roosevelt knew that one of the simplest, most effective, and most important ways to win people over was to remember their names and make them feel important. And how many of us have done it?
One of the first lessons of a politician is to remember the names of the voters. Forgetting that is easy to lose your position. As in politics, the ability to remember one’s own name is important in business and in social interaction.
Napoleon III, Emperor of France, grandson of Napoleon I, proudly shared that despite his busy work, he still remembered the names of everyone he met. How did he do that? It’s very simple, if he can’t hear the proper name, he will say: “sorry, I didn’t hear your name clearly”. If it was a strange name, he would say, “sorry, how is your name spelled?”.
During the conversation, he repeated the interlocutor’s name several times and tried to remember the name in combination with facial features, mannerisms and posture. If this was an important figure, Napoleon III endured even more. He wrote the person’s name on a piece of paper, looked at it carefully, and focused on memorizing it. In this way, the ear, the eyes see, the mind concentrates, the name will be remembered forever.
All of these good habits take time to practice and develop. We need to realize the magic that lies behind the name of every human being, and remember that every name, no matter how simple, is what matters and is the person’s joy.
Therefore, the information we are exchanging, or the stories between two parties, will become very special when they are included in it, the name of the person with whom we are communicating, whoever they are.
People. Be it you or the CEO, the name always works wonders when we call it right. Good qualities are developed and practiced through a lot of hard work and determination.
Rule 6: Always remember that a person’s name is the sweetest, dearest and most important sound to them.