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Time-worn books, timeless lessons

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

The following novels are old, corny and sexist. But they were the most popular “get ahead” books of their day because they taught effective lessons about success.
  1. Bound to Rise, by Horatio Alger Jr. (1900). The tale of how Harry Walton overcame poverty and became rich through his unfailing honesty, optimism and courage to confront crooks.


    • Stay true to your principles. You will win out in the end, even over scoundrels.

    • Trust your instincts. If you know in your heart that someone is dishonest, you’re probably correct.

  2. Stover at Yale, by Owen Johnson (1911). The perfect Ivy Leaguer, “Dink” Stover, rises to the top of the social heap at Yale University through honesty, sobriety and his ability to associate himself with the right crowd.


    • After trouncing someone in a political skirmish, shake hands and say, “No hard feelings, right?”

    • You don’t have to like people to find ways to use them to achieve success. Not a nice outlook, but perhaps a realistic one.

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