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Business

The Only Management Advice You’ll Ever Need (or, how to get YOUR face on a bank note)

You don’t get your face on a $100 US note for nothing.

Especially if you’re chubby, bespectacled, balding and ineloquent.

But Benjamin Franklin did.

Moreover, aside from being a renowned scientist and famous diplomat, he was also a big hit with the ladies. (His time as US Ambassador to France is the stuff of legend.)

Here’s how he did it::

“I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradictions to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertions of my own.  I even forbade myself the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as ‘certainly,’ ‘undoubtedly’, etc.  I adopted instead of them ‘I conceive’, ‘I apprehend’, or ‘I imagine a thing to be so-and-so’, or ‘it so appears to me at present’.

When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition.  And, in answering, I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances, his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared to me to be some difference, etc.

I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner.  The conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly.  The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction.

I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more eagerly prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.

And this mode which I at first put on with some violence to natural inclination, because at length so easy and so habitual to me, that perhaps for these fifty years past, no one has ever heard a dogmatic expression escape me.  And to this habit I think it principally owing that I had early so much weight with my fellow citizens when I proposed new institutions, or alterations in the old, and so much influence in public councils when I became a member.  For I was such a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in language and yet I generally carried my point.”  (from his autobiography)

The Manager who emulates Ben Franklin will gain respect, esteem and fellowship of colleagues and subordinates.

And it will happen because the Manager who emulates Ben Franklin be worth listening to.


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About Dr. Duff Watkins [www.execsearch.com.au]

international executive search consultant / author-- dispensing career advice about how the job market really works

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Dr. Duff Watkins

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