The secret to guaranteed success.

Ivy Lee public relations

Ivy Lee

This secret was imparted by Ivy Lee, the person credited with ‘inventing’ Public Relations (PR).  Napoleon Hill, the author of best-selling book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ used to recount the story of Lee’s amazing little secret revealed to Charles Schwab during the 1920s.

According to Hill’s version of the story, Charles Schwab – who was then president of Bethlehem Steel – was approached by a business consultant (Lee).  He told Schwab that he was confident he could increase the success of Schwab’s company multiple times, if Lee could only spend a few minutes with his executives.

Charles Schwab asked how much it would cost and Ivy told him absolutely nothing, unless it worked.  After 90 days, Schwab could send him a cheque for whatever he thought it was worth…if anything.

With absolutely nothing to lose, Schwab gave Lee the green-light to spend 10 minutes with each of his management executives.

Lee made each executive promise him and commit to their executive peers that for the next 90 days:

before leaving their office at the end of the day, they would make a list of the 6 most important things they had to do the next day, and prioritise them in their order of importance.  Each was instructed to simply scratch off each item after finishing it, and go on to the next one on his list. If something didn’t get done, they were to put it on the following day’s list.

Each of Schwab’s executives agreed to follow through on Lee’s instructions.

Exactly 90 days later, Schwab studied the results and was so pleased with the increase in production and sales that he sent Lee a cheque for US$35,000 (this was a lot of money in the 1920s – the average worker made just under $600 year!)

Schwab was one of the smartest businessmen of the last century, and the first person to make a million dollar salary when there was no income tax.

This story feeds into the Worker Bee Habits.

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