3 Fundamental Habits of Influential People

Julia Millay Walsh

Growing up in a tiny, dot-on-the-map town in rural Missouri, Dale Carnegie was a “skinny, unathletic, and fretful” son of a pig farmer, writes Susan Cain in her book on introverts, Quiet. After observing a charismatic public speaker traveling through his hometown, Carnegie, despite his innate introversion and with much determination, became a speaking champion and leader himself. He eventually launched the Dale Carnegie Institute, devoted to helping businessmen overcome their insecurities. Though published in 1937, his book How to Win Friends and Influence People remains one of the best motivational books in history, addressing a question that’s core to everyone’s existence: How do you get along with people?

Carnegie identified a few major recurring characteristics or habits of highly influential people, from Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Edison to Charles Schwab. Time-tested to this day by current leaders like Oprah Winfrey, these habits are still widely relevant and apply to practically every industry and relationship. Read on below to learn three fundamental traits in people who successfully handle others.

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