It is uncanny the parallels between the life and times of Napoleon Hill and the economy and world of today. If we ever really could learn from history, we could take his lessons to heart and begin to look toward a brighter world economic future.
Reforms Of Today And Yesterday
Business during the time of the Depression was due for a reform, as it is again today. The methods of the pre-Depression era, based on economic combinations of force and fear, began to be supplanted by the better principles of faith and cooperation. This is the time when business began to give the labor force more than daily wages; they began to receive benefits like insurance and dividends (or profit sharing) the same as investors received; but, first, workers had to give more to their employers; they had to learn the art of negotiation, and stop bickering and bargaining by force, at the expense of the public. They had to earn the right to dividends!
Best Of The Best
Following the Depression and workplace reform, the best business leaders, and workers who would become leaders, came to understand and implement these practices. Still, however, today, or perhaps again today, there is a call for business leaders to reconfirm their dedication to the best of business-leading practices. Ultimately, the successful leaders since the Depression, and those poised to emerge and rise higher today lead and are led by leaders who understand and apply the principles of Gandhi. Only in this way can leaders elicit the spirit of full cooperation from their followers—the spirit which constitutes power in its highest and most enduring form.
The industrial age, in which Hill lived and wrote, had taken the soul out of men and women. Its leaders had driven workers as though they were pieces of cold machinery; to some extent, they were forced to do so by the employees who bargained, at the expense of all concerned, to get and not to give. With the populace coming to feel more and more entitled today, we could be in danger of this happening again; for this reason, the business world and the labor force all need to take stock of their assets, liabilities, practices, and attitudes, and reaffirm their dedication to maintaining a positive, productive compensation package while employees commit to earning their compensations. In this way, our modern business world is not so unlike that tenuous post-Depression era.
What Hill is basically talking about here is responsibility—the responsibility to yourself, to build and to earn that which you are aiming to achieve. You cannot expect wealth to be handed to you; you have to be willing to hold up your end of the bargain. Fortunately, even in this tough global economy, the opportunities for building wealth are more plentiful than ever before. And success is just around the corner for those who take the responsibility for their own personal success.
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