How to lose friends and alienate people: Was Dale Carnegie wrong?

Carnegie and other self-help writers have missed the point the last few decades. Getting ahead in life isn’t about making people like you. It is about getting them to serve your interests.

Success depends, more than anything, on an inner ruthlessness. As anyone who has spent much time with chief executives will know, they are mostly an unpleasant bunch.

They bully, cajole, threaten and fume. There are very few examples of them flattering or charming their way to the top. They are more likely to be shouting and raging at people, demanding the impossible, and casting old friends and colleagues aside the moment they become an inconvenience. The accumulation of wealth requires an ability to crush rivals, stamp on employees, and sweep aside all opposition. Charm doesn’t come into it.

5 responses
The first question is whether or not this applies to startups? I have no idea if it requires you to be a miserable shark to climb to the top of a corporate ladder :-) I've never wanted to go there. haha

I would venture that the startup world is less about inner ruthlessness and more about creating movements and inspiring people to get behind you and support you.

Agree totally.

I *hope* this stuff is wrong. ;-)

Sounding very Machiavellian. But isn't it much more pleasant and don't you get MORE if they like you? You get much more for your money and a richer long term investment with a good personal relationship. Monetary wealth can get you a lot, but it's over-valued.
Its changing as we speak.  The old guard is the Gordon Gekko of Wallstreet, and he's on his way out.  It was happening even before the banking collapse.  People are realizing that transparency/openness/honesty/etc can all make for great tools in business.

In the later stages (someone who is actually generating revenue) Zappos would be a great example of that.
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