3.If You Don't Do This,You Are Headed for Trouble
Back in 1898, a tragic thing happened in Rockland County, New York. A child had
died, and on this particular day the neighbors were preparing to go to the funeral.
Jim Farley went out to the barn to hitch up his horse. The ground was covered with
snow, the air was cold and snappy; the horse hadn’t been exercised for days; and as he
was led out to the watering trough, he wheeled playfully, kicked both his heels high in
the air, and killed Jim Farley. So the little village of Stony Point had two funerals that
week instead of one.
Jim Farley left behind him a widow and three boys, and a few hundred dollars in
His oldest boy, Jim, was ten, and he went to work in a brickyard, wheeling sand and
pouring it into the molds and turning the brick on edge to be dried by the sun. This boy
Jim never had a chance to get much education. But with his natural geniality, he had a
flair for making people like him, so he went into politics, and as the years went by, he
developed an uncanny ability for remembering people’s names.
He never saw the inside of a high school; but before he was forty-six years of age, four
colleges had honored him with degrees and he had become chairman of the Democratic
National Committee and Postmaster General of the United States.
I once interviewed Jim Farley and asked him the secret of his success. He said, “Hard
work,” and I said, “Don’t be funny.”
He then asked me what I thought was the reason for his success. I replied: "I
understand you can call ten thousand people by their first names.”
“No. You are wrong, " he said. “I can call fifty thousand people by their first names.”
Make no mistake about it. That ability helped Mr. Farley put Franklin D. Roosevelt in
the White House when he managed Roosevelt’s campaign in 1932.