Charles Michael Schwab (1862 – 1939) was an American steel magnate and his leadership made Bethlehem Steel the second largest steel maker in the United States. His ways of dealing with his staff are given a mention in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People from 1936.
Schwab became very wealthy and moved to New York City’s Upper West Side, where he built the mansion “Riverside”, which was and is the most ambitious private house ever built in New York. The 75-room house was designed by French architect Maurice Hebert and combined details from three French chateaux on a full city block. After Schwab’s death, the mansion was eventually razed and replaced by an apartment block.
Schwab also owned other mansions, for example a 44-room summer estate in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Schwab was known for his extravagant lifestyle and even before the Great Depression he had spent most of his fortune, that was estimated at between $25 and $40 million, which is between $500 and $800 million today adjusted for inflation.
He spent his last years in a small apartment, as he could no longer afford the taxes on his “Riverside” mansion. At his death he was over $300,000 in debt and his holdings in Betlehem Steel were worthless.
Although it didn’t end well for him, Charles M. Schwab is known as one of the great leaders in the beginning of last century and we can all learn a lot from him on how to succeed in business. Just try to be a bit more humble than him in your lifestyle outside of business.
Charles M. Schwab’s advice on how to succeed in business:
1. Be honest and straightforward.
2. Don’t get a job through influence. No true success is built on the influence of others. Depend on yourself.
3. Do what you are employed to do better than anyone else employed about you can do it. Promotion will surely follow.
4. Be interested in what you are doing, and don’t watch the dock for quitting time. Be too absorbed in your work to know what time of day it is.
5. Manual education excels for a life of business and manufacturers.
6. Get an early start in life. Begin work as soon as you can. A boy who begins at fifteen or sixteen years has the advantage of a boy who has a college education, unless he is seeking a professional life.
7. A college education is not necessary for a successful business career.