The author starts off the book citing the example of ‘Two Gun’ Crowley, the cop killer, and the most sensational manhunt in New York City which ended with the capture of this desperado. Despite being known to be a notorious killer, he regards himself as a man with a kind heart who would hurt nobody. In another example, the author cites Chicago’s most sinister gang leader Al Capone who believes he is an unappreciated public benefactor. The author uses these examples to drive home the first important quality one must ingrain to influence people, i.e.

‘Never Criticize, Condemn or Complain’

If serial killers & gangsters believe that they are here to serve people and refuse to accept anything remotely otherwise, there’s no way that normal people would accept criticism. Criticism makes a person defensive and will arouse hard feelings impairing all his/her further usefulness. The author beautifully explains this in the following statement:

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.

The first chapter bristles with many such examples including opinion conflict between Abraham Lincoln & General Meade during Civil War, quarrel between Theodore Roosevelt and Republican US President Taft which ultimately led to the most disastrous defeat of the Republican party in the ensuing election.

While the author does make some very valid points, I do feel that this rule applies when you pick a right candidate for the right job and not worried about his dedication to the job. Understanding the situation from others perspective is an important formula for the math between two people to work out, but that shouldn’t stop oneself from pointing what’s wrong with the others view. The ability to do so without giving the impression of criticism is the fine line only few managed to walk.