The Power Of The Critical Six

“The Man Who Has Done His Best Has Done Everything”*

One of my favorite success stories is about the legendary Charles M. Schwab, the great steel magnate and associate of Andrew Carnegie.

Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich {<Free Copy} which is #3 on of my top 10 list of self-help books, told the amazing story that changed Schwab’s destiny, and that of many others – including myself.

Back at the turn of the 20th century, Schwab, president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, met with a man named Ivy Lee.

Lee planned to sell Schwab his services by helping him to become more efficient. But Schwab told Lee that he wouldn’t pay for his services because his people already knew what they were doing. However, the problem was – getting them to do it.

Lee purposed that he would give the reluctant Schwab a tool for free, an idea that he guaranteed would make Bethlehem Steel more efficient. He asked Schwab to try it for twenty-one days, and if it worked, to share it with his employees, then send him a check for whatever he thought it was worth.

“Always Do Your Best. What You Plant Now, You Will Harvest Later.”*

Lee told Schwab, “At the beginning of every day, or better yet, at the end of the day before the following day, take out a piece of paper and write down the six most important things you need to do to achieve your objectives on that particular day.”

He told Schwab to do it right then and there. And after thinking about it, Schwab thought about it, Schwab wrote down six action items. Then he put them in order of importance, as Lee had told him to do.

“Starting tomorrow first thing, start on number one,” Lee said. “Do not go onto item number two until you have completely finished item number one. Then continue in succession with each number.

“If you get to the end of the day and have not completed your full list of action items, then roll over your actions to the next day. If five and six are left undone, they automatically become items one and two for the next.”

A Priceless Tool

Within a month after that historic meeting, Ivy Lee got a check in the mail for $25,000 – which would be worth about $325,000 today. Attached was a note from Schwab that stated, “That’s the most powerful tool for achievement that anyone has ever taught me, and here’s a fraction of what it’s worth.”

Relatively unknown at the time, within five years, Bethlehem Steel would go on to become the largest steel producer in the world.

Schwab himself earned over $100,000,000 – which today would be well over a billion dollars. He also became the most powerful and famous steel man alive.

“Aim For The Highest”*

Since then, lots of wealthy and powerful people have attributed their success to the Critical Six. And since anything anyone else can do, you can also learn how to do, at least equally as well – why not start today?

Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple disciplines. A few changes in your daily habits that grow into a lifetime of achievement and happiness. And isn’t that what life is all about?

All the best, – Herb.

Quotes –  *Charles M. Schwab,  *Og Mandino, *Andrew Carnegie




© 2017 – 2018, Herb Norcott. All rights reserved.


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