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A Timeless Classic, Quick Read, Great Business Short Story
on December 12, 2004
This one needs to be added to every young business person's essential reading list. Though written in the 1920's, it does not feel dated, and its lessons and examples are still applicable today.
The young character in the book, Bill Peck, has just returned from the war and is determined to get a job with the leading lumber company. He displays confidence, and that's the first lesson in the book. He refuses to take no for an answer when rejected by two of the top executives of the company. He takes his case directly to the founder of the company, who is impressed by his determination. Bill's confidence is demonstrated by the fact that he had his business cards printed before he had even spoken to the company.
The second lesson is execution. Bill doesn't just throw out empty promises, but promptly delivers when turned loose in the field. It does not matter that he has been given an inferior, difficult to sell product. He finds a way to make it irresitible to his customers.
Finally, the company's founder decides to give Bill the final test, asking him to "deliver the blue vase." Bill shows his resourcefulness and refusal to quit in fulfilling this quest.
Though you can knock this book out in just one sitting, its lessons will stay with you throughout your career.