Analyzing Character HTML version

Analyzing Character
In the preparation of this work, we have drawn copiously from our records of individuals and firms. It should
be borne in mind by the reader that, for obvious reasons--except in one or two cases--the details of these
narratives have been so altered as to disguise the personalities and enterprises involved, the essentials being
maintained true to the record.
New York City, January 3, 1916. THE AUTHORS.
"There is one name," says Elbert Hubbard, "that stands out in history like a beacon light after all these
twenty-five hundred years have passed, just because the man had the sublime genius of discovering ability.
That man is Pericles. Pericles made Athens and to-day the very dust of the street of Athens is being sifted and
searched for relics and remnants of the things made by people who were captained by men of ability who
were discovered by Pericles."
The remark of Andrew Carnegie that he won his success because he had the knack of picking the right men
has become a classic in current speech. Augustus Caesar built up and extended the power of the Roman
Empire because he knew men. The careers of Charlemagne, Napoleon, Disraeli, Washington, Lincoln, and all
the empire builders and empire saviours hold their places in history because these men knew how to
recognize, how to select, and how to develop to the highest degree the abilities of their co-workers. The great
editors, Greeley, Dana, James Gordon Bennett, McClure, Gilder and Curtis, attained their high station in the
world of letters largely because of their ability to unearth men of genius. Morgan, Rockefeller, Theodore N.
Vail, James J. Hill, and other builders of industrial and commercial empires laid strong their foundations by
almost infallible wisdom in the selection of lieutenants. Even in the world of sports the names of Connie
Mack, McGraw, Chance, Moran, Carrigan and Stallings shine chiefly because of their keen judgment of
human nature.
If the glory that was Greece shone forth because Pericles kindled its flame, then Pericles in any time and
amongst any people would probably have ushered in a Golden Age. Had Carnegie lived in any other day and
sought his industrial giants, he would no doubt have found them. If a supreme judge of latent talent and
inspirer of high achievement can thus always find material ready to his hand, it follows that humanity is rich
in undiscovered genius--that, in the race, there are, unguessed and undeveloped, possibilities for a millennium
of Golden Ages. Psychologists tell us that only a very small percentage of the real ability and energy of the
average man is ever developed or used.
"Poor man!" says a reviewer, speaking of a contemporary, "he never discovered his discoverer." The man who
waits for his Pericles usually waits in vain. There has been only one Pericles in all history. Great geniuses in
the discovery, development, and management of men are rare. Most men never meet them. And yet every man
can discover his discoverer.
Self-knowledge is the first step to self-development. Through an understanding of his own aptitudes and
talents one may find fullest expression for the highest possibilities of his intellect and spirit. A man who thus
knows himself needs no other discoverer. The key to self-knowledge is intelligent, scientific self-study.
In the year 1792, Mahmoud Effendi, a Turkish archer, hit a mark with an arrow at 482 yards. His bow, arrows,
thumb-ring and groove are still on exhibition in London as proof of the feat. His prowess lay in his native gift,
trained by years of practice, to guess the power of his bow, the weight and balance of his arrow, and the range
and direction of his target; also, the sweep of the wind. This he gained by observations repeated until the
information gathered from them amounted to almost exact knowledge. Thousands of gunners to-day hit a
mark miles away, with a 16-inch gun, not because they are good guessers, but because, by means of science,
they determine accurately all of the factors entering into the flight of their projectiles. Pericles judged men by
a shrewd guess--the kind of guess called intuition. But such intuition is only a native gift of keen observation,