Enthusiasm is Contagious

The great Dale Carnegie said that “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the term “horse sense” in today’s terms it would most closely be associated with “common sense.” Which of course isn’t actually all that common.

Dale Carnegie believed in the power of enthusiasm. He saw it in action during thousands of sessions of his Human Relations, Public Speaking, Sales and Leadership courses. I saw it in hundreds of those same courses. I see it all the time today as well.

People who are very enthusiastic about whatever it is they are doing simply do it better, in every way, than less enthusiastic people.

You, and every other human on the planet, can spot an enthusiastic person a mile away. You can also feel them, hear them, and maybe even be contaminated by them. You, and every other human on the planet can also spot an unenthusiastic person a mile away. And you most certainly can be contamination by them.

If you’re in a leadership position then it is vital to understand that you lead by example, whether you intend to or not. Your people are watching and they are watching to see if you do the same things you tell them to do. They are also watching to see if you do it enthusiastically.

Are you enthusiastically walking your talk. Merely going through the motions won’t get it done. As a leader you are the “model” for the actions you want from your people. But not only is it important “what” you do, it’s also very important “how” you do it.

You know that your more enthusiastic people are more productive and better team members. What you may not always realize is that they often model their enthusiasm level after yours.

Dale Carnegie also said to “act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” There will be days when your enthusiasm level isn’t what it needs to be. On those days follow Mr. Carnegie’s wise advice and act enthusiastic. Sooner or later your natural enthusiasm will take over and your “acting” will be replaced by the real thing.

Your enthusiasm is contagious, make sure you have enough so that everyone who comes near you catches a bit of yours.

Successful People are Enthusiastic!

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Do we absolutely have to be enthusiastic to be successful? Probably not, we can likely find cases where a somewhat unenthusiastic person has become a success. What would be much more difficult to find is an enthusiastic person who is not a success.

Dale Carnegie said that “enthusiasm is the little recognized secret to success.” I believe that statement is as true today as it was when he made it 75 years ago. It is true for any profession but maybe there is a bit more truth in it where salespeople are concerned.

Think about it, you’re trying to convince a customer that your product is best, so much so that it is worth paying a premium to own. That is hard enough as it is, it becomes almost impossible when we have the enthusiasm of an autopsy subject. How can your customer become excited about what we have to offer when you appear not to be? Would you buy from someone just going through the motions?

Successful people are excited by what they’re doing and that excitement is contagious. They draw people to them because these people want to work with them, do business with them and just be around them. Are you that type of person?

Many Dale Carnegie classes begin with a “warm-up” that has participants shouting “act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic.” I’ve seen that “warm-up” many times and I know that statement to be absolutely true. Sometimes it is as simple as acting enthusiastic, you see, you can even catch enthusiasm from yourself.