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The Modern Store

by John Emory Powers

John E. Powers was one of the earliest consultants. Many think that the other classic, Obvious Adams, is based on him.

I don’t know that for sure but this I can tell you: the ideas in this book are just as valid, more than 100 years later, as they were the day he published it in 1901.

Don’t believe me? Just watch this video from Simon Sinek in 2013:

“Why Leaders Eat Last:”

This book is unique in that it was the first to lay down principles that have lasted more than 100 years and will probably last through the next thousand or more years. This book presents those principles in a way that no other can. It is a must-read.

You will see that the principle of treating your customers AND employees like you would like to be treated is a universal theme for long-lasting, successful businesses and how to implement it. You will see that when these principles are violated, the end result is an eventual failure. Sure, some companies have put off that failure but the eventual result is still a failure.

If you would like 21st-century proof, you only have to look at Merrill-Lynch and Goldman-Sachs, two companies that started out with the right attitude but when their culture changed they plummeted into ruin. Merrill-Lynch had to be bailed out through being acquired by Bank of America and Goldman-Sachs had to be bailed out by the government.

Of course, merely knowing the right attitude is not nearly enough.

As David Ogilvy quoted in his book, Ogilvy On Advertising: “God is in the details” (Mies van der Rohe). And so it is with this principle. You can get the details here in this book and elsewhere (the recommended video above, for example).

And finally, let me point out that:

It is not good enough to just KNOW the principles…

It is not good enough to just KNOW the details…

You must actually APPLY them to get the results promised.

It’s something you have to work at each and every day. I know. I’ve been trying to master it for years and I have to continually come back and read the great classics like this one, just to remind myself of the foundational principles I need to master.

I like what David Ogilvy said in another part of “Ogilvy On Advertising:”

“I run the risk of being denounced by the idiots who hold that any advertising technique which has been in use for more than two years is ipso facto obsolete…turning a blind eye to the fact that these techniques still make the cash register ring…I comfort myself with the reflection that I have sold more merchandise than all of them put together.”

Good luck in your search for results…and the truth of it. It’s up to you whether you get, read, and apply the golden knowledge in this book. Either way, I wish you success.