Think & Grow Rich Lessons
Margi Starr Springfield, Ohio, USA

Posted: 2016-12-07

Napoleon Hill gives a listing of men with outstanding achievements in this chapter.  George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas Jefferson, ...


“The genius which was theirs undoubtedly found its source of power in transmuted sex energy.”


I’ve always skipped over the names I didn’t recognize, but this time, I did a little research.  What a surprise for me to read about John H. Patterson.


John H. Patterson (1844-1922) was born in Dayton, Ohio, less than 45 minutes from where I live. 


He spent his childhood working on the family farm and sawmills. He graduated from Dartmouth College and went to work as a canal toll collector until 1870.


(From Dartmouth College graduate to toll collector. I wonder which one gave him his most valuable education.)


At 28 years old, he began managing the Southern Ohio Coal & Iron Company.  He became an investor in a manufacturing company 12 years later and with his brother at the age of 40, formed the National Cash Register Company.


Incredible!  As a young child I lived in Dayton.  Everyone talked about NCR.  It was THE place to work.


NCR had the first “daylight factory” buildings with windows that let in light and fresh air.  Prior to this, factories were more like sweatshops. The Dayton campus had spacious lawns and landscaping, and even artwork. 


Patterson established the world’s first sales training school at the NCR factory campus.  He also coined a phrase for his service division, which, until the company was bought by AT&T, hung on the wall of every service department in the company. 


“We Cannot Afford to Have a Single Dissatisfied Customer.”


Patterson was famous for firing Thomas Watson, Sr, who went on to become the President of CTR (Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company) later renamed IBM. So many prominent businessmen were trained and fired by Patterson that some regarded experience at NCR as the rough equivalent of an MBA degree.


(Doesn’t this remind you of Donald Trump saying, “You’re fired” on his popular TV show “The Apprentice?”


Patterson and his crony Watson were sentenced to one year imprisonment for unfair business practices, but that was later overturned by appeal.  They were both pardoned by President Woodrow Wilson as a result of their leadership and rescue efforts during the Great Dayton Flood of 1913.  John H. Patterson led the recovery efforts, which included organizing rescue teams to save the thousands of people stranded on rooftops and the upper stories of buildings.


Patterson was a health fanatic and whenever he adopted a new health regimen, he required the same of all his executives and employees.


His nephew, Lt Frank Patterson, was killed in 1918 when his military aircraft crashed near Dayton, Ohio.  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base would be named in his memory. 


WPAFB is still a thriving Air Force Base and a vital part of Miami Valley area.


A generous philanthropist, Patterson, did not leave behind a fortune. Believing that “shrouds have no pockets,” he gave his millions to the social programs at his company.


It is believed that from 1910-1930, one-sixth of the United State business executives were former NCR executives.


Now I understand why Napoleon Hill included John H Patterson in this list.  He learned the secret of Emotional Energy and by doing so, he influenced a generation of leaders.  His legacy lives on to this day.


Margi "Shining" Starr