The Success Strategies of Henry Baldwin Hyde
founder of The Equitable
(taken from Selling Power July/August 1997)
WORK HARD...When a reporter asked Hyde for the secrets of his success, he replied, “In order to succeed you must rise earlier, sit up later, and work harder and more skillfully than those around you.” Hyde believed that there was pure genius in hard work saying: “You may say that this is a hard life. It may or may not be hard, according to disposition of the individual. The successful man derives more pleasure and real satisfaction from his hard-working life than ever comes to the one who neglects his business and suffers the penalty which such neglect brings.”
IMPROVE EVERYTHING...Hyde made it a practice to thoroughly investigate each department. From time to time he would review the work flow, question the validity of established routines and systems, analyze records, watch workers do their jobs, scrutinize his managers’ performance and make suggestions for improvement.
INNOVATE...In 1987 he purchased land to build the first office building for The Equitable. At that time there was not a single office building in New York with passenger elevators. Against the advice of experts, Hyde ordered the elevators and proved that the new technology increased efficiency and enhanced the company’s image.
LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMER...Hyde was an enthusiastic salesperson and enjoyed spending time in the field. He traveled extensively through the country, visiting agents’ offices. He listened to customers and often encouraged his agents to use listening as a sales tool saying, “Don’t talk too much. The tongue is a dagger which often assassinates success.”
INVEST YOUR TIME WISELY...Hyde firmly believe that time was more important than money. He told his staff, “At the close of each day, think of what you have done, and not how much time you have wasted. You can do a great work if you will never let a day pass without gathering some valuable result, and you will be surprised at the end of the year by the progress you made.”
THINK BIG...Hyde didn’t hide his ambition and encouraged others to aim high, saying, “It is astonishing how much more a man can do if he has in his mind a definite object that he is striving to accomplish than if his efforts lack purpose and concentration.”
“Think! If you don’t think, you deserve to be a failure. Perhaps you say you haven’t time to think — you have too much work to do. But heedless work is profitless. You must think or fail. Take your choice.”