“Old Bill” Suggests—
For a fellow to have a good opinion of himself is one of the best possible aids to success. But the stongest views on that subject are not necessarily those that make the most noise. One might classify the graduations roughly as follows:
1. Habitual failure. Finds victory so rare that it is important news. Will tell about it even if he has to make it up.
2. Moderately capable. Good solid record, with plenty of achievement. Not much to say unless something really happened. Sometimes talks about unimportant details, or facts already known.
3. Climber. The same as No. 2, but with more vigor and more desire to stand out. Finds victory not too difficult but still pleasing enough to be remembered. Will admit frankly that he is proud to be vice-president of the XYZ Company. Mild egotist.
4. At-the-top. Very little to say. Afraid of seeming to be pompous or ostentatious. Knows XYZ Company is proud to have him for a vice-president and therefore feels very kindly toward XYZ Company. Simple and friendly, but highly practiced in not letting people waste his time. Interested in others, partcularly in typical human nature or unusual quirks of character.
All four remind one of the chorus girl who said her sweetie spent like a millionaire. “No, not like a millionaire’s son. Like a millionaire. He never loosens up. That’s how he got that way.”
Reality and sham usually have opposite earmarks.
ROYAL F. MUNGER.