This book was not what I expected, but it was absolutely incredible. This is one of a small number of books that apply directly to becoming a better personal injury lawyer and a better person overall. This book will help me better represent people in Northwest Arkansas and beyond as well as live a fulfilling life. I started and finished this book during the same day and couldn’t put it down. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino is actually a book about how to live as a decent human being; the “salesman” part is the medium by which the messages are passed.
The entire premise behind the book is the main character, Hafid, trying to become the greatest salesman in the world. To do so, he must obtain and follow ten leather scrolls that contain the secrets necessary to accomplish his goals. What the reader realizes is that these secrets are not even targeted at selling techniques or tricks, but are how to be a happy and wholesome person in order to then be successful at whatever you do.
Stylistically, there is just enough story to really get the reader caught up in what is going on so that the messages can be delivered and openly received. The story is loosely based on the story of Jesus with references to his birth and death as well as an encounter with Paul the apostle. Now, this is not a “Biblical” book as it doesn’t quote directly from the Bible. Instead, this is a fictional tale of someone else who could have lived during that time. It is a very enjoyable method of writing.
The ten scrolls are nine “secrets” with one scroll to explain how to learn and use the others. Each scroll has its own theme. The first one that explains the others focuses on developing good habits instead of being controlled by urges. It is only through developing these habits that the secrets from the other scrolls can be learned and applied. Then, in order, the themes from the other scrolls are love, persistence, confidence, living today as if it is your last, mastering emotions, laughing, multiplying your value, taking action, and praying for guidance. Each of these scrolls has explanations and application principles and daily ways to implement the theme into your life.
A final theme that I took from the book was to share these secrets with those around you. The most fulfilling way to live a good life is with others around you doing the same.
This book applies directly to our work as trial lawyers as well as the obvious application that it has to my life personally.
As personal injury and catastrophic injury lawyers, we can learn a lot from the message delivery style in this book. This was a perfect mix of story and principles. We have the principles in our cases nailed down, and we’re generally good storytellers. The key that I will be taking away from this is how to combine those two for the best delivery. It opened with enough of a story that it had me begging for what was the content of the scrolls and then closed with enough of a wrapup to make me content that I heard the whole thing. If we can find that balance with juries, then we will have much more successful outcomes.
As a person, I am going to do my best to apply the principles from the scrolls to my life. Everything taught in the books lines up with Biblical teachings, even though the book doesn’t ever quote scripture. There are actually so many amazing quotes that there was no way I could pick one as an example. Literally every two to three pages there was something that hit me where I had to read it multiple times and just let it sink in.
There are a few books that I’ve read after working here that I would highly suggest everyone read. This is one of them. The Greatest Salesman in the World is full of universal principles that everyone can benefit from.