I must admit that I was a little reluctant to draft this piece as part of our continuing series of “Meet the Authors.” To be perfectly honest, I was concerned that I may not be able to do justice to this particular man.
A very long time ago, a CEO gave me a copy of the best-selling book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, and asked me to summarize it at his annual meeting for a large group of sales managers. By the way, this particular book has been used by thousands of sales organizations in training their staffs. I hesitated as I have never really been that interested in the area of sales. I’ve heard all of the traditional spiels and shtick that are guaranteed to provide successful sales. I’ve attended the rallies and heard most of the motivational speakers sharing their wisdom. It just didn’t interest me as I’ve always been a firm believer that the best insurance of great sales is even better service! It always worked for me.
However, I took the assignment, read the book, and made the presentation. It was well accepted by all in attendance and the CEO was very pleased as a faithful follower of “Og” Mandino. End of this story—beginning of another.
I was so taken by the brilliance, clarity, enthusiasm, and spirit of this captivating author and the mystique he utilizes to lull readers into an aura of understanding that I became an immediate and eternal fan of this man and his work. He has written 19 books which have sold more than 50 million copies and been transferred into 25 different languages. He was the President of Success Unlimited magazine until 1976 and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Hall of Fame. Although he died in 1996, he remains one of the most inspirational and best-selling authors today. While his work is admired and supported by many different faiths, those who simply enjoy an inspirational message are also very supportive fans.
A year after reading his bestseller, I had the opportunity of hearing Og speak in person at a day-long motivational rally. Although he shared the stage with six other well-known speakers, it was obvious that he had mesmerized the audience of several thousand in attendance. It was at this time that I realized Og offered more than a rare ability to tell a story. This man had a voice like none other I had ever heard. It was the voice of a story-teller … a voice which could demand and maintain the attention of thousands of people at the same time making each one of them feel as though they were the only one in the room with him. His unique cracker-barrel New England accent transports you to the heart of Massachusetts the moment you hear it.
In fact, if you’d like to hear it for yourself simply visit the following link and you can hear a short version of Og’s life in his own words as you read along or enjoy a variety of pictures from his past.
The mystique that I mentioned earlier evolves from a rare combination of several exceptional characteristics. 1.) enchanting parables 2.) a hypnotic voice and stage presence 3.) and the ability to draw on his own life experiences as he created memorable narratives which provide valuable learning opportunities. That’s quite a package. It was enough to encourage me to add his audio tapes to my collection of his enthralling books.
I have dedicated a special shelf in my library for Og’s works … they’ve had that much of an impact on me. Two of those books contain a personal note scrawled across the page in green ink … a habit he originated early in his career as green had always been his favorite color. Having his entire collection at your fingertips is similar to having access to a college education in your own home. In fact, one of his books is titled The University of Success, and its content certainly provides the promise of the title.
Offering a wide variety of subject matter, Og prepares you for a life of positive planning and positive thinking. He points out the path to success and motivates the spirit within to achieve its full potential. Pick up a Mandino classic and you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve completed it.
I had the privilege of meeting Og on three different occasions and can testify that he was a very humble, charismatic man who was eager to share his wisdom, experience, and insight with any and all who were willing to receive it.
I don’t intend to include any book reviews here. We do that on our web site. However, to demonstrate the variety of content and the power of his storytelling, let’s peek between a few covers.
The Greatest Salesman in the World
This is the book that launched his career and, in the process, transformed the lives of millions of his readers who put the information and learning in this slim volume into their daily lives. This is the legend of Hafid, a camel boy of two thousand years ago, and his burning desire to improve his lowly position in life, as told to his apprentice Erasmus. He attempts to learn how to be a great salesman. In the process of his learning, he makes a decision that will influence his life forever. The book includes the wisdom of “ten scrolls” of learning, which the reader is encouraged to follow.
The Greatest Miracle in the World
In this classic, readers are introduced to a mysterious, long-haired, giant old man, Simon Potter, who calls himself a Ragpicker because he’s spent his life rescuing humans who had ended up on life’s refuse pile. Simon befriends Mandino and reveals ageless wisdom and knowledge as they search for the greatest miracle in the world. These two strangers become the best of friends, only in the end to have never met at all. The chilling conclusion will leave you speechless and wanting more.
The Return of the Ragpicker
He’s back-k-k-k! The title tells it all.
The Twelfth Angel
This is a real tear-jerker about a company president who loses his wife and son in a tragic car accident, a hopelessly uncoordinated little boy, Timothy Nobel, and his baseball team, the Angels. In the end, little Timothy teaches us lessons that will live with us forever. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll share this story of love, courage, persistence and victory.
This book focuses on a concept that many people have obviously forgotten … this is the fact that we do, in fact, have choices! We must, of course, choose wisely. We must also correct the choices we’ve made and are not happy with. Most importantly, we must take responsibility for whatever our choices are—and where they lead us. At one point in this revealing parable, the main character is faced with a decision he has to make: his son will die in two months unless he is willing to give up his own life in order for his son to live.
Books written by Og Mandino:
About Harry K. Jones
Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.
Og Mandino’s book “The Greatest Salesman in the World” was one I read over and over again when I first started in business. It helped me stay up and positive during a really challenging period in my life. I agree that his books and his principles are timeless.
I am a great fan of Og mandino and his works.
I came to read “The Greatest Salesman in the World” as part of a group assignment of a self-development course.
I have read the book for five months in just the same way as described in “The Greatest Secret in the World” — reading each scroll at least three times a day, for five weeks.
Reading a book in this way is so demanding that most people easily give up before reaching the end. So in the course I attend, each participant is assigned to a group of four, and the leader of each group interviews the other members of his/her group at the end of each week and posts in a Community BBS of a designated SNS service.
I am now reading Scroll VI this week and have 25 more weeks to go.
I feel my life has been changing greatly while reading this book.
Response to Kaichi Tanabe
Thanks so much for sharing your comments concerning your experience and admiration for Og Mandino. I certainly admire your discipline in the method in which you’re examining Og’s work. It’s nice to hear from someone who’s benefiting so much from Og’s wisdom and contributions. Best Wishes.
Harry K. Jones
Response to Shane Gibson
We appreciate your comments on Og Mandino’s book “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” I’m sure you speak for many of those who have received strength and encouragement from his work. Continued success.