Day twelve of our eastbound 2021 Cross Country Adventure. We were heading east on U.S. Route 24, when I noticed a sign that read, "Wamego, Kansas: Home of Walter P. Chrysler - "the man and the company that could get things done." It was Sunday, doubtful it would be open. We stopped anyway.
For over 30 years, I've quoted Walter P Chrysler and the importance he placed on enthusiasm:
"But far more important than background and technical expertise, I look for people who are enthusiastic about Chrysler. When they're enthusiastic about Chrysler, they get others enthusiastic about Chrysler. And, as a result, we build better Chrysler's, and we sell more, too." - Repeat Business, Step 4: EnthusiasmI was eager to gain more firsthand knowledge of Mr. Chrysler, seeing his childhood home and learning more about his life, and his insatiable curiosity. He was bent on learning all he could about how things work.
The contrasts between Chrysler's childhood home and the Chrysler Building are striking. The little 1,500 square foot house on West 10th Street was built in 1889 by Henry "Hank" Chrysler, 14-year-old Walter and his younger brother Jack. It was probably the average size home for a middle class, mid-western family. When The Chrysler Building was completed just fifty-five short years after Chrysler's birth, it was the tallest building in the world!
Walter was intrigued by all things mechanical, engines in particular. Hank Chrysler wanted his son to go to college, instead Walter stayed home, pursuing a railroad engineering career.
At the 1905 Chicago Auto Show he saw a Delta Locomobile. The car cost $5,000 – an astronomical sum in those days. Walter convinced a banker to loan him the money. He completely disassembled and put it back together several times. Having figured out how it worked, he got in, started it, and promptly drove through a neighbor's fence.
All of Chrysler's advanced learning came through International Correspondence Schools in Scranton, PA, and mentoring of those who saw his enthusiasm for learning and "getting things done."
Walter Percy Chrysler's example reminds me, once again, of the importance of being a lifelong learner. Make my driving and treadmill time into learning time. These are my "continuing education courses."
The action I call you to take is to continue your learning. Read the Turbocharger every week and forward it to a friend. Not a Leadership Development Lab (LDL)™graduate? Take the next class in your area. LDL graduates, check into being an LDL Instructor's Assistant. Join me in taking the Great Courses and free online classes at Hillsdale College.
The benefit you will gain is greater confidence and credibility as you challenge your team to become certified professionals at higher and higher levels.
for more insight into how you can apply 5X more enthusiasm to achieve results.
The real secret to success is boundless enthusiasm.-Chrysler
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems