templeton-planWe continue our exploration of John Templeton’s twenty-one steps detailed in The Templeton Plan by reviewing Step 6: Finding the Positive with Every Negative. With the recession still holding strong (or is it?), we will explore this step and provide some examples of why living a more optimistic life is beneficial.


Given the uncertain state of our economy, now is a more important time than ever to build a network among colleagues and acquaintances. John Templeton was a very savvy networker who understood that accentuating the positive in every situation was a smart way to conduct business. He describes his networking method to James Ellison in Step 6 of The Templeton Plan:

To reach out, to try the new, is to accentuate the positive. The successful person never stops reaching and trying. When Templeton first became an investment counselor after college, he had a friend, Harry J. Haas, a banker in Philadelphia. Haas formed a habit of making friends with other bankers whom he met at conventions and bankers’ associations. He would write their names on individual cards and file them in his desk drawer. Subsequently, he would keep a sharp eye out for a photograph or any news item relating to them—a promotion mentioned in the business section of any newspaper, a recent entry in Who’s Who, a social event—and whenever he found something, he would clip it out and attach it to the card. He collected cards on thousands of bankers, and he never failed to drop someone a line of congratulations on good news or commiseration if the news were bad. As a result, Haas, who through his thoughtfulness had made thousands of friends, later in life became president of the American Bankers’ Association.

Men like Haas are uplifting forces in the lives of many. They make an extra effort to find the positive in every negative. Their genuine interest in others translates into substantial success.