No Man Will Make a Great Business Who Wants To Do It All Himself, Or To Get All the Credit of Doing It

Andrew Carnegie? Barnard Alderson? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Business titan and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie stated that one person cannot build a great enterprise alone. Also, one person should never demand all the credit. Would you please help me to find the precise quotation and a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1899 the “St. Louis Globe-Democrat” of Missouri published an interview with Andrew Carnegie who mentioned that he had many partners in his industrial endeavors. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

“I do not believe any one man can make a great success of a business nowadays. I am sure I never could have done so without my partners, of whom I had thirty-two, the brightest and cleverest young fellows in the world. ”

Carnegie asserted that only small-minded individuals attempted to take all the credit for a successful business: 2

“No man will make a great business who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit of doing it. That spirit is fatal, and the sure proof of a small mind.”

Carnegie’s remarks were published in “The Philadelphia Times” of Pennsylvania on the same day, 3 and two weeks later his guidance appeared in “The St. Paul Globe” of Minnesota. 4

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading No Man Will Make a Great Business Who Wants To Do It All Himself, Or To Get All the Credit of Doing It

Notes:

  1. 1899 October 15, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Carnegie On How To Get Rich (Special Correspondence of The Globe-Democrat), Section 3, Quote Page 4, Column 4, St. Louis, Missouri. (Newspapers_com) link
  2. 1899 October 15, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Carnegie On How To Get Rich (Special Correspondence of The Globe-Democrat), Section 3, Quote Page 4, Column 4, St. Louis, Missouri. (Newspapers_com) link
  3. 1899 October 15, The Philadelphia Times, Section: The Sunday Times Forum, The Essentials of Success by Andrew Carnegie, Quote Page 27, Column 3, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)
  4. 1899 October 29, The St. Paul Globe, He Made Millions: Andrew Carnegie Tells How Young Men Can Get Rich, Quote Page 22, Column 2, Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Newspapers_com)