Two Elements of Success

To succeed you need both force and intelligence. Every failure you have ever had was because you lacked sufficient force or intelligence.

If you use the correct amount of force and the correct amount of intelligence, you succeed at anything you do.

Selling Cars

Ross and Sue work at an auto dealership selling cars. Neither are doing very well. Each has a different approach to selling.

Ross is aggressive. He grabs your hand, pats your back and speaks loudly. He bullies people into taking test drives and making offers.

Ross says, “This REALLY is the best car for you! You look GREAT in it! I’ll get you an INCREDIBLE DEAL! Sit down. Let’s make an offer. Wait a minute! You can’t leave yet!”

Sue takes a different approach. She says, “If you consider the engineering and statistical advances of this model, and compare it to the consumer surveys of the past three years, you can make a wise decision. It’s good to analyze your cost-per-year maintenance figures against the gas mileage, depreciation of the vehicle and initial cost.”

Ross tries to close the deal by saying, “Come ON! You’ll never get a BETTER DEAL! You need to buy it NOW! What the heck are you waiting for?”

Sue tries to close the deal by saying, “Your decision should be based on your income, your commuting needs and your values. I suggest you weigh the pros and cons while discussing the issue with your family.”

Neither Ross nor Sue sell many cars.

Unsuccessful Leadership

You find unsuccessful management everywhere. Certain leaders are too forceful. “Get this programming done by tonight or you’re fired!”

These bosses might have short-term success, but never long-term success.

Other unsuccessful leaders rely on intelligence. They are “nice guys.” They say, “According to our research you can increase your productivity by 13% if you get eight hours of sleep, eat healthier food, meditate each morning and walk 10,000 steps per day.”

Both approaches, lots of dumb force or lots of gentle intelligence, are unsuccessful.

The Winning Combination

“All battles are won by a combination of two elements, and these are force and intelligence.”

“You take something like an atomic bomb that can obliterate an entire country, that is tremendous, tremendous force. And it succeeds in short-term wins.“

“The wise men of Tibet were, just a few years ago, driven out of their mountain fortresses by the dumbest infantrymen the world has known for some time.”

“The long-term win is achieved by a balance between force and intelligence.” — L. Ron Hubbard

To succeed in your battle for success, you need your own balance of force and intelligence. You need the correct amounts of both elements.

A successful executive not only gives accurate instructions and good planning (intelligence), he or she must also have enough persistence and intensity (force) to push the plans through.

For example, the boss concludes the company’s prices are too low. He writes an order raising the prices. The sales staff object. The boss maintains a position and insists on the price increase despite all opposition. To have enough money to pay the staff and overhead costs, the boss must not waiver.

Successful salespeople give the customer plenty of information about the product and then use, as needed, some passion to motivate the customer to buy. He or she may also have to disagree with the customer’s demands for a lower price.

Successful parents not only work out rules that are fair and beneficial to the family, they enforce those rules. With intelligent rules and kind enforcement, their kids feel secure.

You can spend all day planning your success (intelligence), but you also need to work as many hours as necessary to make it happen (force).

If you are not succeeding like you should be succeeding, what do you need to increase? Your intelligence, your force or both?

Examples of Intelligence

  • Education
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Researching
  • Planning
  • Goal setting
  • Explanations
  • Logic
  • Computer work
  • Policy setting
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Examining consequences
  • Powers of observation
  • Problem solving
  • Reason
  • Learning from others
  • Training others
  • Reaching conclusions
  • Creativity
  • Sense of humor
  • Judgement
  • Accurate analysis of facts
  • Ability to understand people

Examples of Force

  • Persistence
  • Passion
  • Ability to disagree
  • Physical activity
  • Taking action
  • Courage
  • Starting things
  • Continuing despite opposition
  • Finishing things
  • Motivation
  • Persuasion
  • Endurance
  • Personal power
  • Forceful speech
  • Domination
  • Intention
  • Drive
  • Ability to handle stress
  • Hard work
  • Demand
  • Confrontation
  • Toughness
  • Control
  • Holding a position
  • Able to work long hours
  • Intensity


1. From the examples above, list the types of force and intelligence you wish to improve.
2. Select one item per day from your list and try to make the change.

Merely deciding to make the change, and attempting to make the change, can lead to some excellent improvements.