In the book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill discusses the importance of sex in being successful. Published in 1969 and therefore written in the mid 60s, Hill has a conservative understanding of partnership being that the man is successful and the woman is his support person.
Napoleon Hill argues that the most fundamental power to thinking and growing rich is desire (chapter 1). He also recognises that from his perspective at least, men seek to please a woman. I liken Hill’s understanding of sex transmutation to charisma. Hill claims that sex drive creates desire in men and that it also creates a type of magnetism that puts that person forward as a leader.
Hill discusses a phenomena where when inspired by their first wife, the man is ‘irresistible and invincible’. However, when the already successful man puts aside his first wife for another, his success begins to rapidly decline. Hill concludes that sex influence from the right influence is more powerful than any substitute for expediency and therefore the best creator of desire.
So, in the 21st century 50 years after Napoleon Hill put forward his argument that sex influence from the right source is the best creator of desire, is this still relevant? Interestingly, women have a much different place in society and many not only continue to work after their first child, but they are required to keep up the dual income to support the family unit in the current economic climate. Women now have careers and are seen as so much more than support person. Anecdotally, successful people that I speak to are very appreciative of their partners and even though the partner may not work the business as such, the partner is an enabler of the success of their partner. So how does this work for women, who have less sex transmutation than males. Most certainly women still have charisma and women have charisma. Most of my heroes are women and they do show personal magnetism.
Hill gives five characteristics of personal magnetism:
1. The hand shake is confident.
2. The tone of voice is coloured, musical and charming.
3. The posture of the body – moves quickly with grace and ease.
4. The vibrations of thought are emotional.
5. Body adornment – style becoming of their personality, physique and complexion.
Apart from point number 1 where women sometimes do not shake hands, women very good masters of the other 4 characteristics of personal magnetism. Their voice is pleasing and melodic to the ear, they move with purpose and efficiency, they convey emotion and caring for others and they are very good at body adornment. Many women do shake hands. In some situations, women are more likely to embrace or to kiss on both sides of the cheek. So, the principle of acknowledgment and confidence that Hill saw in the handshake is expressed by women and men in other ways.