In 1933, J.C. Nichols circulated mimeographed copies of his list “Don’ts for Salespeople” among his Country Club Plaza tenants, to be shared with their employees. The list is a microcosm of Nichols most defining characteristics. He was hands-on with every aspect of his vast, vertically integrated real estate empire, and no detail was too small to warrant his personal attention. His personal philosophy guided his relationships in business and he continually drummed those sensibilities into everyone who worked for him. And like many who have big ideas and like to be hands on, his writings are all over the place. In the transition from one sentence to the other, Nichols could go from flowery oratory to pedantic detail. And of course, the language – the vocabulary, the form and syntax – has the quaint lyricism of another era.
Nichols was usually long-winded, too, so I’ve cherry-picked to create a sampling that captures all the characteristics of the Nichols’ character – the attention to detail, the business philosophy, and the paradoxical focus.
And finally, as someone who writes about history, this may be my favorite.
Customers are always interested in new things – new styles, new shipments, new methods of manufacture. People like to feel they are getting new information. You can tell of things you have had for a while in a new and interesting manner. That really makes them new.
It’s official. The long-anticipated commemoration of America’s involvement in World War II…22 February 2017