The Millionaire Next Door

Talented People Are Attracted to Those with Great Integrity

Once again the importance of the integrity factor in explaining socioeconomic success was highlighted in a recent New York Times profile of Eileen Ford, the founder of the famous Ford Modeling Agency.

Ford Models became “the top agency in the world.”  Yet Mrs. Ford often was credited with saying that she had no talent but that she excelled in identifying those who possessed a lot of it.  Many of America’s great leaders were never selected for the talented and gifted programs in school or honors programs in college.  And most never scored big on SATs, GMATs, GRE, etc.  But most of them had vision and the ability to select, manage and motivate those who have much talent.  Plus they had high integrity. 

What if Mrs. Ford had lacked integrity?  Oh but some might say she had an extraordinary ability to select future superstar models from large populations of beautiful young aspiring women.  It was unlikely that without her reputation as a person of enormous integrity that the Ford Agency would have become the world leader.  Who would you want to represent your daughter, the aspiring fashion model?  Read what the article details about Mrs. Ford’s agency.

Widely known for protecting models from underhanded deals and sexual misconduct . . .  insisting that both clients and models observe a code of ethics and decorum.

Nurtured the careers of young models, running her agency like a convent.

In a definitive book about the modeling industry, the author “describes the Fords as the moral exemplars of modeling; the agency . . . a fortress of propriety and moral rectitude that was to stand for 50 years.

As I wrote in The Millionaire Mind

Most economically successful people don’t believe that integrity, or lack of it, can be averaged into one overall grade point average . . . .  . . .integrity is a different part of life’s curriculum.  It’s a pass/fail course.  If you lack integrity, most millionaires will tell you that you will not and should not graduate to economic success.

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