I heard this story in about 1960.  If anyone knows something about its truth or origin, please let me know.


Once upon a time, a large corporation was holding a stockholder’s meeting.  The boss told the shareholders that the dividend would be held at its previous level.  After the speech, the meeting was opened for questions.  In the audience was J. P. Morgan.


Morgan got the floor and said:

“Why don’t we raise the dividend by 5 cents”?


The boss started to reply with an explanation that the company wanted to conserve capital for expansion and investment.


Morgan interrupted with:

“You don’t understand.  I’m not asking you.  I’m telling you”!



This has always stuck with me as the meaning of power.  Never in my life have I been in a position to use that line.