There is only one legitimate reason for putting any man or woman on the payroll, namely, that he or she is well fitted to perform the tasks assigned, will perform them contentedly and happily and, therefore, be a valuable asset to the concern. But with foremen, superintendents, and other minor executives selecting employees, for any reason and every reason except the legitimate reason, it is small wonder that employees grow discontented and leave, are demoralized and incompetent so that they are discharged. For these reasons it is an unusual organization which does not turn over its entire working force every year. The average of the concerns we have investigated shows much more frequent turnover than this.
Under these circumstances, it should be easy to understand why our efficiency engineers and scientific management experts find the average organization only 25 per cent efficient. And this is not the only trouble we make for ourselves as the result of unscientific selection in the rank and file. In many cases we use no better judgment in the selection of even our highest and most responsible executives. If it is true, as has been so often stated, that a good general creates a good army and leads it to victory, and a poor general demoralizes and leads to defeat the finest and bravest army, then it is more disastrous for you to select one misfit executive than a thousand misfits for your rank and file.
In our next chapter we shall attempt to show some of the troubles which overtake a man who selects the wrong kind of executives.
THE SELECTION OF EXECUTIVES
The President and General Manager of a large manufacturing and sales company, who, for the purpose of the present narrative, shall be called Jessup, was making a trip from Chicago to New York on the Twentieth Century Limited. In the smoking room of his car he met a gentleman whose appearance and manner attracted him greatly. Acquaintanceship was a matter of course, mutual admiration followed swift upon its heels, and friendship soon began to crystallize in the association. As the train sped on through the night, the Big Executive became more and more delighted with his new-found acquaintance. The man agreed with him in many of his sentiments; belonged to the same political party; was a member of the same fraternal order; wore the same Greek letter society pin as his oldest son; and, what was, perhaps, more important, entertained what seemed to him intelligent, clean-cut, forceful, progressive ideas in regard to business.