This man is a man of intense enthusiasm, great energy, a desire to accomplish things and to be the head of whatever he undertakes. He is eager, responsive, emotional, ambitious, and erratic. He is often brilliant, nearly always resourceful, conceives large projects, attempts big things, makes friends with important people, and often secures a very enviable reputation, at least for a time. But this man has his faults. He is emotional and enthusiastic. He throws himself intensely into the accomplishment of one ambitious plan after another. He has not the calmness of dispassionate judgment and the deliberateness necessary to be a good judge of men. He lacks real courage and therefore attempts to cover up his deficiency by bluff and bluster. Because of his poor judgment in regard to human nature, he frequently selects employees on the impulse of the moment, absolutely without reference to their fitness for the work he wants them to do. The ruling emotion which prompts him in selection may be any one of a dozen. We have seen men like this select important lieutenants because of their personal attractiveness, because someone else wanted them, because of similarity of tastes in matters wholly irrelevant, because the fellows knew how to flatter, out of sympathy for their families, and, in one pathetic case, because the young man thus chosen had painstakingly read through an immense set of books supposed to be representative of the world’s best literature.
In many cases, enthusiasm and optimism on the part of such executives have placed men in positions far beyond their capacity and loaded them with responsibilities for which they had no aptitudes. Oftentimes such rapid promotion and such sudden increase of income have utterly turned the head of the victim, setting him back years in his normal development and his pursuit of success.
Because the sudden infatuations of such executives are based upon emotion and not judgment, they flicker out as quickly as the emotion evaporates. Then ensues a period of suspicion, oftentimes wholly unjust. Because the executive lacks real courage, every word and every act of the employee makes him afraid that there is something sinister and dangerous behind it. This is accentuated by the fact that, deep down in his own heart, the executive knows that he does not understand men. When this condition of affairs arises, both the executive and his employee are utterly miserable unless the employee, being a man of judgment, and understanding the situation in its essence, has the good sense either to bring the executive willy-nilly to a complete readjustment of their relations or to resign. Oftentimes, however, the employee has a larger salary than he ever received before—he also feels certain that if he resigns, he cannot secure so large a salary in any other place—and so he hangs on, hoping against hope that the attitude of his superior will change. The executive, on his part, feels that he ought to discharge the employee. He is not satisfied with him. He is suspicious of him. He is afraid of him. He realizes that he has used bad judgment in selecting him. But he lacks the courage to discharge the man and oftentimes, for this reason, resorts to a series of petty persecutions in an attempt to make him resign.