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Without at least fair physical fitness for his work and for his environment, no man can do efficient work in any position.
The second element is character. A man may rate well in all the six fundamentals with the exception of one, honesty, and he is not worth heat and light and floor space, to say nothing of wages. Dishonest men do not do honest work. The man who is deficient in honesty, in truthfulness, in loyalty, is not really fit for any kind of work in a world where men are interdependent—where the law of compensation is rigidly enforced. We have chosen just a few qualities under the head of character: honesty, truthfulness, loyalty, discretion, prudence, enthusiasm, courage, steadfastness, and dependability. We might go on and on, adding initiative, justice, kindness, good nature, courtesy, punctuality, etc.
The third criterion is intelligence. Intelligence, of course, relates to mental ability—ability to learn and to understand and follow instructions. Employers are slowly reaching the conclusion that unintelligent labor is the most expensive kind of labor. The man who is unintelligent cannot be taught. Employers cannot give him instructions and feel absolutely sure that he understands them, or, even if he understands them, that he will carry them out properly. Among the qualities which are included under intelligence are judgment and memory, the powers of observation, expression in speaking or in writing, imagination, reasoning power, and all other qualities which are purely intellectual. Most unintelligent people are merely mentally asleep. They need to awaken, to be on the alert, really to take the trouble to think. Many people have capacity for thought who do not use it.
The fourth element is disposition to industry. Some wag once said: “All men are lazy, but some are lazier than others.” It might sound better to say that all men are industrious, but some men are more industrious than others. There is such a quality of body and mind as the quality of predisposition to action and industry. Industry is very largely dependent upon energy. Energy depends upon oxygen. If one sits in a room that is stuffy and not well ventilated, one soon becomes stupid, sleepy, and not particularly acute mentally. In other words, he is partly starved for oxygen. Now, let him go out into the open air and breathe plenty of oxygen into his lungs. In a little while he raises his chest and brings up the crown of his head and takes the positive physical attitude. He is more energetic. He is eager for activity—for work. Some people are naturally deficient in