“Those who complain that it is impossible to win the confidence of subordinates might observe the extremely simple fashion in which the man with this Something does the trick—by giving people his own confidence first.
“He has the knack, not only of interesting others, but of keeping up his own interest; in fact, he is often so absorbed in his existence, his work, and the people around him that he is not aware that there is such a malady as lack of interest.
“He has a heartiness and vitality and geniality quite characteristic, or a misanthropy that is hearty, vital, and optimistic—geniality inside out. The milk of human kindness sometimes comes in a dry form.”
In his valuable treatise on “The Twelve Principles of Efficiency," Mr. Harrington Emerson says:
Industrial plants remind me of automobiles. The plants themselves may be more or less good, but on what kind of roads are they running? The philosophy of efficiency is for an industrial plant—for any enterprise, activity, or undertaking—what a network of good roads is for automobiles. Undoubtedly, even on poor roads, automobiles may make some progress, but the worse the road, the more elementary must be the means of locomotion.
[Footnote 5: The Engineering Magazine Company, New York.]
Railroads, high-roads, by-roads, bridle-paths, footpaths, mountain climbs! The unlettered mountaineer of all countries is the best man for the last, and it takes the best kind of trained climbing expert to emulate him; but as the road is improved shoes are exchanged for horses, horses for bicycles, a change from one kind of muscular effort to another; bicycles for automobiles, automobiles for railroad trains, both these latter using incarnate energy instead of muscular or incarnate energy. The all-round skill of the mountaineer becomes the subdivided, specialized skill of many different men, who are supplemented with increasingly complex equipment.
The philosophy of efficiency is to be used to build roads along which any organization can travel with the least friction and the greatest advantage, and the more ramified and involved the business, the more is the philosophy needed.
However, no highly complex automobile, even with the best network of roads, can make any great progress unless in the hands of a skilled directing intelligence; no highly complex human enterprise, though it uses all the principles of efficiency, can make any great progress unless guided by a skilled intelligence.
On personality, on the wisdom of the individual, whether locomotive engineer or von Moltke, whether the manager of a plant employing ten men or Judge Gary, chairman of the board of the gigantic Steel Corporation, will depend the ultimate value of all that creative physical or philosophical ability has brought together.