The Human Element

Number Two of a Series of Modem Business Talks Prepared by the Alexander Hamilton Institute, 1917


“The great business man is never content with what has been done by others or by himself. He is always surprising his competitors by doing something which they had not deemed possible”


Ten years ago, in a city in the Middle West, a man opened a men’s furnishing store. Today he is still conducting that store. It does not occupy a single additional square foot of ground or floor space. It has never returned more than a very modest income.

Just one year later, another man opened a furnishing store only half a block away from the first. Today this store is only one in a chain of five, and they have made for their proprietor a small fortune.

Why this difference?

Ask the first man you meet and he will probably say that he cannot explain it. He may venture the opinion that fate has been against the former and that luck has been with the latter. But if you study the second man you will see wherein his power lies. You will find that he has a good grasp of economic principles. He will tell you that his wider vision came from an association of several years with an employer who had achieved success thru well-defined policies based on correct business principles. This training had been denied the first man. His vision was cramped thru lack of that which we call “a broad outlook.”

Unfortunately, most men lack such training and—what is worse—fail to supply the want by proper education.

 The difference in men is largely one of knowledge. Genius counts for much less than diligence and perseverance in acquiring knowledge.

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