Honor is the quality that inspires a man to be not merely honest, but to use the highest principles in his personal and business conduct because of his inherent desire to do only those things that are right and just and worth while. Honesty is, in many cases, inspired by outside influences such as fear, etc., while honor comes from within and is one of the necessary qualities for permanent building of manhood in its best sense. It is essential to places of trust and confidence in the business world.
Loyalty is one of the most desirable qualities to be found in any individual. Our first loyalty, supreme above all, is loyalty to God, to Country, to our homes, and to our self-respect. In the very nature of things these loyalties can never conflict with each other, if we are really thinking along just and honest lines. Our loyalty also belongs to our loved ones, our friends, our communities, and last but by no means least to the whole of mankind. Loyalty does not condone wrongdoing or attempt to minimize its punishment. Loyalty remains a friendly and helping hand in adversity or time of trouble regardless of the individual’s own part in bringing about such situations. True loyalty does not lend itself to help in evading justified punishment, but does lend itself to aid the individual in overcoming the obstacles that present themselves while justice is being meted out or after it has been satisfied. Loyalty to principles should only change when higher or better principles are available as substitutes. Loyalty to leaders should be given only so long as their characters and adherence to principles justify such loyalty, but care should be taken to see that unproved charges against any individual are never used as an excuse for disloyalty.
Loyalty requires that every man should give his full measure of ability and careful thought to his work whether he likes it or dislikes it, whether his efforts are appreciated or unappreciated, in order to prove true to his own best interests, both as to the up-building of character and the acquiring of the ability to work under adverse conditions. He should be sincerely loyal to his employers and give them more than a fair return for compensation received. Every business institution must make a profit on each employee to justify his retention, for it is the profits made by employees that alone justify continuing business.
Common sense is essential in all walks of life, in the home, in the family, in the community, in dealings with our friends and acquaintances, and in social, political and business activities. Common sense can probably be best explained by saying it means giving fair play and a square deal to everybody, including yourself. To fight for other people’s rights with the vigor that you would fight for your own and to fight for your own rights with determination from the standpoint of justice if not desire.
Common sense is the steering wheel that keeps a man on the high road between the cliffs of impractical ideals on the one hand and the abyss of loose living and lack of high principles on the other. This high road in business is the road to success. The cliffs represent impractical and visionary schemes with especial reference to those which appeal to an individual’s desire to get something for nothing, or at least without adequate effort. The abyss represents fear, hopelessness and pessimism in the order named and unless a man eradicates these qualities, he is sure to end in oblivion so far as success in the business world is concerned. Common sense can and should be applied by an intelligent man to every problem in life, but it is absolutely vital in business problems.
Courage is the quality that enables men to willingly give up their lives for those things they know to be right. It is absolutely necessary for either contentment or happiness. Courage is of three kinds, moral, mental, and physical. Physical courage is desirable as physical fear makes happiness impossible, but mental and moral courage are far more important. Mental courage has to do with wisdom and moral courage has to do with right and wrong and is covered by ethical standards.
In the business world it is the quality that inspires men to start things, to take the necessary risks of pioneering or to launch in business for themselves. Courage must not be spasmodic for it is essential that anything that is started should be carried through to a successful conclusion. This naturally requires a permanent battle against obstacles; therefore the quality of courage must be permanent and enduring. A man may have his moments of depression but he should never be hampered by fear.
Justice is a quality which we continually strive for but can never attain in full measure. The best each of us can do is to strive for it with all our might. It is useless to try to discuss the ethical qualities pertaining to justice in a short article, therefore this particular subject will be discussed in great detail in due order.
In the business world this particular quality can be considered as being the one which causes our business relations with others to be profitable to them as well as to ourselves. This mutuality of profit must be considered as vital by the man who desires a permanent and enduring success.
AMBITION AND PRIDE
Ambition and pride of the right kind are also necessary. Ambition to be of real service to the world and to be well thought of for qualities which are actually possessed by the individual; pride in the fact that he keeps his word and-his own self-respect as well as the respect of others.
Self-control is the quality that prescribes temperance in all things, in speech, in thought and in actions. Every intelligent man readily accepts this fact, but few actually act upon it. To help each member to translate his wisdom of thought into wisdom of action is one of the chief aims of the organization. In the business world it is essentially important.
Confidence is necessary for agreeable relations with our fellow men. It is also necessary to content and happiness. It is a mutual transaction in its really perfect form. Those who have no confidence in others should not expect others to have confidence in them. This does not mean that confidence is bestowed upon unworthy or dishonest individuals. On the other hand it does not mean that every one is to be suspected of dishonest intentions merely because you do not know them or their background. Confidence requires a general belief in the good intentions and general honesty of other people, but common sense is required in all transactions, with friends as well as with strangers, in order that no harm may be done, regardless of the good or evil intentions of the other party to a transaction. It is the cornerstone of the structure of business activities. Without it, business of the present day world could not be transacted. It should be safeguarded, however, against those who would use it for the purpose of fraud, and common sense has to determine our course of action along such lines.
Energy is necessary for full success in our personal lives but especially in business. We use the word energy instead of health as many individuals in reasonably good health do not demonstrate the energy that is necessary to progress, while others in poor health have demonstrated unusual energy of mind and body. A sound mind in a sound body can be attained by the large majority of individuals if they are actually desired by them. No man who desires success should fail to keep himself in good sound physical and mental condition.
H. B. MONJAR – June, 1934