Initiative And Leadership

 

If you read it, do so with an open mind and take from it only that which you feel you can use to advantage in achieving the object of your definite chief aim. The book will stimulate thought, which is the greatest service that any book can render. As a matter of fact the chief object of this Reading Course on the Law of Success is to stimulate deliberate thought: particularly that brand of thought that is free from bias and prejudice and is seeking truth no matter where or how or when it may be found. During the World War I was fortunate enough to listen to a great soldier's analysis of how to be a leader.

This analysis was given to the student-officers of the Second Training Camp at Fort Sheridan, by Major C. A. Bach, a quiet, unassuming army officer acting as an instructor. I have preserved a copy of this address because I believe it to be one of the finest lessons on leadership ever recorded.

The wisdom of Major Bach's address is so vital to the business man aspiring to leadership, or to the section boss, or to the stenographer, or to the foreman of the shop, or to the president of the works, that I have preserved it as a part of this Reading Course.

It is my earnest hope that through the agency of this course this remarkable dissertation on leadership will find its way into the hands of every employer and every worker and every ambitious person who aspires to leadership in any walk of life. The principles upon which the address is based are as applicable to leadership in business and industry and finance as they are in the successful conduct of warfare.

Major Bach spoke as follows: In a short time each of you men will control the lives of a certain number of other men. You will have in your charge loyal but untrained citizens, who look to you for instruction and guidance. Your word will be their law. Your most casual remark will be remembered. Your mannerisms will be aped. Your clothing, your carriage, your vocabulary, your manner of command will be imitated.

When you join your organization you will find there a willing body of men who ask from you nothing more than the qualities that will command their respect, their loyalty and their obedience. They are perfectly ready and eager to follow you so long as you can convince them that you have these qualities. When the time comes that they are satisfied you do not possess them you might as well kiss yourself good-bye. Your usefulness in that organization is at an end. [How remarkably true this is in all manner of leadership.

From the standpoint of society, the world may be divided into leaders and followers. The professions have their leaders, the financial world has its leaders. 

 

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