Obedience and Loyalty

Obedience and Loyalty

WE shall not dwell on this requisite to success, as the principle is embodied in what we have already said. But we feel that a word should be said both for caution and encouragement. The newer order of thinking has done much to emancipate the mind and body from the old thralldom to antiquated customs, conventions, superstitions, creeds, and opinions. It has shown the primitive freedom of the spirit and the original and native sovereignty of the individual. It has demonstrated the necessity of initiative and originality as opposed to uniformity and conformity. But at the same time, it must not lead to iconoclasm. We must not be mental bolsheviki, repudiating the principles necessary to the solidarity of society.

The customs of society have their place and value. The laws of society are in general the solidification of the habits of the people into a code of social conduct which will be of advantage in our mutual contacts. It has been found, for example, that the feudal system of revenge as between families and individuals, in which one life is taken for another (“an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”), is to the disadvantage of society. An offense, against one member of society is a menace to the safety of all, and, therefore, organized society or the state

should take revenge or punishment into its own hands and mete out justice to the offender. It is to the advantage of all as well as to each, that men should not cheat or lie to each other. If we cannot trust each other, we have no way to transact legitimate business, suspicion will reign, business will become disorganized, and chaos will be the result.

Therefore it is incumbent upon each to become obedient to the moral, ethical, and social laws which govern the intercourse of all. And no man has a right to break these laws in order to gain a personal advantage. In doing so he inflicts an injury on all, and ultimately it must come back to him because still others will follow his method and throw society into such chaos as to destroy mutual confidence. When confidence is destroyed we have a state of anarchy, finance and credits fail, and poverty and want follow hard on the red track.

Business success demands obedience to the rules of the game, to the principles of the business, to the integrity of the organization. Every business is like an individual. It is literally an incorporation, that is, in a body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need for you.”

Obedience to the rules is loyalty to the concern. And it is a truism that unless there is obedience there cannot

be leadership. No man is worthy of leadership who cannot be a good follower. Indeed, he will find no one who will follow him. If, therefore you would become a leader learn to be a faithful follower. This does not mean sycophancy, it does not mean the prostitution of one’s greater gifts, but it does mean reliability. And it is upon reliability that the success of the firm must be established.

I therefore place obedience and loyalty high in the scale of requirements for him who would carve out a successful career for himself and become a power in the world of business and finance.

Fenwicke Lindsay Holmes
WRITTEN BY

Fenwicke Lindsay Holmes

Fenwicke Lindsay Holmes was an American author, former Congregational minister, and Religious Science leader.

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