"System and organization are the controlling elements of any large commercial or industrial enterprise - the two reins by which the business bodies are guided. In nearly every sphere of activity are found the elements of skill, enthusiasm and enterprise - qualities that make for success only when they are applied in the right direction. Skill must be directed along proper channels; enthusiasm must be directed to specific ends; enterprise must be organized to meet certain conditions and to attain designated results. And in this co-operation - this working together for the benefit of all concerned - system reaches its highest function."
Henry C. Lytton, President of "The Hub," the largest furnishing store in Chicago, says:
"To what extent any business or other enterprise is successful is dependent primarily upon personality, the central figure in any line of activity. To what extent a personality is successful is dependent upon that personality's application of those policies and methods that serve its ends. A personality is responsible for the success or failure of a business firm largely to the extent by which he is enabled to organize and to control its forces - to install and apply the personal influence in his systems.
"I have never known of a great business success without a personality. I have never known of a great personality in business without a system."
Leon Mandel, President of Mandel Brothers, Chicago, says:
"There is probably no other single word in the language that better describes success than 'system.' The larger the business, the better must be the system by which it is conducted; yet whatever its size, system is the essential factor.
"Modern titanic business institutions have been made possible by commercial possibilities linked with system. System enables the head of a concern to hold the reins of management of any business; it keeps him in touch with his assistants, his sales, his stock, his customers. I have been methodical and systematic, that I might obtain the best results by the surest means and in the shortest time."
Isaac Gimbel, President of Gimbel Brothers, retailers of Philadelphia and Milwaukee, says:
"I install a system in every branch of my business - and follow up that system.
"The tendency of modern retailing is to simplify every detail of the work. This means neither too much recording - red tape - nor too little recording - carelessness; it means the happy medium that gets the greatest returns from the least outlay of time or money - system.
"System is a necessary servant, but a bad master. System must be operated - it does not operate itself. System economizes time, labor, expense; and the best system is that which effects the greatest economy of all three."
P. A. Conne, Secretary and Treasurer of Saks & Company of New York, London, Paris and Berlin, says:
"System means to a business what good tools mean to a craftsman. A merchant can do good work no more than a craftsman does good work unless he has the mechanical means. And the mechanical means of the business man is system.
"System means consecutive attention to all the essential and the elimination of all the unessential details. It is the means whereby the greatest amount of work may be done at the least expense of time, energy and money.
"System means knowledge versus guesswork, facts versus fiction. And system always means economy in the end, or it is no longer system."
Edward B. Butler, President of Butler Brothers, of New York, Chicago and St. Louis, says:
"The captain of industry of to-day learned in his youth that a mental plan was needed for any undertaking. Out of this planning grew his system; out of this system grew his success. I have never known a successful merchant who was not systematic. A great mercantile business is possible only when the minutest details are given their full measure of importance.
"The captain of industry must hold the helm; but he must depend upon his ship - system - and upon those who operate it."
Graeme Stewart, of the Wm. M. Hoyt Co., Chicago, says:
"To attain success in modern commercial life requires the perfection of a system for conducting business at the least possible expense and the power to put all the energy at one's command into this system.
"The process by which the energies of a business enterprise are directed toward specific ends - the system by which its powers and plans are utilized - are the fundamental factors in business building.
"To be successful a man must have his thoughts on his work."
Adolphus C. Bartlett, President of Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company of Chicago, says:
"After forty years of experience I am convinced that success in business depends not only upon natural ability, but upon a thorough preparation and training in improved systems and exact methods. This preparation is specially valuable in these later years when information about the organizations and methods of business houses has become more general and competition more keen.
"The difference between a good and a poor preparation in business method is just the difference between system and carelessness, between success and failure."
Harry G. Selfridge says:
"More important than any one thing in the conduct of a retail business is organization. No matter how forceful the personality which inspires an establishment, how superior its goods or how efficient the individuals in its employ, organization is necessary to make them most effective."
L. C. Smith, of the Smith-Premier Typewriter Co., says:
"Success in the modern industrial world is largely a matter of organization; organization is a matter of system. All business undertakings must be operated under a thorough system to be successful. Each part must work in harmony, as a perfect system admits of no friction. Bring all elements into accord, else the desired ends will not be attained. And the means of bringing these elements into accord is system."
John H. Converse, of the firm of Burnham & Williams, proprietors of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, says:
"Success in the modern commercial world I attribute to knowledge of business; work; system.
"A successful man must know his business. He must apply this knowledge - he must work, and he must work to the best advantage. And to work to best advantage he must work with system.
"Much energy is lost because it is not applied systematically."
Andrew Carnegie, in "The Empire of Business," says:
"The secret of success is a simple matter of honest work, ability and concentration. There is no question about there being room at the top for exceptional men in any profession. Your problem is, how to get there.
The answer is simple: conduct your business with just a little more ability than the average man in your line. If you are only above the average man your success is secured, and the degree of success is in ratio to the greater degree of ability and attention which you give above the average."
Russell Sage, as quoted by the New York World, says:
"To the young man of to-day who wishes to get on, I would say that the common rules of success are simple ones. Be faithful to whatever trust is in your keeping, be industrious and frugal, and you cannot fail."
George W. Ogilvie says to the young man starting out:
"If you need the money, take any kind of a job you can get and do your very best. You may be successful at first; at any rate, it will take your employer a week to find it out if you are no good."
John Wanamaker's advice to young men is: "Do not hesitate to branch out; learn; observe; be honest and upright, and you will not fall short of success."
Similar advice to the foregoing has been given by others prominently successful in the history of our country. Philip D. Armour, Marshall Field, John D. Rockefeller and Alexander Revell emphasize one or two points more, perhaps, than others, but all successful men have the same formula: "Well directed work wins."