Getting the most out of business (1919) PDF by Elias Lewis

Getting the most out of business; observations of the application of the scientific method to business practice

Getting the most out of business

I confess I had little thought of writing a book when the articles from which this book has grown, first took shape. My business life has been cast in a twentieth-century- mold. 

As an editor, advertising man, sales manager, and business executive, I have always been most interested in the man side of the business. As a manager of men, whether through a direct daily business contact, on the platform, or through the printed word, or in voluntary associations, I have found certain fundamental principles which, when skillfully applied, invariably brought the desired result. 

These principles are not easily formulated, nor are they easy of application in the face of wrong practice so old as to have become petrified in a sacred tradition. But I have seen staid and pompous bankers brought to see them — I have seen them reach the White House as political shibboleths of a party personified — I have seen a great manufacturer blazon them as a new discovery — I have seen other manufacturers meet in solemn conclave to discuss them seriously and wisely — principles and methods which ten years ago would have been dismissed as highbrow piffle.

 This state of mind, this philosophy, this "way of looking at things," which has been called efficiency, for the want of a better name, is the old, old, but ever new, cold passion of the scientist for truth, as compared with the careless, purposeless strenuosity of the rule of thumb. This "way of looking at things" has come to be of great importance — for even as I write there are two ways-of-looking-at-things fighting the bloodiest war of all history.

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