I recently received word that another World War II IBM MRU Veteran passed away at over 101 years of age. It reminded me that I will never, ever kneel in disrespect at the playing of our national anthem.
Because I stand for bravery, respect, tolerance and forgiveness.
The United States of America is the hope of the world because it is—still, the most perfect union of like-minded imperfections.
Select the image above of the link below to read the full article.
"Behind most of the extreme and ill-considered revolts of our time there is a grain of truth, some legitimate ground for protest which has too long been ignored by those whose hands are on the levers of power and authority.
"Revolutions may be fed and fanned by designing theorists. They may be harnessed to utterly indefensible programs by able demagogues, but usually they have their beginning in some legitimate protest."
Edward A. Filene, "The Way Out, 1924
To understand why we need more industrialist-driven chief executives and fewer capitalist-driven chief executives, read this article by Peter E. Greulich. Select the image above or the link below: "Captains of Industry vs. Captains of Finance."
On August 20, 1910, Booker T. Washington left America on a journey to study Europe’s “Man Farthest Down.” He returned a little less than two months later on October 13th. This is one of the conclusions he draws after completing his journey:
"The Man Farthest Down" is an excellent book that is on par with the other three books that I have reviewed of Booker T. Washington's: "Up from Slavery," "Character Building," and "My Larger Education."
Select the image above to read this book review or select the link below to go to Booker T. Washington's Home Page for links to all these reviews.
I started acquiring the books written by Admiral Byrd after reading that he named the Thomas Watson Escarpment in Antarctica after Thomas J. Watson Sr., the traditional founder of IBM. He also related a story about how Tom Watson had helped him acquire film from Eastman Kodak and then donated money for his second trip to Antarctica. This all happened at a time Admiral Byrd said was one of his lowest points in raising funds for the exploratory trip.
"Admiral Byrd dedicated his life to the exploration of those little known areas. He was the first man to fly over both the North and South Poles. His explorations charted more than two million square miles of territory, adding tremendously to the world’s scientific knowledge of the polar regions.”
If you want to read true, non-fiction stories of a great American pioneer, adventurer, and explorer, I recommend all of these books!
I did not read Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s books in chronological sequence. When I picked up “Little America” which was published in 1930, I did not anticipate learning anything more about the character and leadership traits of this man, this great explorer and pioneer, than I had read in “Discovery”—published in 1935 and “Alone”—published in 1938.
I was wrong.
As a society, we need to resurrect some of our 20th Century American heroes. Individuals like Admiral Byrd, who have an internal heroism and a supreme confidence in themselves that is tempered with honesty, heart, and humility.
Discovery, although a magnificent story of the physical side of enduring the cold and isolation over a long period of time in an unexplored part of the world, is more so a work about men, who, when confronted by this unknown, can and did work together to achieve a common goal: general exploration.
… this was a most refreshing read.
It is a non-fiction story of the greatest kind that restored my faith in man.
Daniel C. Roper, United States Secretary of Commerce
“The righteousness of either side of a question depends upon the sources of information and an open-minded willingness to examine different views. . . ."
This autobiography is a recommended read written by a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Daniel C. Roper. Select image above or the link below to read the article: (1) Reviews from the time of publication of the book, (2) selected excerpts from the book, and (3) a few thoughts about the book by Peter E. Greulich.
This is an excerpt from Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick's "The Meaning of Service:"
"I do not care a rush what denomination you belong to, I do not very much care what special creed you profess, but I do care beyond all expression that the result of that creed in your daily life should be to make you a power for good amongst your fellowmen. . . . We hear much talk about creeds, professions of faith and the like; but I want you to remember that when God started to write a creed for us, He did it . . .
This is an excerpt from Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick's nightstand-reading book entitled: "The Meaning of Service." This is a short book I am currently reading after his book: "The Power to See It Through." An amazing preacher and teacher of talent and insight. I am working on a Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick's Home Page to capture his insights and my thoughts on those insights.
My education on Christopher Columbus was severely wanting. It, like most people’s insights, was reduced to a mariner discovering the New World in 1942 "by sailing the ocean blue.”
And so it is, our self-education remains our personal responsibility. Don’t let others mislead you—even me. My advice is that if you want to understand Christopher Columbus—the good and questionable, start with this book.
I read this book after reading the contrasting positions on slavery between our Vice-President, Kamala Harris, and Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis. The disagreement involves if American blacks—males and females, might be better off today, even after suffering the terrible indignations of slavery before the Civil War.
Choose the image above or the link below to read the full review and gain insights from a book that intimately describes the African culture of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. You decide.
Personally, I think Booker T. Washington got it right.
Select the link below to read the script of this video.
In any prioritized list of books, this work of "Cast-Iron Charlie's" should be added as last. If Sorensen knew Henry Ford “as well as any man alive or dead” he left out the compassionate side of his chief executive and, maybe, in so doing reveals a weakness in himself. Sorensen either did not know or appreciate, or did not write any of the human-interest stories of Mr. Ford that come across in the other biographies.
I don't think he knew Henry Ford as well as he thought he did.
It is refreshing to read in a major work from 1951 by the editors of Fortune magazine an affirmation of a basic fundamental foundation of capitalism that I arrived at in my research for "THINK Again: IBM CAN Maximize Shareholder Value."
"One of the major responsibilities of a chief executive officer is the maintenance of a balanced, self-sustaining stakeholder ecosystem."
Peter E. Greulich, Author and Public Speaker
The following is an excerpt from "USA: The Permanent Revolution.
"The great happy paradox of the profit motive in the American System is that management, precisely because it is in business to make money years on end, cannot concentrate exclusively on making money here and now.
“To keep making money years on end, it must, in the words of Frank Abrams, Chairman of Standard Oil of New Jersey, ‘conduct the affairs of the enterprise in such a way as to maintain an equitable and working balance among the claims of the various directly interested groups—stockholders, employees, customers, and the public at large.’ ”
“This basic law holds good: nothing great without serenity.
“There are people who are trying to substitute thrills for serenity. Having no serenity at home within themselves, they run away into sensations, spend as much time as possible away from themselves amid their thrills, and then at last have to come back again to no serenity.
“That is the very essence of unhappiness.”
"The High Uses of Serenity," Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick
The Power to See It Through
To read a few more quotes from this book and this author's review of Harry Emerson Fosdick's, The Power to See It Through, select the image above or the link below.
It seems that with so many kneeling before our flag and during our national anthem, the majority of us have a hard time explaining why we stand.
Select the image above or the link below to read the article, be thankful and know why I stand, and maybe, it will help you stand stronger and taller this Memorial Day in remembrance of our fallen, perfect brethren.
Peter E. Greulich
Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote of the distinction between "starting power" and "staying power." I had been trying to put into words the effect of people's opinions expressed "in the raw" on social media on both myself and others around me. Sometimes it feels as though the "staying power" of whole generations is being attacked by this new outlet of unchecked, unverified, and too-many-times illiterate, opinions of the opinionated.
I know I need to refresh my "staying power." This is the topic Dr. Fosdick spoke on in 1935.
This is a short excerpt.
"Staying power is associated with a certain central integrity of conscience. Whatever else life may give or may deny, one thing is absolutely indispensable—that a man should not break faith with himself, that he should keep his honor bright. … that whatever else may fail he should not inwardly be a failure. …
"Whatever happens, a man living on high terms with himself, is the essence of "staying power."
Harry Emerson Fosdick, The Power to See It Through, 1935
If I had been sitting in the church pew this day in 1935, I would have shouted "Amen, Dr. Fosdick!"
“The women voters of the country are facing the first real test of their value as citizens. . …
“The truth seems to lie midway between these two extremes. ”
Sarah Schuyler Butler, June 1924
"The secret of culture is to learn that a few great points throughout history steadily reappear … and that these few are alone are to be regarded:
I do wonder how many of us when we talk about our "work culture" or our "societal culture" apply these standards to our individual, daily contributions?
Especially, do we wish to serve … to add somewhat to the well-being of mankind?
Peter E. Greulich
Quotes from Peter F. Drucker's "The Effective Executive"
Achieving Effectiveness, not Efficiency?
"For manual work, we need only efficiency; that is, the ability to do things right rather than the ability to get the right things done. … Working on the right things is what makes knowledge work effective."
Why Do Employees Check Out?
"The knowledge worker cannot be supervised closely or in detail. He can only be helped. But he must direct himself, and he must direct himself toward performance and contribution, that is, toward effectiveness. … The motivation of the knowledge worker depends on his being effective, on his being able to achieve.
"If effectiveness is lacking in his work, his commitment to work and to contribution will soon wither, and he will become a time-server going through the motions from 9 to 5."
What is an Executive?
"I have called 'executives' those knowledge workers, managers, or individual professionals who are expected by virtue of their position or their knowledge to make decisions in the normal course of their work that have significant impact on the performance and results of the whole."
After reading three of Booker T. Washington's books, Character Building, My Larger Education, and Up from Slavery, it seemed appropriate to establish a home page for his works and my reviews.
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
Booker T. Washington was one of these great men, and I am learning from his wisdom. I would add that we should also learn from the mistakes of the great--and lesser, men and women.
Rather than shortchange Warren Buffett and write an article for clickbait, here is what he wrote about share buybacks in his report to shareholders this year (2023).
It would be my contention that "anytime" a writer uses the words "all" or "every" or "always" that the reader should raise their level of distrust ... just a bit ... to catch a possible misleading generalization. Rarely is anyone always or in every way, one thing or another ... be skeptical and inquisitive.
Select the image above or the icon below to read an IBM Case Study: Do Share Buybacks Work?No, all repurchases aren't harmful, but historically some have been, and Warren Buffett--at one time--bought into IBM's share buyback strategy, and then got out. He should have used IBM as an example to ensure we all are not . . .
. . . economically illiterate!
- Peter E.
We Should All Be Abraham Lincolns
This was an address delivered by Ida M. Tarbell on February 12, 1909 at the University of Michigan in honor of the Centennial Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Subheadings were added for clarity by Peter E. Greulich and are his sole responsibility and interpretation.
Peter E. Greulich
A different perspective on unemployment from another great industrialist from America's 20th Century business leadership. Select image above or the icon below to read more about Owen D. Young, Chairman of the Board of General Electric Company.
Peter E. Greulich
It seems appropriate this week to post about how layoffs affect work and family. At IBM the employees have lived with constant layoffs--called resource actions in IBM speak, since Lou Gerstner took over the company in 1993.
This is one example of how Gerstner's elephant--and that of his successor's, "danced" on the livelihoods of their employees.
These are chapters from Peter E. Greulich's "A View from Beneath the Dancing Elephant" a different perspective from Lou Gerstner's "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?"
It explains why IBM's employee productivity has been dropping for more than two decades.
It seems our corporate leadership should be reading this.
"It dawned upon me that interpretation of truth, or the righteousness of either side of a question depended upon the sources of information and an open-minded willingness to examine different views."
Daniel C. Roper's Autobiography, Fifty Years of Public Life, 1941
As applicable today in a social-media-driven world as it was in the rock-and-spear Stone Age, and all the eras in between. Daniel C. Roper was the United States Secretary of Commerce during Tom Watson's time at IBM. Fundamentally, thinking is important but also the sources of information that your thinking is founded on.
A good case for the social sciences and attaining a wide, generalized education.
Peter E. Greulich, January 19, 2023
Peter E. Greulich
Pete has been studying IBM and early American corporate history since his retirement in 2011. These are his thoughts and musings, and of those whose biographies he has read with links to articles and book reviews on this website.