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
“I don't have much patience with people I hear saying that it is impossible to get good people for jobs. . . . Won't it follow naturally that if a business idea is basically sound it will draw to itself quality people, not only because of the job but because they want to be connected with a business whose underlying idea has vigor, and offers scope for individual initiative?"
“My advice to young people today is to let no day pass without pushing personal standards a notch higher. The law of struggle is the essence of all life—animal, vegetable, and human. Our progress from birth to death is marked by struggle, and rightly so, for when we cease to struggle, dry rot takes over. . . . Young people who count not their hours but their opportunities are the ones who maintain the difficult road to success.”
Select the link below to read book reviews of J. C. Penney's "Fifty Years With the Golden Rule."
Peter E. Greulich, Author
“I had been in Luxembourg nine months when I returned to Washington for a consultation with the State Department, a customary procedure with ambassadors and ministers. … After my Washington consultations, I went up to New York for a few days and was given a luncheon there that I consider one of the greatest honors of my life [emphasis added].”
“Matthew Woll, the A. F. of L. Vice-President … got together with his friend and mine, Thomas Watson, President of International Business Machines, to co-host the affair."
Perle (Pearl) Mesta
The "Famous Leaders" Series of books spanned a timeframe from 1920 to 1955. There was one "Famous Leaders of Character" and a series of six "Famous Leaders of Industry." The target audience was the adolescent reader. It is important to understand the audience to set the proper expectations. I did not realize this when I read the last in the series--The Sixth Series, first.
“Famous Leaders of Industry (with a new author: Trentwell M. White) discusses the lives of twenty-five men who have had the courage and independence … to work night and day to bring the results of their thinking to fruition.”
Trentwell M. White
IBM's 20th Century Corporate Constitution was referred to as "The Basic Beliefs."
Whatever form a corporate constitution takes it must provide three things: (1) It must provide a consistent, ever-present, guiding light—a “north star” by which individuals navigate rough organizational terrain; (2) It must provide the mechanism by which the organization defines its objectives—goals that aren’t necessarily monetary but—if achieved—rewards success with a monetary gain; (3) It must provide an internal mechanism that demands an ever-constant evolution—it should institutionalize change.
"When the last glacier retreated northward from what is now Connecticut, it left behind as mementos of its visit, great boulders of rock which are now strewn lavishly across the state.
"Today, its irresistible growth has torn the massive rock into fragments. This is the law of life. The future belongs not to rigid absolutes, whether they are primal rocks of unyielding social arrangements, but to the thing that can grow, whether it is a tree or a democracy."
Raymond B. Fosdick, "We Must Not Be Afraid of Change,"
The New York Times, April 3, 1949
This is the starting few paragraphs to a full article written by Raymond B. Fosdick. If you think that what we are facing today is a new threat to democracy, I would highly recommend reading it in its entirety. Change and the discussion of change is the way of a people united through democracy . . . a diversity, not so much achieved through shades of color or non-color—black and white, but . . . through thoughtful discussion.
Peter E. Greulich
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.