He was not working solely in the interest of the Smithsonian Institute nor to secure material for his book. Doubtless these were subsidiary motives, but the chief reason why he killed the game was that he instinctively loves the sport. He endured the hardships of Africa for the same reason that fishermen spend days in the icy water of a trout stream and hunters lie still for hours suffering intense cold for a chance to shoot at a bear.

_For some men, buying and selling is as great a delight as felling a deer. For others the manufacture of goods is as great a joy as landing a trout. For such a man enthusiasm for his work is unfailing and industry unremittent_.

He is suited to his task as is the cub to the fight, the puppy to the chase, the squirrel to the burying of nuts, or the hunter to the killing of game. His labor always appeals to him as the thing of supremest moment. His interest in it is such that it never fails to in-

spire others by contagion. For such a man laziness or indifference in business seems anomalous, while industry and enthusiasm are as natural as the air he breathes and as inexhaustible as the air itself.

By classifying the love of the game as an instinct, we seem to admit that it is born and not developed; that some men possess it and others do not; that if a man possesses it, he does not need to cultivate it, and that if he does not possess, he cannot acquire it. There is doubtless much truth in this, but fortunately it is not the whole truth.

Some instincts are specific--even stereotyped --and not subject to cultivation or change. Thus the bee's instinctive method of gathering and storing honey is very specific and definite. The bee is unable to modify its routine to any great extent. The bee which does not instinctively perform the different acts properly will never learn to.

There are other instincts not so stereotyped in manner or constant in degree. The instincts of man are much more variable than

those of the lower animals and are much more subject to direction, inhibition, or development. If this love of the game were solely a matter of inheritance, if the business genius were born and not made, and if it could not be cultivated and developed, our hope for the improvement of the race would be small.

Potential geniuses exist in large numbers but fail of discovery because they are not developed. Instincts manifest themselves only in the presence of certain stimulating conditions. They are developed by exercise and stimulated further by the success attending upon their exercise.

Thus certain conditions, more or less definite, are effective in determining the line along which instincts shall manifest themselves, and the extent to which the instincts shall be developed and then ultimately supplemented by experience and reason.

Fortunately we have reason to believe that although the business genius must have a good inheritance, yet the inheritance does not determine what its possessor shall make of himself.

Many persons are inclined to overestimate the influence of inheritance in determining success in business. The folly of this attitude is every day becoming more and more apparent.

The conditions essential for developing the love of the game in business may be summarized under three heads:--

First, a man will develop a love of the game in any business in which he is led to assume a responsibility, to take personal initiative, to feel that he is creating something, and that he is expressing himself in his work.

As organizations become larger and more complex in their methods, there is a corresponding increase in the difficulty of making the employees retain and develop this feeling of independent and creative responsibility. Business has become so specialized and the work of the individual seems so petty that he is not likely to feel that he is expressing himself through his work or to retain a feeling of independence. Properly conceived, there is no position in trade or industry which does not warrant such

an attitude.

Increasing Efficiency in Business Page 48

Business Books

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Business Ebooks
Classic Literature

All Pages of This Book