But let it be known that some other establishment has beaten that record and there is no content until the rival's record is eclipsed.''
_It was on this idea of competition for efficiency--of production as a game and achievement as a goal--that the wonderful growth of the steel industry was based_.
On the intensive development of this idea by Andrew Carnegie, within his expanding organization, hinged the tremendous progress and profits of the Carnegie Company. ``The little boss'' matched furnace against furnace, mill against mill, superintendent against superintendent. He scanned his weekly and
monthly reports not merely for records of output, but for comparative consumption of ore, fuel, and other supplies, for time and labor costs in proportion to product.
If a superintendent, foreman, or gang failed to respond to this urging, failed to get into the race for the famous broom which crowned the stack of the champion Carnegie mill or furnace, the parallel showing of the other mills became a club to drive the laggards into line. So intense was the competition, so sharp the verbal goads applied that Jones, after resigning in indignation, parodied in sarcastic notes in this manner the Carnegie fashion of bringing executives to task: ``Puppy dog number three, you have been beaten by puppy dog number two on fuel. Puppy dog number two, you are higher on labor than puppy dog number one.''
How effective was this system of pitting man against man, plant against plant, was shown by the dominant position of the Carnegie Company in the trade when the Steel Corporation was launched and by the stag-
gering value put upon its business. Indirect testimony of the same fact was given another time by Jones when he refused thousands of dollars in yearly royalties for the use of his inventions by outside companies, this though the men who sought them were personal friends and his contract with the Carnegie Company allowed such licenses. His excuse was eloquent of the power residing in the Carnegie contest for efficiency and results: leadership for his charge, the Edgar Thompson works, in output and costs, meant more to him than money and a chance to help his friends.
_The Carnegie system was one of the most comprehensive applications in business of man's instinct of competition to the work of increasing individual and organization efficiency_.
In the handling of executives it was carried to such extremes as few great managers would approve to-day. Undeniably, however, the contest idea was an important influence in the building up of a vast business in relatively brief time, while the influence on the pace of the whole industry gave the United States its
present supremacy in steel and iron. It survives in the parallel comparisons of records with which the Steel Corporation measures the efficiency of its units of production and keeps its mill superintendents to the mark. It is utilized, in some degree and in varying departments, by hundreds of successful houses.
Let us analyze the facts, the habits of thought, the emotions behind competition and determine where and how it may be applied to the task of increasing our own and our employees' efficiency.
The experienced horseman knows that a horse is unable to attain his greatest speed apart from a pacemaker. The horse needs the stimulus of an equal to get under way quickly, to strike his fastest gait and to keep it up. In this particular an athlete in sprinting is like the horse. He is unable by sheer force of will to run a hundred yards in ten seconds. To achieve it he needs a competitor who will push him to his utmost effort.
_The struggle for existence, one of the main factors in the evolution of man, has raged most_
_fiercely among equals; without it, development scarcely would have been possible_.
So fundamental has been this struggle that the necessity for it has become firmly established within us. We require it to stimulate us to attain our highest ends.