The Loyalty Pledge

I was first introduced to the following pledge many years ago. It hung in the front lobby of the company for which I worked. My boss, a senior vice president of that company, lived by this pledge. Mr. F., you were a great mentor and example.

 

The Loyalty Pledge

 

…Do this, or if for any reason you should prefer not, then take your choice of these:

Get out, or get in line. You have got to do one or the other – now make your choice.

 

If you work for a man, in Heaven’s name work for him!

 

If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him – speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents.

 

I think if I worked for a man, I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of the time, and the rest of the time work against him. I would give an undivided service or none.

 

If put to the pinch, …remember…on ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

 

If you must vilify or growl, condemn and eternally disparage and find fault, why, resign your position, and then when you are on the outside, damn to your heart’s content.

 

But I pray you, as long as you are a part of the institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution –- not that – but when you disparage a concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself.

 

More than that, you are loosening the tendrils that hold you to the institution, and if you do, the first high wind that happens along, you will be uprooted and blown away in the blizzard’s track – and probably you will never know why…

 

This so-called “Loyalty Pledge” was extracted from an essay written by Elbert Kim Hubbard titled “Get Out or Get in Line.” Hubbard was an American author, philosopher, editor, and publisher of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was born in Bloomington, Illinois, on June 19th, 1856. in 1895, he founded the Roycrofters, a semi-communal community of artists and craftspeople, in East Aurora, NY. He and his wife were lost at sea, May 7, 1915, while traveling to England aboard the ill-fated Lusitania.

 

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