Lord Leverhulme got it right.

March 27, 2009

I’ve just finished reading “Enlightened Entrepreneurs” about business ethics in Victorian Britain. It details the lives of 10 pillars of Victorian industry and their effect on the social fabric of their workers’ lives. George Cadbury (of chocolate fame) and Sir Titus Salt both ended up building model villages (Bournville and Saltaire respectively) for their workers and instigated health and education care for them and their families decades before the British government did.

Of all of these “enlightened” business moguls, I have a soft spot for William Hesketh Lever or Lord Leverhulme as he became. His company, Lever Brothers is still a powerhouse in the modern world economy. You’ll know it as Unilever. A soft spot because my grandfather worked for them his entire career and Lord Leverhulme, when asked what his occupation was, always answered “Grocer”.

In 1922 Lord Leverhulme was speaking at the graduation of Liverpool University students on the secrets of success in business.

“The conduct of successful business…merely consists in doing things in a very simple way, doing them regularly and never neglecting to do them.”

Ian Bradley, Enlightened Entrepreneurs, Lion Publishing 2007.

It strikes me that this is as relevent today as it was 80 years ago and that it’s a great description of how to adopt social networking into business.

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One Response to “Lord Leverhulme got it right.”

  1. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo


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