A bond salesman’s code
The 34th Street branch of the New York Public Library holds the business collection of this great public institution. I’ve spent some time there reading through old books on the bond business. These books must be called up from the stacks deep in the bowels of the building. One of my all-time favorites is the sincere “Bond Salesmanâ€™s Code” from a 1924 book entitled Bond Salesmanship:
- To work hard every waking hour — principally from the chin up.
- To consider no deal a good deal unless both parties benefit.
- To be honest with myself, my house and the public — not as a matter of policy but as a matter of principle.
- To be prepared to make some mistakes, but always errors of the head, never of the heart — and never the same mistake twice.
- To acknowledge no aristocracy save that of intelligence.
- To realize after all, the best definition of the word â€˜gentlemanâ€™ is -â€“ a gentle man.
- To be earnest but not insistent, enthusiastic but not inaccurate, interested in others but not inquisitive, self-confident but not self-conscious, dignified but not oppressive — in short to cultivate the knowledge of the true values in human relationships as in all other things.
- To believe loyally and implicitly in my house, its securities, its ideas, and its ideals and to strive at all times to be truly its representative.
It sounds like a moral code rather than a primer for selling bonds. Oh, how far we have come…