The Training of a Secretary:
Filing Room And Library
Overlapping With Other Officers
The Private Secretary
The Social Secretary
The Building And Loan Association Secretary
For Any Secretary
Famous Secretaries And Their Careers
Read More Articles About: The Training of a Secretary
Overlapping With Other Officers
( Originally Published 1922 )
Someone will say, in fact a friend did say, " You are leaning towards a description of the general manager in your outline of the duties of a secretary". Let us see. As a matter of fact, the line of demarcation between the duties of these two offices is not always a definite one. I know of three large corporations in my immediate vicinity which do not have a general manager. There are many such examples. Of course, in these cases, the recognized duties of the general manager must then be divided among other officers, and they are so divided.
The offices of secretary and managing director, or the director are sometimes merged, as formerly in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at present in The Henry Phipps Institute for the Study,
Treatment and Prevention of Tuberculosis, and the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, all in Philadelphia.
If you will recall the earlier pages of this book, you will find references to secretaries who are managers in the strictest sense of the term, for example, consider the Secretary of State or any other of the Cabinet Secretaries in the United States and the departmental secretaries in Great Britain such as the Secretary for Home Affairs or for Colonies. Each in his own large or small field, the Young Men's Christian Association Secretaries are undoubtedly managers of the business of their organization. Dr. John R. Mott, General Secretary, is a brilliant ex-ample of one who is a genius in administration and executive ability. Anson Phelps Stokes, former Secretary of the Yale Corporation, is another distinguished official who has displayed marked executive capacity.
When I cast my mind over the names and characteristics of the secretaries of the national and local societies which are devoted to medicine, law, engineering and kindred activities, I find evidence of so much talent that it would be invidious to mention any per-son in this connection, though I would enjoy naming certain men as conspicious examples of the point I am trying to make. However, I may again call attention to Dr. Marburg, whose soul keeps marching on in the work of the American Society for Testing Materials, the influence of which is constantly expanding and its usefulness increasing.
Let us examine the various organizations to which attention is drawn in Chapter V. Philadelphia is the only city in the United States in which cricket may be said to have flourished. The more important clubs in that city have grown in strength and size until each one has its own valuable property including a club house, and an annual business amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who administered their affairs before and in the hey-day of the game and managed their innumerable details? The secretary. Who else? That the game has fallen out of favor is by no means his fault. I am happy to see that it is gradually re-gaining its popularity.
The same maybe said of the secretary of almost every country club of which I have knowledge; and of every yacht club, and every social club, although these are some-what different from the preceding examples for they have house committees with which the secretary consults, but he is practically their executive officer. When we come to the railroad, the duties of the sceretary and the general manager do not overlap. The general manager is more likely to overlap with the vice-president in charge of operation or to be officially under his jurisdiction. As I have said, the lines of demarcation among various officials of various companies are not definite, and the duties of officers of the same title differ somewhat according to customs which have been handed down from successive administrations. The temperament of the individual secretary has much to do with the duties which he will assume. There are men who shrink from responsibilities as a boy from cold water, or hot, while others seek them like the duckling which waddles to water, of any temperature, the moment it leaves the shell. These delight in administrative and executive activities, as James Logan did who was. mentioned in Chapter II. There are always places for them. I have not written into this book a secretarial duty which is not per-formed by many men to my personal knowledge. I am looking upon the secretary as he should be, in my opinion, and as he is, in many cases, according. to my observation.