MBA 660: Economics Past, Present, and Future
Week 4 Paper- Mini Essay
Which Of Adam Smith’s Quotations Most Closely Relates To Leadership In Your Work Organization?
By: Dan Barden
Dan Barden is a student in Saint Joseph’s College MBA Program.
For my essay I have decided to use two of Adam Smith’s quotes to illustrate how the leadership in my office works. The first one I chose is “in general, if any branch of trade, or any division of labour, be advantageous to the public, the freer and more general the competition, it will always be the more so.” (Smith, The Wealth Of Nations, Book II, Chapter II, p.329, para. 106.) Many people might think of competition as a fact of life, in which, it truly is. But Adam Smith also views it as a symbol of all that is noble and admirable about human existence. He also believes that nothing contributes more to human happiness than competition, because competition causes all of us to raise our game and be better. In other words, competition gives us access to better products and services for cheaper prices because the folks producing these things are always trying to outdo each other. There is almost no part of life (in Smith's theories) that can't be improved by competition. For example, in banking where Smith thinks that "free competition too obliges all bankers to be more liberal in their dealings with their customers, lest their rivals should carry them away" (Smith, The Wealth Of Nations, 1976) So laymen’s terms, you have a much better opportunity to qualify for a bank loan if more bankers are competing with each other to keep you satisfied. In my job as an insurance broker, it is all about competition in the marketplace. If competition were not such a vital factor in the business then my job would not exist. The leadership in my organization has taught me to use my market acumen, utilize my relationships with fellow brokers and underwriters, and use my drive to not stop at good and strive for greatness for my clients.
The next quotation I decided to use is “Without the assistance and co-operation of many thousands, the very meanest person in a civilized country could not be provided, even according to, what we very falsely imagine, the easy and simple manner in which he is commonly accommodated.” The quote apprehends Smith's account of the complexity and scope of the division of labor, and its aptitude to upsurge the standard of living in a given society. Smith believes that the propensity to truck, barter and exchange is part of human nature, and it is precisely this capacity that best organizes the economic system in large scale societies. The cooperation of the many thousan...