Benjamin Russell, founder of Russell Sportswear Corporation, was a keen observer, a shrewd operator, a hard task master and as hard on himself as he was on his employees. In 1902 Russell took over an existing mill in Alexander City, Alabama and became part of the city’s folklore. Mr. Ben, as he was referred to, had the following list — which was a prerequisite for all those working in his mill.
Russel’s 10 Demandments
1. Don’t lie. It wastes my time and yours, and I am sure to catch you in the end.
2. Watch your work not the clock. A long day¹s work makes a long day short, but a short day’s work makes my face long.
3. Give me more than I expect of you and you will get more than you expect. I can afford to increase your pay if you
increase my profits.
4. You owe so much to yourself that you cannot afford to owe anyone else. Keep out of debt.
5. Dishonesty is never an accident. Never see temptation when you meet it.
6. Mind your own business and in time you will have a business of your own to mind.
7. Don’t do anything that will hurt your self-respect.
8. It is none of my business what you do at night, but if the next day you do only half as much as I demand, you will last only half as long as you hope.
9. Don’t tell me what I like to hear tell me what I ought to hear. I don’t want a valet to my vanity, but one to my dollars.
10. Don’t kick if I kick. If you are worth correcting, you are worth keeping. I don’t waste time cutting specks out of rotten apples.