Date: August 1, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
Some people are much afraid of doing something for which they are not paid. That is the attitude of class and caste which leads to fossilization or decay. It represents the foreign system of servants, not the American system of partners in industry. The person who adopts it may possibly hold his place, but the chance of promotion has gone and the chance of demotion and discharge has come. It is the most certain road to unemployment. Those who do only what they are paid for will never be paid very much.
The work of the world cannot be done on any such basis. No business can be a success in which that system is fostered. Whenever employees, whether in the office or in the shop, begin that practice they are bound for part time and a shutdown. There is no market for that method of production.
Success comes to people who are not considering the narrow question of what they are paid for, but the broad question of what they can do to be helpful. It is that attitude which leads to the promotion of the individual, the profit of the business and the prosperity of the nation.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.