Question: What was the intended meaning of “He Profits Most Who Serves Best”?

Question: What was the intended meaning of “He Profits Most Who Serves Best”?

Would you like to earn more money? If so, learn about Arthur Frederick “Fred” Sheldon. If you take the time to understand what he wrote and why, you will discover a very important lesson in business which most Rotarians misunderstood.


It is not what many people think….


I wish you a good learning experience, John M. Selway



Sheldon whose occupation was running a business school, took out the ad on the right in The Rotarian in 1917. (courtesy of Wolfgang Ziegler)


Read RGHF Senior Historian Basil Lewis’ essay


How do leaders make a difference? No they just don’t lead; people need more than commands being shouted out, to accept a person as a leader. They need to accept the person and respect them to follow or listen to what they say. To earn such a respect, one must walk the talk and set an example.

If the person has enough credentials and is accepted as one who knows what they are doing, people will be ready to follow their footsteps or recommendations. The leaders of Rotary set an example by getting involved in a number of projects and actively participating in all the initiatives to change people’s lives. This is why they have gone down in history as leaders.

When it comes to business, very few are celebrated as successful businessmen. This is not due to the lack of successful businesses, it is because only a few create an impact on the minds of people and inspire them. Businesses that help people and make things easier are also celebrated as successful business venture.

Ask an investor who wants to trade in the stock market or binary options, but does not know much about binary options or does not have the time to follow the market carefully, they are open to the idea of automated trading platforms like the Orion Code, because it has been created by an experienced trader who wants to make investing in binary option, easier for everyone. This opens the doors for many investors who have been hesitant about entering this particular market due to the complex calculations and moves that need to be made at the right time.





1921 Sheldon photo from Doug Rudman

<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>This February 1976 article in The Rotarian tells the story of Arthur Frederick Sheldon who joined Rotary Club of Chicago in 1908. He became responsible for our vocational service, but is best known for our </style=”font-size:> motto when he coined the phrase, “<style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#800000″>He profits most who serves best.” Sheldon saw the law of ethics as “natural laws.” He also made a list of 800 classifications for membership. A </style=”font-size:> 1921 speech of Sheldon’s was printed by RI for distribution to schools and other institutions and he was an honorary member of several clubs. (copy of his speech)</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>From </style=”font-size:> “This Rotarian Age” which Paul Harris published in 1935, he wrote four pages about Arthur “Fred” Sheldon’s observations of business and how “service” or lack of it affected success. It was “service that created profit” decided Sheldon. By reading all of what Harris wrote and comparing that with the material out of context in the previous articles, one can reason that the impression that this motto was also meant to mean something similar to “Service Above Self” was a logical conclusion. But you’ll also read that Sheldon was the creator of the classification system and believed in  the value of business and profit for for the betterment of the community.<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> 1911 Platform • Today’s Platform • Sheldon proceedings and speech</style=”font-size:>

  <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Pages 95-98 of “This Rotarian Age” by Paul P. Harris, 1935</style=”font-size:>

Read a summary of Sheldon’s 45 minute speech to the 1921 convention in Edinburgh where he clearly defines his philosophy of “Service” and his “motto” for Rotary. Because a modern council on legislation chose only “Service above Self” as Rotary’s official motto, and left “He Profits Most Who Serves Best” it might be helpful to understand that these two mottos were entirely separate in meaning and were not intended to be duplicative. We have posted what Paul Harris wrote regarding Sheldon’s meaning
Read about the 1911 Platform, including the Motto