The EAC’s establishment and development into a worldwide business enterprise was based on a specific set of ideas, specific business philosophies, management principles, and a unique international corporate culture
The founder of the East Asiatic Company, Captain HN Andersen, formulated his thoughts and attitudes about the leadership he required and expected in the Company early on; values that reflect the creative thinking and the amount of work that EAC owed its creation and monumental growth later on. Creative and constructive thoughts that can continue to inspire today’s business executives:
All human action has a beginning often of primitive nature: a perception through the ear and eye of childhood, youth or mature age, which sticks to consciousness through related impressions and considerations and thereby matures to action. There is an opportunity. The results cannot be calculated, but a strong conviction supports the moral courage required to summon the necessary interest. But, in order to translate opportunities into realities, what is most required is the will to want which breeds the capability of being able to do.
The EAC’s future is, within its boundaries, to develop leaders who put the matter over the person, the duties over the rights, and who come to understand that the World is no bigger than it can be encompassed by thought and its possibilities are exploited by strong wills, then the Company will continue to carry forward and carry out its cultural work throughout the world, where it follows the unwritten laws of reciprocity … by careful attention and care, this significant business organization can continue to evolve and last for generations into the future. This depends on the will to want of the future leaders … the ability to get others to act in a manner desired by management and to make the company function within the framework of the given external and internal circumstances at any time. Under one-sided routine management, the Company would be in relative decline.
The duties of the leaders extend beyond their own time, and one of the most important duties is to work on the Company’s future consolidation. This includes the training of forces for the tasks of the future, of leaders who live and work in organism and breathe in synchronization with it … The East Asiatic Company, as in the performance of any other company, depends on conditions, organization and operations. But even the most promising conditions and the most appropriate organization cannot counterbalance inadequate management. On the other hand, gifted and dutiful management can compensate for inadequate organization and less favorable conditions. Intentional leaders are responsive to the demands of both today and the future. They are not led by developments, but developments are led by them.
One of the real pleasures that can be associated with the responsibility of management of the East Asiatic Company is that the young develop into dutiful, skilled leaders. The best moral protection for youth in foreign conditions is character, self-respect, and love for the home as well as the will to want which breeds the capability to be able to do.
The company developed through Plantation, Trade, Shipping, Industry and worldwide representation to become the Nordic region’s largest company. A company with an international work for inspiration for the Danish business community as well as for many businesses and business people in the countries where the Company operated. Many businesses founded by the Company are developing positively today under new ownership.