Timeless Principles in a Changing World

By: Glenda Lofton, Ph.D.

Aug 30, 2022

It’s “back to school time” and once again the words of the old tune, “School Days,” written by Cobb and Edwards back in 1907 are echoing in my head…

School days, school days, dear old Golden Rule Days, Readin’ and ‘ritin, and ‘rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hick-ry stick. You were my queen in calico. I was your bashful barefoot beau. You wrote on my slate, “I love you so.” When we were a couple of kids.


As I reflect on the words, I fondly recall that fifty years later, in 1957 when I was in high school, there was another song by the same title, “School Days”, by a 31-year-old Chuck Berry. It began…

Up in the morning and out to school, the teacher is teaching the Golden Rule, American History and practical math, you’re studying hard and hoping to pass, Working your fingers right down to the bone, and the guy behind won’t leave you alone.


As I’m sitting at my computer typing out the words, Tommy walks in and proceeds to sing the rest of the song…

Soon as three o’clock rolls around, you finally lay your burden down... Up to the corner and around the bend, right to the juke joint, you go in, Drop the coin right into the slot, you’ve got to hear something that’s really hot...Hail, hail rock and roll…


We laughed and reminisced about school in the 50’s and the “juke joints” of our day. Typically they were drive-through ice cream parlors like Hopper’s, back in the day, or the corner drug store where students congregated to have soft drinks, talk and listen to music over the “juke box” as it was called. Even on dates we girls rarely ordered more than a soft drink; money was limited, and we were skinny because of it. I recalled when my brother and his friend took two girls to Hopper’s one afternoon. The girls ordered hamburgers, malts, and fries. Later when the girls asked what time they would be picked up for the movie that night, my brother’s friend who had mowed grass for a month to earn the money for the date responded, “I’m sorry. You just ate the movie!”


A lot of changes have occurred from 1907 to 2022, but the songs still suggest timeless principles that contribute to success not only in school but in work and in life. These principles are supported by research on effective schools and businesses and are part of the underlying principles on which Lofton Staffing was founded:


(1) Apply the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be the kind of teacher, boss, coworker, parent, that you want others to be. When I was in school, the Coca-Cola Company distributed rulers to every student, and on the ruler was printed the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Servant Leadership is one of the principles on which Lofton Staffing was founded.


(2) Build character. Effective leaders in schools and the workplace lead by example. They model the qualities of moral character that inspire and influence others. Authority comes not from positions of power or a “hick-ry stick”, but from who you are and what you do as a person. I love the quote of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel throughout the world. Only when necessary, use words.”


(3) Keep learning. Madeline Hunter, whose model for Servant Leadership I helped implement in Louisiana’s schools, 1979-1988, said, We’re either “green and growing or ripe and rotting.” Learning organizations communicate that we care about you and your learning. Individual interest and talents are known, matched to the task, and built on. People are better when they leave than when they came.


(4) Develop relationships and trust. Relationships in business and in life are built one on one. In successful organizations people have opportunities to work together, to problem solve, to analyze what works and why, and to learn with and from each other knowing that when they help others, they help themselves. People have fun and get the job done.


(5) Have standards and expectations for performance. In hiring individuals at Lofton Staffing, three questions are considered: (a) Can I trust you? (b) Do you care? and (c) Do you want to get better? In the workplace as in basketball which Tommy Lofton played, he believed in the concept of “fast-break management.” When decisions are required that aren’t covered in the playbook, all members of the team must have the knowledge, ability, trust and support to emerge as leader, build on the strengths of others, break toward the goal, and accomplish the task. People want to win, and they do what they do for the joy of it.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today

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We Believe...

Relationships are built…one on one.
Know your people - match interest and talents to the tasks.
Don’t manage by numbers. (They just show if we’re on track.) People do the work.
People should feel better when they leave than when they came – and in turn we feel better.
When we help others, we help ourselves.
Great expectations: fair pay, fair treatment, teach me.
Have fun…and be better.
Work at having fun (51% of the time.) If you don’t feel it, fake it. Having fun is not slacking off. Work is more natural than play.