Marketing Lessons From My Bosses, Part 8


I last had a boss twenty years ago, unless you count my father’s admonition that when you’re in business for yourself, every customer is your boss.

My last boss was incredibly smart and incredibly rich. His company had about 200 employees, and that was not the bulk of his wealth. Shortly after he hired me, I managed to get him out to lunch, and figured I’d get some great investing advice.

When I asked him, he didn’t hesitate.

“I lost a ton of money investing in companies,” he said. “Now I only invest in people.”

He paused and said, “I’d like to invest in you.”

What a great lesson this has turned out to be for me. The best investment is hiring great employees.

jack welch

jack welch (Photo credit: challengefuture)

Some years ago I saw an interview on CNBC of Jack Welch, the legendary head of General Electric. The interviewer was asking Welch about various keys to his success when Welch interrupted him. “Let me make it real simple for you,” he said. “You hire the best people — you win.” Welch makes a sports analogy: the team with the best players wins, so find and retain the best players.

On this website, if you click on “Smart Clients” you will find a series of video interviews with SmartMarketing clients. Pay special attention to what these clients say about our staff.

Too many of the attorneys I speak to think of employees as an expense. I tell them, no, employees are profit centers. They are your company. I agree with my old boss. Invest in great people.

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