A Special Breed with Special Needs
Several days later, I picked up Mr. Shmooze at the airport. We had an 11 AM appointment with a wealthy and successful owner of a commercial cleaning business.
"Hey kid, how are you doing? Meet Jim Keck. He and I sat next to each other on the plane and I told him we could drop him off on the way to our appointment." Naturally, Mr. Shmooze had engaged the man next to him on his trip back from Chicago. As they talked while we drove downtown, Mr. Shmooze explained to me that the man was the CFO of a midsized trucking company; had two adopted daughters, ages five and eight; was an avid fly-fisherman; and had just purchased a new home in Buckhead. After Mr. Shmooze got off the phone with Mary (he asked her to purchase a book on fishing in Georgia and a Buckhead restaurant guide for the CFO), we turned our attention to the next meeting.
"Okay kid, let's focus. The guy we are going to meet started and runs the most successful commercial cleaning company in town. He is a great salesman, a sharp operator, and is absolutely ferocious about customer service."
"No wonder he is doing so well," I added. "What's not to like?"
"Exactly, but he has a problem. You see, he is trying to expand geographically, but entrepreneurs often get trapped by laying their own standards of passion and intensity on their employees. The pressure causes good people to go elsewhere. This fellow is caught in exactly such a conundrum."
"Is that what you're going to ...