The greatest businessman I’ve ever known was not the richest man, was not the most ambitious man, and while being very intelligent was probably not the smartest man. But he was the greatest businessman that I’ve met to this day, hands down. Here’s why.
As a young man I worked as an office assistant for a successful Realtor in South Carolina. I was just starting my professional life and my job consisted of the typical assistant tasks; filing, picking up dry cleaning, replenishing office supplies and the like. The owner of the Real Estate company that my boss worked for was a man named Dick Saunders; a southern gentleman who had grown this Real Estate office to the tune of 80+ Realtors, most of whom were quite successful. He was wealthy and he was considered important by the people of the company and the community at large.
From time to time, the company would have staff events; holiday parties, educational seminars, that sort of thing, and Dick Saunders would be there. As the owner and head of the company his time was always in demand and it seemed as though there was a perpetual line of Realtors waiting to speak to him.
As an assistant I felt that my job in these situations was to keep my head down and be polite; to essentially stay out of the way. At every one of these events though, Dick Saunders would make time to speak to me. He would shake my hand, ask me how I was, if I needed anything. We would chat about his Duke Blue Devils and my New England Patriots. He looked me in the eye when we spoke; he was completely present in the conversation.
This was a man who understood the very foundation of good business; he cared for people. Whether pauper or prince, this man was invested in your well being; he was selfless, kind and generous with everyone whom he met.
This is the foundation of my philosophy in business. Take care of people. I firmly believe that all people want is to know they are being taken care of by someone they can trust. I have embraced this belief system and it his has never let me down.
And I have Dick Saunders to thank for it.
Andy Bush, President
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