Keys to success

Ron Petnuch follows
three basic rules that
have helped guide his professional career, first in
law and now as a president
and CEO.

“There are three basic
roads you can take in any
business,” he says. “One, you
keep your integrity in place
at all times. You have to be
committed to what you’re
doing, and committed to me
means being a student of the
game. The last big thing is
that you have to add value.”

Following these three
rules has helped Petnuch
grow InterTECH Security
LLC, an electronic security
systems integrator company
with 121 employees.

Smart Business spoke
with Petnuch about how
integrity, commitment and
adding value can help you
grow your business.

Q. What are the keys to
having integrity?

Integrity, the way it was
explained to me by one of
my mentors was, if you do
something wrong, if something doesn’t work out, it’s
like putting a rock in the
knapsack on your back.
Every time you do something
like that, it’s like putting
another rock in your knapsack, and eventually, that
will weigh you down.

If you get a rock in your
knapsack, stop and take the
rock out. Admit the problem,
have the discussion with the
client, have the discussion
with the person you wronged
and then move on. If you
allow it to keep building up,
it will take you down.

If something goes wrong,
you admit it and fix it, but
you keep your integrity,
which is your trust, in place
at all times. If I get something wrong here, as the
CEO, I’m going to admit it.

Why would I not tell my
employees, ‘Hey, that was
my mistake.’ If I do that, if I
have that kind of integrity,
don’t you think my employees would have that type of
integrity with me and their
fellow employees?

When you treat your employees that way, they tend
to treat you that way.

Q. How do you make
sure you are committed
to your business?

If you’re going to be in
business, you have to do
it to the best of your
abilities — study it, work
at it, and practice at it to
become good and proficient. Be committed, and
commitment’s nothing
more than a compass; it
keeps you pointed in a

That keeps you pointed in a direction of
how you handle customers, engineer jobs
and perform the work. If
you’re doing things that
aren’t consistent to that mission, why are you doing it?

If you’re doing something
that’s taking you in a different direction, then you have
to ask yourself, ‘Why am I
doing something that’s not
consistent with that?’