Commanding teamwork to ensure trust

Brigadier General Roger W. Teague, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Based Infrared Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center

Brigadier General Roger W. Teague, Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Based Infrared Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center

Achieving buy-in is a tough task for any leader. But when you’re Brigadier General Roger W. Teague and the people you need to get on board include senior Department of Defense leadership, Technical Intelligence community and even U.S. Congress – achieving buy-in is a grand feat, indeed.

As Commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Based Infrared Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Teague had to build and maintain the trust of these key stakeholders after the $10 billion program faced some initial challenges and delays.

By ensuring communication through daily progress reviews and uniting teams around common goals, Teague lead the program past obstacles toward success, delivering unprecedented infrared surveillance to the country.

Because of this, Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank named the decorated commander to the class of 2011 Smart Leader honorees. He shared how he leads his team to tackle tough issues, innovate with leading technology and give back to the communities they protect.

Give an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

The Infrared Space Systems Directorate is a national leader in technology. Our space and ground systems feature cutting-edge technology and provide the United States with the world’s best missile warning and technical intelligence capabilities. The Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) Program has been in development since the mid-1990s. As a new development, the highly technical $10 billion program experienced several unforeseen challenges during early stages of development. These challenges were mitigated through proactive leadership, teamwork and an unfaltering dedication to our No. 1 customer: the warfighter.

Recognizing successful programs must be based on solid teamwork and collaboration among each of the participating organizations, we placed great importance on establishing and maintaining trust, communication and mutual understanding of a common program vision and goals. We ensured an emphasis on teamwork, trust, respect, and team behaviorsguided by jointly defined core values implemented across all program elements, including team members of the U.S. Air Force and our valued mission partners from industry. The program defined core functions and responsibilities across all program segments and held key leaders and managers accountable for performance.

We also focused on daily progress reviews, tackling tough issues that were imacting program progress, and developed individual action plans to resolve each of them. Technical discussions were frank and focused on reaching solutions and consensus on a path forward. This helped the program to identify, address and eliminate dozens of technical and program risks associated with first-time integration of the SBIRS geosynchronous satellite, and to successfully field the system.

Firm program commitments were established and the team continued to build positive relationships critical to program success. The program soon began making major strides to successfully deliver this critical national security space program and fulfill our commitments and vision to deliver unprecedented global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities to our warfighters and the Nation.

Keeping growth in check

Cheryl Osborn, President, Casco Contractors, Inc.

Cheryl Osborn, President, Casco Contractors, Inc.

Surviving this economy has been a challenge for all companies, especially those in commercial real estate like Casco Contractors Inc. But it’s not the biggest challenge on President Cheryl Osborn’s mind.

Her sights are set higher – on not just surviving, but maintaining stable growth through the downturn. She achieves this by creating open lines of communication to stay in tune with her employees’ workloads and putting technology in place to manage projects and keep everyone in the field informed, as well.

These processes have helped the firm, which specializes in Commercial Tenant Improvements, keep efficiency, quality and consistency first. And now, Osborn is looking forward to projected 2011 revenues that nearly double last year’s.

Because of this, Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank named Osborn to the class of 2011 Smart Leader honorees. She shared how she maintains quality during growth and applies innovative technology to better manage her team.

Give an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

Stable, managed growth is probably the biggest challenge that we have faced. Maintaining stringent quality standards can be challenging when a company is growing quickly, but our reputation has been built on the quality of our service, so quality control is something we take very seriously and always have in mind every step of the way. To maintain quality:

  • I provide my employees with every possible tool to help them manage their responsibilities.
  • I maintain open lines of communication to stay aware of workloads. And when someone is struggling, I work with them to determine if they are actually overloaded or if perhaps they need help managing time and resources better.
  • When I deem necessary, and once I’ve assessed that the company volume can support it, I hire additional people to fill positions at various levels of management or support.

Surviving in a struggling economy (is another challenge). I take pride in the fact that I have been able to maintain my workforce with no layoffs, even when the economy has taken a serious dip and other companies were closing their doors. We have done this by adapting – not only our services to our clients, but internally adapting the way we do business. By shifting responsibilities and rallying everyone to pitch in, even if it sometimes means handling tasks that aren’t generally in their job descriptions, we’ve managed to weather leaner times and keep our valued employees on our team.

Big enough and small enough

Laurie Resnick, President, The Associated Group

Laurie Resnick, President, The Associated Group

Laurie Resnick tries to position The Associated Group as both big enough and small enough to tackle any project. As one of Southern California’s largest landscape, plantscape and seasonal display contractors, the company is big enough to provide professional, expert services and build long-term relationships with clients, staff and suppliers. At the same time, Resnick enforces a culture that keeps the company small enough to focus on quality.

Under her direction as president, The Associated Group has grown significantly and developed three divisions: interior plantscape, exterior landscape and seasonal display – and been recognized for numerous design awards by the Plantscape Industry Alliance. Working as one company to offer comprehensive services, these divisions design, install and maintain projects at corporate offices, industrial parks, regional malls, hotels and casinos, and public spaces like airports, schools, churches and city buildings.

Because of her keen leadership, regardless of location, Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank named Resnick to the class of 2011 Smart Leader honorees. She shared how she creates a culture of best-in-class design and extraordinary customer service.

Give an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

It became very clear over the past year that one of the three founding partners was a determent to the company’s culture and long-term success. Her recent departure has brought fourth a renewed energy and shared vision for the future. With the improving economic climate, the staff is aligned and preparing for great things to come.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

We have worked very hard to create a culture of best-in-class design and extraordinary customer service.

WHY WE DO IT: We do this because we have a gift that we must share. Our gift is the ability to spin straw into gold, turning ordinary things into extraordinary beauty. We do this over and over again, and when we do, we see delight in our customers’ faces.

HOW WE DO IT: We do this by creating fabulous original design and service concepts that exceed our customers’ expectations. We sell these concepts to our customers. Then we execute exactly as promised, and on time. No matter how hard it may be, we make it look easy.

WHAT WE DO: We design, install and maintain the most beautiful landscapes, interior plantscapes, and seasonal décor for hotel and casinos, retail centers, office properties, and more.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

We employ 150 people with above industry standard wages and benefits.

How to reach: Associated Group, (714) 558-6100 or

From transactions to partnerships

Bob Funari, President, Crescent Healthcare

Bob Funari, President, Crescent Healthcare

When Bob Funari and his executive team acquired majority ownership of Crescent Healthcare Inc. in 2004, the company was facing severe economic challenges.

But by moving away from commodity-based transactional relationships and toward value-added partnerships, Funari soon changed the outlook.

His team has forged a new culture that values teamwork, accountability and innovation. Along with it, they’ve more than doubled sales, eliminated significant operating losses and achieved profitability goals.

Because of this, Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank named Funari to the class of 2011 Smart Leader honorees. He shared how he innovatively transitions his company’s strategic direction to overcome challenges.

Give an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

Crescent Healthcare was a company facing severe economic challenges when our executive team, backed by two private equity investors, acquired the majority ownership in 2004. Over the past six years we have created a culture that values integrity, professionalism, teamwork, personal accountability, innovation and a bias towards action.

As a result, we have more than doubled sales, eliminated the significant operating losses, and achieved our profitability goals. We have financed all of our growth and investments from internally generated cash flow while reducing our bank debt by 80 percent.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

Our mission is providing high-quality care that is both appropriate and cost-effective to patients with complex disease problems in alternate settings.

For the past three years, we have been focused on transforming our business relationships with health plans, hospitals and physician groups. We are rapidly moving away from transactional relationships where the services we provide are perceived as commodities and where competition is based on price, to partnerships where there is an opportunity to create significant value for our customers, resulting in benefits for both of our organizations.

Two specific examples illustrate this change in our strategic direction:

  • We reduced the cost of IVIG infusion therapy for a major health plan in California by over $4 million per year by medically managing their members to insure that they received appropriate and cost-effective care with excellent clinical outcomes and positive patient experiences.
  • We reduced the cost of unfunded care for a major health system by over $1.5 million per year by redirecting the delivery of care to more cost effective alternate site locations. The quality of care we provided resulted in no readmissions and high levels of patient satisfaction.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

The services we provide improve the quality of life for people throughout California. Every year, the care we deliver saves or sustains the lives of over 30,000 people.

We have increased the number of people working for Crescent Healthcare from 436 in 2004 to 535 today. At the time we acquired the majority ownership position in the company, we made significant improvements in the health care and retirement benefits we provide to our employees.

Our family foundation contributes over $150,000 each year to organizations that address the health care and educational needs of children who have significant unmet needs.

How to reach: Crescent Healthcare Inc., (800) 722-8085 or

Develop human capital to conquer the recession

Anand Gala, president and CEO, Gala Corp.

Anand Gala, president and CEO, Gala Corp.

The “survival of the fittest” concept really resonated with Anand Gala – and many of his peers – when the recession hit the food service industry, which operates with thin margins to begin with. Providing the best service, suddenly, was more important than ever.

The challenging times required keen leadership from not just the president and CEO, but everyone at Gala Corp. – a privately-owned hospitality and food service company with a portfolio including Applebee’s, Del Taco and Famous Dave’s BBQ.

So the company created Gala University, a leadership development program where management candidates learn skills like innovative problem-solving. Basically, Gala invests to keep employees at the top of their game so they’ll be prepared and empowered to keep the company at the top of its game.

Because of this entrepreneurial leadership, Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank named Gala one of the 2011 Smart Leader honorees. He discussed how he survives tough times by focusing on human capital and giving back to the community.

Give an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

The most recent example is the current economic recession that we are still dealing with. From a high point of 2007, we began feeling the hit – and this (food service/restaurant) is in an industry that has very thin margins to begin with. The impact of the recession was that it forced or accelerated changes that were necessary for survival.

The result of these changes – at the speed at which we made them – was that we were able to maintain 90 percent of our EBITDA from 2007 in 2009 and 2010. It forced us to become better operators, managers and leaders. It also prompted us to have a laser focus on our Human Capital – making sure that it was not just the top of the company that provided leadership but that each level, including the restaurant managers, were providing clear leadership and ensuring that we had the best people in place who were committed and passionate about service and hospitality. It was important that we were providing the training and development to keep everyone at the top of their game.

As a result of our efforts, we (have been) experiencing very strong growth in sales during these past nine months and are seeing better flow through to the bottom line.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

I prefer “entrepreneurial leader,” as we are willing to try many different things, so long as we have thought them through and they make sense. I believe that if you can clearly define the problem and engage the leadership around you, each will come up with different solutions. Many times, a solution that comes from outside your industry or outside of the department that is struggling delivers the best results because you’re getting a fresh perspective. I have found that there are no limitations to how to solve a problem.

We recently created a leadership development program called Gala University, where we teach management candidates to seek alternative ways to think of solutions to problems. The focus on leadership development as a strategic advantage is how we are acting more entrepreneurial in our leadership, as this is not common in our industry.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

I feel a great sense of commitment to this topic. We operate restaurants that are very much a part of our local communities and neighborhoods. As a matter of fact, Applebee’s is known as the “Neighborhood Grill and Bar,” and we try to bring this to life each and every single day. We do this through significant community outreach, whether it is supporting classroom and reading programs for our local schools or helping their various sports and activities groups raise funds for a trip or new uniforms.

We think that there is a great deal that we can do to thank our guests and neighbors – our community – for the patronage that they provide us. I am particularly proud of the most recent events that we did during Veteran’s Day, when we honored all active and retired military with a free meal and collected messages of thanks for those in uniform. With those messages we created a wall collage and now display it proudly for all to see each and every day.

Additionally, while our communities and many others are still struggling, we assisted the Toys for Tots program and became official collections centers for toy drops and helped provide a great holiday for so many children in our local communities.

And last, but not least, we helped raise thousands of dollars in donations – that we matched – for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation during the recent grand opening of our Famous Dave’s BBQ Restaurant located in Orange.

How to reach: Gala Corp.,

Pattern of growth

Manu Shah, President and CEO, M S International Inc.

Manu Shah, President and CEO, M S International Inc.

Growth is nothing new to Manu Shah. His company’s been experiencing it for 36 years straight – ever since M S International Inc. opened in 1975.

Shah, president and CEO, is in the stone business; his company is a global distributor of natural stone, and the largest supplier of natural stone products in the U.S. His team knows a thing or two about staying rock solid, and not even the economic downturn could keep them from growing.

Competitors cut back or closed down, but Shah set out to follow core values, seek new opportunities and invest for the long-term by innovating everywhere, from sales and marketing to the supply chain. So while his industry shrank 40 percent during the last two years, Shah grew 45 percent.

Because of this, Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank named Shah one of the 2011 Smart Leader honorees. He shared how he innovates to expand while investing in employees and the company.

Give an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

Since opening in 1975, MSI has grown for all its 35 years of history. In the last quarter of 2008, the political and economic uncertainty, the volatility of consumer sentiment and the continuation of the global debt crisis caused a large business challenge in the form of how to compete with fear. Most of our major competitors – and the building industry in general – dealt with the fear by laying off workers, reducing pay, curtailing investments, closing locations and stopping new product innovations. Many companies in our industry decided to just shut down, or fell into bankruptcy.

After one year of survival tactics, we put aside our worries and charged forward taking risks and making calculated investments for the long term.

Instead of copying our competitors during those turbulent times, we asked all our leaders to keep our core values intact, continue to invest for the long term, and take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in the industry. We asked our leaders to plan for knock-out punches and demand the necessary resources for execution. Some examples include:

1)    Continued hiring at an aggressive pace and encouraging hard work and over time where required

2)    Continued expansion of new branches and necessary infrastructure spending.

3)    Continued investment in innovation and marketing and product development

4)    Extended helping hands to key vendors, needy employees and few longtime customers.

5)    Most importantly, did not lay off a single employee due to lack of work.

6)    Most importantly, did not lay off a single employee or reduce benefits due to a lack of work!

The strategy worked wonders: Between 2008 and 2010, MSI grew by 45 percent while the industry shrank by 40 percent.

Most companies measure their success by top-line or bottom-line growth; we at MSI look at the market share growth. Market share is calculated geographically, customer segments and different product lines. The best time to get market share is during a downturn in the economy when opponents are weak.

We hired and trained over 150 employees nationwide in 2010. Opened three new branches. Made huge investments in IT software and hardware to improve productivity. Revitalized HR, including a focus on wellness and a digitized review process.

Compassionate one

Ronit Molko, Founder, Autism Spectrum Therapies

Ronit Molko, Founder, Autism Spectrum Therapies

Since co-founding Autism Spectrum Therapies in 1997, Ronit Molko and her team have been singularly focused as compassionate advocates for individuals and their families navigating the challenges of autism.

The challenges for this population are numerous, and as co-CEO and chief development officer, Molko’s mission is to help individuals with autism achieve their full potential. Through her efforts, she’s actively changing the dialogue on autism by working with school districts to provide support and training to school personnel, partnering with local regional centers that provide in-home programs and working privately with families.

Molko recognizes that innovation is critical in this realm, and in every endeavor, she and her team look to develop programs and service offerings that stretch the boundaries into new territories and new thinking.

Because of this, Molko was named one of 2011 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business, ThinkASG, IBM and Union Bank for her above-and-beyond work in the field. We asked her how she overcomes challenges, innovates and gives back.

Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

The current financial situation in the state of California presents providers of autism therapy services with significant challenges as they receive funding through the state’s regional center system and the local school districts. We have not allowed this financial crisis to compromise the delivery of our clinical services to our clients.

The organization is responding to this challenge by structuring our clinical service model to provide the same high-quality interventions to our clients in accordance with the goals that we set for each individual. AST is also addressing the challenge by increasing our services to private insurance companies, military beneficiaries and other payors, and by adding new and innovative services.

You mention innovation. In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does AST employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

As a board-certified behavior analyst and licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children with autism, I am focused on the development of innovative programs and new service offerings for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities across the lifespan. We utilize the latest applied behavior analysis research and tools to develop treatment plans, which use the most effective and innovative strategies to promote child development and the acquisition of communication, social, play and self-help skills.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

From its inception, Autism Spectrum Therapies has been a compassionate advocate for individuals and their families navigating the challenges of autism. Our mission is to help individuals with autism achieve their full potential. At AST, we have always believed that the best results are achieved with family-focused programs and hands-on parental involvement grounded in applied behavior analysis. Our autism therapy programs are based on scientifically proven methods designed to develop skills within developmentally appropriate play activities and natural family routines. As the child grows, our program expands to incorporate other play and social opportunities available at school and in the wider community.

As the rates of autism and the need for high-quality autism service have increased, we have responded by expanding our service area and service offerings to meet the needs of our clients. Today, we are one of the largest providers of autism therapy in California and employ 475 highly qualified and well-trained staff members.

How to reach: Autism Spectrum Therapies,

Prairie City Bakery innovates and satisfies

Bill Skeens, President, Prairie City Bakery

Prairie City Bakery may be a bakery, but it operates like a traditional manufacturer, doing everything a manufacturer does – from product development to taking that product to market. Bill Skeens, Prairie City’s president, and his team produce more than 65 different bakery items, each made to Prairie City’s specific specifications.

“We are always looking for new ideas and ways to satisfy the customer and always ask ourselves, ‘Is there a better way to do this?’” Skeens says.

Though the company, itself, has a total of 11 employees, Prairie City’s impact on employment goes well beyond that. Last year, the company sold more than $20.5 million in bakery goods that were produced in seven separate bakery operations — primarily in the Midwest and Canada — that employed more than 500 people.

Skeens was named one of 2010 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business and U.S. Bank. We asked him how he overcomes challenges, innovates and gives back.

Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

Three years ago, a major account of ours was looking to develop a private label program in a very short period of time. On a Thursday, we met with their buyers and got specifically what an ideal product line would look like from a quality, packaging and pricing standpoint. The following Friday, we came back with live product, packaging and pricing and laid out 25 alternative products, two different packaging designs and pricing on all items in their conference room.

This was a total company effort involving and coordinating with all of our suppliers, creative packaging designers and financial people to deliver this is just over a week. We were in competition with much larger companies, and because we delivered, we ended up producing 15 of their 18 private label items and continue to deliver on this business today.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

Our people are all empowered to ‘Do what is right for the business.’ When I worked for a large bakery manufacturer, we only sold what we could make, and this often was not what the customer wanted. With the Prairie City Bakery model of outsourcing of manufacturing, this is a huge advantage because we want to sell what the customer wants to buy.

We do not have blinders on that say, ‘This is the only way we can do it.’ We look to solve problems and provide a solution, and then we get our reward of selling the right product that provides us with revenue.

Customers ‘vote’ with their dollars every day, and we are always looking for creative solutions that set us apart, add value and makes customers not only want to buy from us but to recommend us and to be and advocate of Prairie City Bakery.

How to reach: Prairie City Bakery,

Scott Bowling overcomes challenge for worthy cause

Scott Bowling, President and CEO, Exceptional Children's Foundation

Scott Bowling faced the greatest challenge of his career after the merger between Exceptional Children’s Foundation and the Kayne Eras Center in 2007 and 2008.

“In addition to combining systems, policies and procedures of two large nonprofits, a significant amount of planning, thought and effort needed to be invested to effectively integrate the two organizations’ cultures,” says Bowling, ECF’s president and CEO.

As a result, today ECF is the only organization of its kind that can provide support to a person challenged by developmental disabilities from birth through the senior years. From 16 sites in communities throughout Los Angeles County, ECF offers established programs in Early Start, Kayne Eras K-12 school, Fine Arts, Developmental Activity, Residential Living, Independent Living Skills, Work Training and Supported Employment, reaching nearly 2,300 children and adults with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, acquired brain injuries and related conditions.

Because of his efforts, Bowling was named one of the 2010 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business and Chase Bank. We asked about how he put together the two organizations and how ECF impacts the community.

Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

One of the greatest challenges followed the merger, which was legally consummated on July 1, 2008. It was the critical first step of identifying the members of the Integration Task Force that paved the way for the successful integration.

With both organizations represented, the key target areas identified and plans to facilitate ‘oneness’ were developed and implemented. Among the myriad areas of focus were: board development and board participation policies, personnel policies and procedures, strategic planning, logo redesign, constructing a workable organizational structure, redesigning the ECF website and marketing materials, and numerous staff and community events to promote us ‘coming Together.’ It was a tremendous challenge, and one our team overcame, together.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

The merger was motivated by ECF’s vision to expand its impact on the community, while creating a replicable service model. By combining the Kayne Eras Center, a multiservice nonpublic school and agency into ECF, we are able to respond to the needs of the community unlike any other nonprofit organization in the state.

Today, ECF is the only organization of its kind that can provide support to a person challenged by developmental disabilities from birth through the senior years by offering: Early Start, Early Head Start, K-12 education, therapeutic services, center-based and community employment services, developmental activities, fine arts training, and residential housing and support services.

With the provision of these comprehensive, lifespan services to over 2,200 individuals with special needs a year, ECF cultivates/develops a work force for businesses throughout Los Angeles County, helps students to overcome learning barriers and prepares them for advanced education and contributes toward a more productive society.

ECF also employs over 400 staff and shapes communities from 16 program locations. Furthermore, our advocacy efforts help to create more inclusive neighborhoods and foster greater awareness of the benefits offered by people with special needs.

How to reach: Exceptional Children’s Foundation,

Dick Ingwersen refocused GH&I on growth during the recession

Throughout the early 2000s, growth had been a focus for Dick Ingwersen and his team at Gifford Hillegass & Ingwersen LLP.

“My feelings have always been that if I grow too fast, then things are going to fall through the cracks, and I’m not going to do the kind of job that I want to do, and the firm’s not going to do the kind of job that we want to do,” the co-founder and managing partner says.

The addition of Sarbanes-Oxley kept the business rolling in, but in 2008, the accounting firm was flat, and by 2009, it was down about 9 percent.

“Sarbanes-Oxley created so much work for everybody that … you just answered the phone and that’s how your business grew,” he says. “When [the recession] hit, that stopped. People had gotten maybe less aggressive being out there doing things to grow the business, because it was just growing automatically.”

Ingwersen took action. He went out and got his 80 people focused back on growth, and now, he expects more growth moving forward.

Smart Business spoke with Ingwersen about how he led GH&I through the recession.

Retain your top people. Be sure that you’re doing whatever you have to to keep your best people. Raises and bonuses were really down across the board, but [for] your top performers, it’s business as usual. Make sure that you don’t treat them like everyone else. We said, ‘Hey, raises are down this year, but for our top people, we’re going to give them better raises — they deserve it for what they’re doing.’ You do that; you talk to them. You communicate with them; you let them know that they’re our young leaders group. We say, ‘You’re a young leader, and we’re planning on you to be not just a young leader but a leader overall.’ They’re doing a good job so they deserve a little bit more overall and just encourage them and coach them and mentor them.

We would do that, and we would tell our clients the same. You know a lot of people that you work with, and some you hate to lose and some you wouldn’t mind to lose. The ones that you hate to lose, you need to pay more attention to — that’s just common sense, but sometimes people don’t do that.

People take things for granted sometimes and they don’t do that, and then it’s a devastating kind of thing if one of your very top performers came to you and said, ‘Well, things weren’t going that well, and I saw a better opportunity over there,’ and they were gone. You don’t want that to happen with your clients either.