One of my favorite boss quotes – from over 20 years ago. When Charlie handed me the keys to my first Radio Shack store. I worked there for three months when I became a manager of a small store (very unusual – that was a quick promotion). I managed several stores over a three year period – one in Novato, CA, and a couple in San Antonio. I worked in several others.
It was an amazing learning experience. I learned everything from Sales to Marketing, Advertising, Profit and Loss, how to work with people, etc etc.
My boss at the time (the District Manager) was a little guy – with a HUGE personality. A little bit Knute Rockne and a little bit Rodney Dangerfield. All business. He was a Dale Carnegie type of seller though – very high energy, very high pressure. I was more laid back. I ran a more profitable store than he ever did. But he liked me – I made him look pretty darned good.
Anyway, Charlie always had words of wisdom. I’m not sure I paid much attention to them 20 years ago, but now I realize that they’ve helped guide me through many decisions and businesses through my life.
In every management postion I have been in since I have taken the advice to "run it like you own it, but never forget you don’t" to heart. I do the same thing when I consult with people. I immediately start being posessive of their project using words like "we", "us", "our site".
Basically I acted like company money was MY money. I spent money – I wasn’t a cheapskate. But I tried really hard to not waste money.
Sometimes it takes us a long time to realize that who we are is based on lessons we were taught decades ago.