"Run it like you own it, but never forget you don’t"

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.