Big Idea of the Month: Apply the Golden Rule

Ron Davis shares the secret to having a great work environment and explains the power of writing notes.

SSI Industry Hall of Famer Alan Glasser is, in my eyes, a big man. He has a great spirit, big heart and a warm empathy for others. He’s also the president of MBFAA, one of the larger associations in the country, and certainly a giant in New York.

The last time he called, he asked me to “come home to Brooklyn” where I was born, have a great Italian dinner, oh and by the way, speak to his members. I did. And before that he asked me to emcee celebrations for people who had been in the industry for 25 years and then another celebration for 50 years. He’s also one of my biggest fans and there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for him. So, it was quite surprising when I got an email from him last weekend. It was addressed to me and my partner, Steve Rubin.

It started off with, ” I am typing on the small tablet … doing my best! Love to all. Alan.” He then followed up with a letter from one of his members, Christian Cahill. He wrote: “My name is Christian Cahill. I am currently enrolled in Mr. Glasser’s 81-hour course and making the most of it. Alan provided us with one of the many handouts, including your document, Opportunities to Understand Value. I have to tell you as a business owner that this is one of the most inspirational documents not only for an owner, but also for organizations’ incentivized employees. I just wanted to thank you for this information and I was hoping to get on a call to understand how you can help strengthen my organization from an RMR perspective.”

I immediately called Alan and thanked him. I asked him if he would mind if I called Christian, and query him on some of his great ideas. Of course, Alan encouraged this, and within five minutes, I was talking to Christian on the phone … or more accurately I was talking to his daughter, Rylan, all of six years old, and probably as smart as some of the dealers I’ve interviewed over the years.

When Rylan felt it was appropriate, she handed the phone to her father, who started laughing, as if I had passed some kind of test. After we exchanged pleasantries, I asked him a little bit about his company, the history and so forth.

The company is located in Port Washington, N.Y., has been around for 16 years, and Christian is the president and CEO. Three of Christian’s friends were original partners, including Eric L’Esperance, whose vision and experience in the construction and elevator industry provided the framework for the future success of the company. Little by little they moved on and the company grew to where it is today.

When I asked him about the size of the company, he didn’t hesitate. They are a full-service integrator and have 45 employees. Most of them are long-term employees and the company will probably do somewhere around $10 million in revenue this year.

Recently, the company was the recipient of two $7.5 million contracts with the state of New York. This guy is a mover and shaker and doesn’t even know it. He seems so humble in talking to him (and he is). He’s in his mid-40s and the core group of employees he had from the beginning are still there.

I eventually asked him if he had just one great idea that he could share with the industry, what would it be? Like most successful people, he answered almost immediately that his goal is always to make people happy, and that includes customers, employees, and vendors.

“My goal is to build the company to the point that will allow me to share all of the benefits that I will earn, with others … financially, spiritually and have a great work environment where people will always be happy to come to work.”

I guess the overriding message here is to just read and apply within the golden rule. There is another lesson here, also. It has to do with changes that have taken place in the industry since the start of COVID.

I know many of you are experiencing a reduction in telephone calls, followed by an increase in the number of emails you receive. As you open these emails, you see all sorts of information that has been supplied by manufacturers, distributors, etc. There is good information in much of this, and when you find it, why not sit down and write a note to the author (via email, of course!) and compliment the writer.

I know I’ve been writing for Security Sales & Integration for a number of years and in the beginning I used to get a fair number of letters and notes complimenting a recent column or something else I may have written. When I received one of them, it gave me a good feeling that I was accomplishing something that was needed. If you occasionally write for a company newsletter, or association, or possibly even for a publication, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So my thanks go out to Alan and Christian for writing me. And, of course, to my partner Steve, who started the whole process with writing a great article. I think that Christian and I will probably become friends and I’m fairly sure that as his company grows, Christian will use us as his broker. All from a note from a reader to the author. Why not start there, send a note to somebody you have been reading and let them know how much you appreciate what it is they have written.

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Tagged with: The Big Idea Columns

About the Author


Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Marketing Group (DMG), a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates Int’l in the 1980s.

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