Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 29, 2008 / 24 Iyar 5768

When the student is ready, the teacher will come

By Larry Elder


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Take charge."


My friend and business mentor, Alan, laughed last week when I reminded him of this story.


We sat down and broke bread for the first time in 15 years. Nearly 30 years ago, when I lived in Cleveland, I left the practice of law to start a business. My new "company" — which consisted of a telephone and me — recruited attorneys for law firms and corporations. I knew nothing about headhunting other than an article I read in a trade magazine that inspired me to try it.


So I left a comfortable, well-paying job to go into a less comfortable, even more competitive, high-risk field. I knew a lot about lawyers, but nothing about business, especially the business of recruitment.


Alan, on the other hand, started a search firm some 15 years earlier. He soon ran the largest management recruiting firm in the world, with hundreds of offices in many countries. Through the friend of a friend, Alan heard about me, and called me for lunch. Alan Schonberg, the chief executive officer of Management Recruiters International, the Warren Buffett/McDonald's of search firms, wants to have lunch with me?


We sat down, and I immediately liked him. He liked me, and told me later that he saw great potential in me, provided I learned quickly and avoided mistakes. He taught me about recruiting, sales, hiring and firing, how to price services, accounting, bookkeeping and marketing. More importantly, he taught me that success in business, as in life, requires character, confidence, consistency, commitment and courage. "It's a marathon, not a sprint," he told me repeatedly.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


We met for lunch almost every month for the next 15 years. Alan usually called me, as I understood and respected the value of his time. We talked about business, life, the meaning of happiness, friends, family and faith. He emphasized the importance of hands-on business ownership and operation. As CEO of his company, Alan, through his extraordinary vision, work ethic and leadership, helped create hundreds of millionaire franchisees.


"What do you do all day?" I once asked him during one of our lunches.


"Take phone calls," he replied.


"From whom?"


"My franchisees," he said.


"What do they ask about?"


"Anything and everything," Alan said.


"Anything?"


"Yes, business, personal, marriages, whatever."


One day, during a recession, I called Alan. Business is terrible, I told him, and for the first time, I feel like giving up.


"Let's go to lunch," said Alan.


I spent almost a half-hour complaining about declining revenues, difficult clients, higher costs, indifferent or unmotivated employees, the increased aggressiveness of my competitors, and many other things, major and minor. Alan listened in silence.


"And what else?" Alan asked.


I unleashed another volley of complaints, and then I asked him, "What should I do?"


"Take charge," Alan finally said.


"Excuse me?"


"Take charge," he repeated.


"Take charge?"


"Yes, take charge. You're too smart, too insightful and too driven not to know what's gone wrong. So take charge."


"Such as?" I asked, wanting more specific advice.


Alan wouldn't budge. He simply said again, "Take charge."


So I thought and thought about what he said. I got rid of an indifferent employee, who had deserved termination for a long time. I adjusted my prices. I told my landlord about my situation and negotiated a lower rent. I changed my employees' compensation packages, adjusting the combination of base and commission. I long considered these steps, but procrastinated and lacked the guts to carry them out.


Business turned around. And it didn't take long.


Alan called and asked to meet for lunch.


"I knew it," Alan said when I told him of my company's improvement. "I knew that you knew what to do. You just needed a little push. Remember: character, confidence, consistency, commitment — and don't forget the courage part."


I ran the business for some 15 years, but always with the intention of making enough money to again change courses and go into political and social commentary. While working at my company, I wrote op-ed pieces. Soon local newspapers began publishing them. This, in turn, led to an invitation as a guest on talk radio, and then to an invitation by the station owner to fill in for the host for a week. Long story short, I knocked on doors, made calls, made contacts, and — with a little luck — ended up getting an audition at the country's first 24/7 all-talk radio station, located in Los Angeles, my hometown. I've been there ever since.


Alan takes pride and pleasure in my success as a businessman, a commentator and, more importantly, as a human being. Until I reminded him, he had forgotten the "take charge" story.


How does the adage go? When the student is ready, the teacher will come. Well, I guess I was ready. And I know that Alan came.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR)

Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

Larry Elder Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles