Treat Everyone Like He/She is the CEO

Two quick stories:

I was managing a new office building at the beginning of my career.  A major tenant was moving in that night and I always stayed around for big moves.  I had changed into my jeans and was sitting with my head janitor when two flustered men came storming in to our building office. We figured they were part of the moving crew. They literally started hollering at us.

“We left our keys behind!  We need keys and we need them now!  We don’t have any keys!”

My first instinct was to tell these obnoxious moving guys to back off, especially since their mistake was causing all the stress, but instead I turned to my janitor and said, “When can we cut some new keys?”

He said, “I can go down to the shop and be back with new keys in five minutes.”

The “movers” visibly relaxed and my janitor went to cut new keys.  I then brought the two men some coffee and casually asked, “So are you with the mover or the company moving in?”

My new best friend answered, “I am the CEO and this is the President.” The movers will be here in a few minutes. We are really glad you were here.  Thank you!”  We became great friends for years to follow.


Years later, a friend of mine called me and asked if I could help his young son out who needed a job.  I landed him on a security crew. From time-to-time I would have him come up to my office and we would talk about his studies, his career, etc.

Years later, one of my brokers could not get an interview with an important prospect and asked if I had any connections therein.  He told me the CEO’s name and, you guessed it, it was my young friend who had gone on to start and grow his own company.  I called, he immediately invited us over and we landed the assignment.


The whole Mr. Shmooze philosophy is predicated on treating everyone we meet as if he/she is the most important person in the world.  No downside and unlimited upside, plus it is simply a fun and gratifying way to live!

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