Time Shares

| August 18, 2009

Commandment #5, “Wake Up Early—Be Early,” means making the most of the time you’ve got. That means starting your career early, starting your day early—and showing up for your meetings early. Fully 98 percent of the RMITs cited the ability to show up, and show up on time, as integral to their success. I saw this first-hand: Dennis Albaugh, famous within his company for saying, “Nothing is beneath me or beyond me,” was a typical example. When we set a phone appointment for our first interview, he called two minutes early. He respects his time and he respects the time of others. And having wrangled multiple interviews with a hundred RMITs in the course of researching and writing The Richest Man in Town, I can tell you emphatically—I really, really respect that. Perhaps the most important lesson to be taken from the fifth commandment is this: Your time is precious—and so is everybody else’s.

Benevolent Dictators

| July 6, 2009

Over this Independence Day weekend, I was thinking about how one of our defining traits as Americans is our strong emphasis on the individual. I’ve written about the benefits of partnering with someone who complements your perfect pitch so that you can be free to play to your strengths. Dennis Albaugh, the richest man in Des Moines, Iowa, told me, “I have always hired people who are smarter than I am.” I heard this refrain from virtually every RMIT I interviewed: selecting the right team, the right employees, and the best advisers is essential to their success. But make no mistake—there can only be one king.