A close friend of mine discovered that her dear friend was very sick. He owned a business and offered her the chance to run his business until he was better, and promised to pay her approximately 3 times her annual salary. She agreed with one condition. He would only pay her regular annual salary, but give the rest to her in cash. Why cash? Because she was planning to write bonus checks for each of the key members of his team from that paycheck she would have received. In fact, her first meeting with each one of them, she gave them a nice, big check. Then she asked for their help. She needed to build a cohesive team who could quickly get her up to speed on the business and cut through any hard feelings. She immediately built their trust with her and then with each other. By the end of her 18 months, she had doubled the income for the company and reduced the tax implications by 80%!
When the owner recovered from his illness, he came back and was thrilled. He begged her to stay on as an employee for his company. He thought she was the only one who could do this. She laughed and explained that he already had everything he needed for success–his team! He just needed to keep them together as a team and value them. Now, she did not have a clue about some of the customers she was working with on a daily basis. She just treated them how she treats everyone—with kindness, gentleness, patience and generosity. It was many years later when she found out that one of the regulars who she spoke to and joked with each morning was none other than Bill Gates. She had no idea who he was, nor did it really matter, because to her, everyone deserved to be treated well. He liked her and helped that company find great success.
Some people may think she was crazy for giving away such a substantial amount from her proposed paycheck, however, in the end, she knew that people only listen when they know how much you really care. Her business owner friend learned a very critical lesson from this short-timer.