chapter seven

Community: Designing Your Powerful Network

Immediately following graduation from college, Stephen inherited his family’s Minneapolis-based insurance business. Over the next five years, he successfully grew the business from a one-policy life insurance company to a diversified firm offering a full stable of financial planning services. Independent and determined to remain continuously in the top 10 percent of every category in his customer satisfaction survey, Stephen prided himself on hiring only the best and brightest for his firm’s staff of ten. Why, then, did his company suffer an alarming rate of turnover?

Ironically, Stephen’s fierce independence, one of his strengths, had become a weakness. When he decided to hire someone, ...

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