Building a Rich, Deep, and Ethical Culture
WE HAD SPENT THE BETTER PART OF A YEAR TRYING TO WIN A CRUCIAL CONTRACT. Just to compete for it, we had to invest almost $50,000 in studies and presentations and rack up hundreds of hours of management time. But if we won the deal, it would be our largest contract ever—a multimillion-dollar windfall at a time when the typical order averaged $150. We had thousands of customers then, and most of them spent between $2,000 and $10,000 a year for our products. So there was no mistaking the importance of this deal.
The contract was with one of the country’s large industrial manufacturers, a brand-name company everyone knows. Finally, Bob McCabe, then our vice president of product and merchandising, ...