I have to laugh when I hear the current wisdom about sound business management. Executives nowadays are supposed to be friendly; they are supposed to inspire and empower employees rather than boss them. In this respect, my father was way ahead of his time. Although Dad was owner, president, and later chairman of Castle Food Corporation, our family business, he never considered his position in the company to be very significant during the almost 55 years he worked in the business. Dad didn’t enjoy rank or power. To him, everyone in the workplace was important, and the main thing was that each employee did the very best at his or her particular job.
In his quiet and humble way, Dad regarded himself as a salesman. He loved people and loved the interaction with his customers and employees. With the twinkle in his eyes, his European charm and class, his fabulous sense of humor, and his fascinating stories, he captivated those around him. He was ehrlich and unassuming, and had a sweetness about him not typical of a hard-driving, aggressive businessperson. Yet when he combined all these personal qualities with the detailed and superior knowledge of his product and a strong resolve to be successful, Dad possessed everything a good salesman needed. Dad was a fabulous sales professional who made himself and his company very successful, with Hashem’s help.