Friday, May 01, 2009

Are You Ready to Succeed?

It doesn't seem to right to call Rothco's president, Howard Somberg, a "guest" blogger, but this is his first contribution to Camobloge. It's a very interesting insight to the Rothco business philosophy:

One of the most gratifying things about being a part of the Rothco organization is getting feedback from our customers about the service they get from our staff. Much of what I learned about customer service I got from my father and Rothco’s founder, Milton Somberg, who made it clear to me that if we take care of the customer, the customer will always take care of us. Over the years, as I got more involved in the operations and fulfillment end of our business, I developed a strong desire or obsession, as some would call it, in shipping out orders as quickly as we possibly could. This often meant very early and long hours for me and our staff, but soon the team became as focused as I was on getting every last order out we possibly could.

My father also instilled in me the importance of sharing our good fortune at Rothco with the staff that was so important to our success. This, in turn, has lead to a very rare and fortunate longevity amongst our staff with most employees enjoying long tenures with many here over 30 years. That continuity helps give Rothco the service edge that we enjoy and certainly makes our roles as company leaders much easier.

I am very fortunate to have learned at my father’s knee and to still enjoy his guidance and I wish I had the ability to better share this with others. Fortunately and, perhaps, coincidentally, I have a good friend named Srikumar S. Rao, a man who has studied leadership and shared his results with others at the Columbia Business School, London Business School and University of California at Berkley, etc. He has recently written a book entitled, Are You Ready to Succeed? - Unconventional Strategies for Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life.

It just so happens that many of the principles he discusses in his book, like leading by example, taking care of one’s employees, empowering team members and making sure that all those involved with an organization, staff, customers, vendors, etc., are given all they need to find their own success. From his books I have discovered why the things we do at Rothco have succeeded and even more ways to help ensure the success of our employees, our customers and, from their successes, our company.

It was through sheer luck that I met Srikumar through our shared love of tennis, but I do believe that our relationship was somewhat destined though our shared love of business and learning more about leadership. I am so excited about his philosophies that I want to giveaway 5 copies of his book, Are You Ready to Succeed to 5 readers of Camobloge randomly chosen. Just send an e-mail to with the subject “I Am Ready to Succeed” and we will enter you in a drawing for a free copy of Srikumar’s book. After you read it, please let me know your thoughts on it. I’d love to hear from you.

For more information on Srikumar Rao and his thoughts on leadership, please go to his website at Are You Ready to Succeed.

Have a great weekend!

Howard Somberg

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