Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of by Donna Fenn

By Donna Fenn

Outsmart your rivals, jump to the top of the pack, and develop into an alpha puppy! How does an ordinary corporation distinguish itself on the market, generate larger revenues than its opponents, and earn the lasting loyalty of consumers and staff? Alpha canine tells the inspiring tales of savvy marketers who chanced on the ideal formulation and rose to the head. In her own and probing kind, Donna Fenn, a twenty-year veteran of Inc. journal, introduces 8 women and men who percentage their genuinely-earned insights and functional tips—from Chris Zane, whose retail motorcycle store has perfected the artwork of shopper carrier, to Deb Weidenhamer, who reworked a sleepy public sale condominium along with her leading edge use of expertise. Alpha canine is a realistic guidebook for each present and aspiring self-starter who desires to stand out and be successful.

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But Norman Mayne never made it to New York. Instead, he fell in love with his high school sweetheart, Terry Dalton, married her, and started a family. And in 1966, Norman was thrust into the role of successor when his father, who had bought out his partner in 1958, suddenly suffered a stroke. Calvin’s illness put an abrupt end to his career; he died six years later. “Before his dad got sick, Norman was just the boss’s kid,” recalls Wayne Chrisman, who has been with the company since 1960 and now manages the Oakwood store.

And it’s not just about pay and benefits and an occasional pat on the back. How you hire, train, promote, share information, and interact with your employees on a Convert Your Employees into True Believers 39 day-to-day basis will drive their performance and, hence, your bottom line. If you doubt the connection between a great work environment and financial performance, you should check in with the Great Place to Work Institute, which creates the 100 Best Companies to Work For list with Fortune magazine every year.

The Customer, C’est Moi When the weather cooperates, Zane hops on his red Trek bicycle and peddles 10 miles to work from his home in Guilford, where he lives in a historic 1761 colonial house with Kathleen and their three young boys—Ian, 9; Charlie, 7; and Oliver, 5. He rides along the abandoned trolley tracks that run parallel to this part of Long Island Sound, through a forested stretch called West Woods. The trip takes about an hour and a half, provided he doesn’t stop along the way. Frequently, though, he’ll stretch out on the bluff that overlooks Lost Lake or linger on the causeway to gaze out at the Thimble Islands.

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