Does Your Business Stack Up?

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Tonight’s blog post is dedicated to my friend Ernst Dannemann who died yesterday as he approached his 89th birthday.

I have been fully absorbed in writing Ernst’s memoir for the past year, and finished the text just a couple of weeks ago. A truly remarkable man I admire and respect, Ernst arrived –out from under Hitler– in NY Harbor at age 15 (with minimal English), graduated high school and signed into the Army in response to Pearl Harbor, became a decorated soldier and a U.S. Citizen, courted a Holocaust survivor for 60 days and ended up married to her for 60 years, started as a chicken farmer and built a highly successful 6-state retail fabric chain.

Ernst worked his way up to be trusted advisor to 6 governors, close friend to a U.S. President and contenders, and a U.S. Vice President and contenders, as well as many nationally prominent senators and congressional leaders.

For his volunteer work and his Brotherhood Award from The National Conference of Christians and Jews, Ernst won the highest honor given to a civilian in the State of Delaware. Many will miss him dearly. He was a true gentleman as well as a great father, grandfather and great grandfather in every sense of these words and titles. . . and, I believe, Ernst, though never a Scout, could have easily been the poster boy for the 12 principles embodied in the “Boy Scout Law”:


A Scout is trustworthy, 


loyal, helpful,


friendly, courteous, 


kind, obedient, 


cheerful, thrifty,


brave, clean, and




     Okay, so put aside everything you know for a minute and evaluate your business performance as it measures up against what we should have learned as Boy Scouts (or, sorry, Girl Scouts, but I don’t know their “Law”). Can you 1-10-rate yourself and your business performance against each of these twelve points and come away with a hundred points?

     Can you figure out your strengths and weaknesses in matching or not matching each of these qualities. Does your customer service mission sound anything like this? Do you have employee policies, written or simply understood, that come anywhere close to the elevated level of these twelve behavioral traits?

     Where are you short? How can you bolster that up? What steps can you take tomorrow morning to boost even one of these and make it a shining star for your business? What’s preventing that? Is it attitude? Is it what others think? Is it too hard or time-consuming? Is it just something you feel you’re stuck with? Are you remembering that behavior is a choice?

     Are you remembering that you can choose to make these values ring throughout your business everyday and that all you have to do is decide to do it and keep deciding to do it, over and over? Hmmm? Imagine. Imagine what else we can learn from our youth that can work for our business growth now? Maybe it’s worth visiting a local troop meeting to learn some leadership skills long forgotten? or 302.933.0116 or Ha@BusinessWorks.US  
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God bless you. God bless America and our troops. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

2 comments so far

2 Comments to “Does Your Business Stack Up?”

  1. George Dannemanon 28 Jun 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Hal – Thank you for your kind words in this post and your tremendous dedication to drafting my grandfather’s memoir. My grandfather took great pride in your work. I am truly glad that he took the time to work with you so that my kids and their kids will be able to read his memoir.

  2. Hal Alpiaron 29 Jun 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you, George. I am honored to have had the opportunity to write this book for your grandfather. He was truly a great man and clearly –based on what I’d heard, plus your comments today at his funeral– he was a great inspiration to you as well as all he came in contact with. We should all be so lucky to have such a class-act role model to grow up with. Ernst defined the word integrity. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Thank you for your visit and your comments. Best – Hal

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