Do your employees know the history of your company and how it started?
Several days after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Amadeo Giannini set a wooden plank over two barrels and began loaning money to anyone who was willing to rebuild. Giannini was an independent banker who founded the Bank of Italy two years earlier; it served the needs of many immigrants living in the United States at the time. They weren’t able to obtain loans from the larger American banks in the area because they were aristocratic and only catered to the wealthiest of customers. He was able to save all of the deposits out of the bank building when the other banks were destroyed and unable to open their vaults. Years later, he was proud to say that every loan had been repaid. This was how Bank of America was created, and this story was passed down for years as part of their new employee orientation.
A person’s loyalty is greatly enhanced by knowing the history of an organization. When the Israeli Defense Forces noticed a drop in morale among new recruits, they instituted field trips to battlegrounds and other significant places in the young nation’s history to renew their sense of loyalty and pride.
A person who knows the history of your organization is often the most qualified person to have representing your company.
Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y. Visit www.reliablepropane.com.