The Big Idea with Ron Davis
Why Candor Should Be a Guiding Principle
If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?
This month's great idea comes from Tom Eggebrecht, president and CEO of Bonds Alarm Co. in Phoenix.
Eggebrecht's great idea:
The most important ingredient that management should look for in employees is honesty.
There is a reason why the Arizona Alarm Association (AzAA) is doing so well in its local and statewide initiatives. It all begins with leadership. AzAA President Maria Malice has done a wonderful job, and Sue Brenton, the executive director, is a force of nature. And that ol' alarm pro Tom Eggebrecht, Ph.D., is the treasurer.
Eggebrecht is president and CEO of Bonds Alarm Co., one of the major players in the Phoenix area. I've known Eggebrecht for a number of years and he always comes across as very knowledgeable and intelligent. I've always been amazed at his forthrightness, his willingness to take responsibility and the honesty with which he approaches his tasks.
In other words, I just defined a qualified leader. While pondering Eggebrecht's great idea for this month's column, I started to think back to some of the pre-eminent leaders I've known in the industry.
A common denominator they all share, and the one trait that sets them apart from many other executives in the industry, is their unswerving commitment to honesty. To name but a few examples, the late John Murphy of Vector Security, Mike Duffy of Per Mar Security, Mel Mahler of ADS Security, Bob Bonifas of Alarm Detection Systems and Brett Bean of F.E. Moran Alarm & Monitoring. All of these stalwarts not only practice the concept of honesty, but look for it in the employees and associates they work with.
Eggebrecht knows about this firsthand. Not only has he built a sizable company, but in addition, he has played a significant role in the growth and professionalism of AzAA.
The Pursuit of Integrity
I remember when my son, Scott, was just coming of age, probably 11 or 12 years old. A rule around the Davis household was we don't play with fireworks. That Fourth of July, Scott and a few of his friends got a hold of some pyrotechnics and proceeded to set them off. I found out about it and looked Scott straight in the eye and asked, "Were you playing with fireworks?"
Scott looked back at me; I could tell he was concocting an explanation. I peered at him harder and expressed, "As long as we're both on the same planet, I promise to be honest with you, and you always have to be honest with me. If you practice this now, it will come naturally to you the rest of your life."
And you know what? From that day on and for the next 35 years, neither one of us has ever felt the need to embellish, change or outright lie about anything between us. It has served us well; just as it has served so many other people that I know who are successful in this industry.
So here's a thought: If you're in a management or ownership position, why not let everyone you work with know that a guiding principle of your work and your life is one of complete honesty. Express to them it is the one characteristic you value most. Should your staff and fellow workers buy into it, you may not always like the results of your efforts, but you will always treasure the truth of what those results indicate.
In today's helter-skelter world where some of the most respected business people of our time commit deeds that have caused philosophers to question whether America is on the backside of its growth curve, isn't it best to be a proponent of total honesty and forthrightness?
Reward that trait, treasure it, and above all, always practice it. You'll never regret it!
Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates International in the 1980s.