Posted Aug 10 2017, 12:01 am

Years ago, I read a story about a man who owned a lumber business in New England. It was the largest business of it’s kind anywhere on the East Coast. It was a family owned business and existed for 75 years. It employed over 100 people, many of whom worked there for more than 35 years.

One day there was a terrible fire which completely destroyed the lumber yard. Nothing was left. The employees were devastated as it would take well over a year to rebuild it. The lumber company and it’s employee would be out of business for more than a year. The employees would have no income. The question everyone was asking themselves…How will we survive?

The owner invited all of his employees to a meeting where he announced that he would pay every employee their full salary and benefits from that day until the business reopened and he kept his word.

The business reopened 15 months later. There was a large celebration and the media attended and interviewed some of the employees. One employee was asked this question. What do you think of Mr. _______________? His response was, when you work for Mr. ______________ you are somebody.

The owner, through his generosity, made every employee feel that they were important, relevant and an indispensable part of his team. By doing so the owner had a good name which was the greatest treasure the owner could have acquired.

I remember a story my father telling me about a man who died and didn’t have a good name. There wasn’t a person anywhere who had anything good or nice to say about him. He was selfish, disliked and didn’t have one friend.

My father attended the service and as the Rabbi stepped up to the podium to deliver the eulogy, my father wondered what the Rabbi could say about the deceased that was positive and a tribute to his life.

The Rabbi began his eulogy by talking about a Biblical character who had the same first name as the deceased. This Biblical character had a very good name. He was of good character and respected by everyone.

The entire eulogy was directed to the Biblical character using the same first name as the deceased. In everyone’s mind the Rabbi was talking about the deceased and left the service with a much more positive attitude towards him even though he wasn’t deserving of that.

The moral of this story: how important it is and what a treasure it is to have a good name the entire time that you are on this earth.

Good character is more important than how skilled you are. The key to success in business and one’s personal life is relationship building. If people like, trust, respect and believe in you; they will do anything for you. And, when you pass and they talk about you they will say…”they are somebody because you helped make their lives better.”

Ken Rubin is the founder of Interviewing To Win. “I’ve always believed that people are far greater than any job they ever get to do.” Through my interview seminars and one on one role playing sessions, I will bring out the very best in my clients.




  1. April Reed says:

    This is great information!

  2. Ken Rubin says:

    Thanks April

  3. Steve White says:

    This post speaks of a principle that most people have forgotten because they are shackled by their identification with what is external (temporary) and driven by these outside forces.

    Knowing “who you are” is internal and this is what is expressed with a good name through what you like to do that you are good at.


    A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. (Prov 22:1)

  4. Bob Tubesing says:

    I have been leading job search groups for years and telling them, of course, you have skills, experience, motivation and education; but it is what people think about you and them that counts–what you take with you is your reputation.

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