The Corporation as an Incubator
The Secret of the Success: Great Mentoring
Here was the great part. I was a direct mail virgin and knew it and management knew it.
An all-points bulletin went out to the entire company telling people to give me any help I asked for to make this project work.
I worked 14-hour days and weekends and lost a wife in the process. Every time I found myself in deep and over my head I would yell for help. One of the four partners would immediately clear his desk, sit me down, talk me through the problem, pat me on the head and send me on my way.
These guys mentored me. They were patient, every now and then talking me off the edge and always taking time to explain how and why things worked in terms of the philosophy and history of direct marketing.
With access to all departments and executives, I saw close up the inner workings of the company and grew intimately familiar with the corporate culture and how to get things done.
I will tell anyone that it was the greatest job I ever had. It was total immersion, and I earned what had to be the equivalent of an MBA in direct mail, testing and book club management in five months.
No government schooling program could have taught me this stuff.
Nine Jobs in My First 12 Years in Business (and fired from five of them)
Mine was not a pretty career. When I arrived for work at several later jobs, I was shown my office, typewriter, telephone and where the men's room was and told to have at it.
Without the Grolier Enterprises experience—and the generosity and nurturing of those four executives and my associates throughout the company—I would likely have become a street person.