‘You are president of the company

‘You are president of the company. How come you don’t have a parking space right up in front that
says President?’ And I was like, oh dad, that’s so old school. What am I going to tell my employees that I have
to park up close and I have the shortest walk to the door? They’re the ones doing the real heavy lifting during
the day. They’re doing the work. The closest ones are for ladies here so they can get in and out, and the other
ones are for all the front line employees. I’m way in the back there in the leadership lot. We let everybody else
park up front. The leaders can walk furthest from there.1
This attitude symbolized the underlying culture of SEI—that of caring for their employees. Ron walked
the 200 yards to the office building, entered the reception area where he saw the four large glass placards,
each portraying one of SEI’s four core objectives (see Figure 1).
He had come in early for the special meeting, on completion of 20 years of SEI’s incorporation, with
Mike McCullough, the owner of SEI. He had promised Mike that his team would present a comprehensive
plan to double the number of employees and generate revenues of $100 million by 2020—this plan
would be considered most audacious in the history of SEI. With his game face on, he slumped into his
favourite armchair, closed his eyes and mentally went through the presentation he had so diligently
put together with his chief operating officer (COO) and two vice presidents (VPs)—Dwight Strayer,
COO; Kraig Harper, CFO; and Mark Thomas, VP Sales. He was not overly worried about the
detailed financial projections that Kraig Harper and his team had worked out; in fact, he was quite